Five years ago Loyola University of New Orleans decided to withdraw from all intercollegiate sports. Last September the Rev. James C. Carter, S.J., president of the university, asked a special Five-Year Athletic Review Committee to investigate what effect, good or bad, dropping sports has had on Loyola. Obviously, money saved by not spending it on sports is a "good" effect, but the committee, headed by a onetime Loyola basketball player, was looking for more profound influences.
When it submitted its findings in mid-January, the committee said that through separate subcommittees it had looked into six areas: student life, public relations, finances, development (including fund raising), admissions and intramurals. In addition, it had asked those who had served on a 1972 commission, whose findings had led to the decision to drop sports, for their reactions and opinions. A letter asking the same thing was sent to alumni, and a similar request, printed in the college newspaper, was addressed to the Loyola student body.
Only three of the eight people who served on the 1972 commission reacted to the request. From 17,000 letters sent to alumni, there were 14 replies. Of 4,600 students, one responded. The subcommittee reports indicated a general indifference to the question.
In sum, said the committee, dropping sports has had no effect on the university one way or the other.
IN SHARPER FOCUS
Jack Nelson, coach of the U.S. women swimmers at the Montreal Olympics, is still steaming at public reaction to his charges' performance at the Games, where they won only one gold medal to the East German women's 11.
"The American women broke nine U.S. records and three world records," says Nelson, "and everybody in the country acted like it was a disaster. It was a great accomplishment. What it boils down to is that since 1972, U.S. women swimmers have made fantastic strides—but not as fantastic as the East Germans.
"I was coach of the team that was second best in the world, and yet people came up to me when I got home and said, 'I'm really sorry, Coach.' I'm not sorry. I'm proud of what they did. I'm only disappointed in the reaction of the public."