Scott's yardstick of success? "How the students react, how many participate, how fully I can implement the women's athletic program," he says. "And, yes, the won-lost records of our teams. Excellence can be achieved without dehumanizing the athlete."
With the backing of President Fuller, Scott has already done away with admission charges to athletic events. Admittedly this is of more psychological than financial importance, annual gate receipts at Oberlin seldom amounting to more than $2,000 or $3,030. "By eliminating gate receipts you help eliminate the distinction between major and minor sports," says Scott. "So far as I'm concerned we simply have 14 varsity sports at Oberlin."
In addition Scott intends to inaugurate a policy of permitting varsity athletes to make decisions formerly reserved for the administration or the coaches. Already the tennis and fencing teams have been asked to name their own replacements for departed coaches. "I'm also examining realistic ways in which team members could vote on starting lineups," says Scott.
There is not yet much to measure so far as Scott's yardstick of success is concerned. The football team, 0-8 last year, looked at least enthusiastic in losing its opener to Centre College of Kentucky 7-6 and, through four games, had lost to Hiram 46 14 and Hamilton 21 12 and beaten Carnegie-Mellon 21-14. Meanwhile, the physical education classes are fair to bursting with new enrollees. Despite the fact that required physical exercise has now been dropped at Oberlin, many P.E. classes have doubled in size.
"That's pretty astonishing," says President Fuller. "Usually when you drop the P.E. requirement, enrollment goes from 500 to eight."
Scott's progress at Oberlin will have the gripping what-happens-next suspense of a good mystery with many fascinated readers. Walter Byers, the conservative executive director of the NCAA, has managed to avoid being drawn into a discussion of Scott's program. But NCAA President Dr. Earl Ramer was willing to speak. Scott, he admitted, had made a few valid points, but "his zealous commitment to his own ideas in athletics may tempt him to play the authoritarian role he deplores," concludes Dr. Ramer. "I hope he can resist that temptation.... If he carries into effect the athletic ideals he so strongly advocates...he will serve Oberlin and athletics well."
George Sauer sees the Oberlin appointment as the start of an age of discovery. "People are going to find out that Jack's ideas make a great deal of sense and are very logical. They are based on values with which people are going to find it hard to disagree." Many, of course, will succeed in disagreeing, but not a whole lot of them, Scott hopes, will come from Oberlin.