WILLIAM VS. MARY
William and Mary, which is located in storied Williamsburg, Va. and is the nation's second oldest college after Harvard, is embroiled in a dispute over plans to raise $4 million from private donors to enlarge the capacity of its football stadium, Cary Field, from 15,500 to 30,000.
Because Cary Field is so small, William and Mary has been playing opponents such as Villanova, Virginia Tech and Navy on the road while fleshing out its home schedule with the likes of James Madison University. The school's ruling Board of Visitors reckons that by enlarging Cary Field, William and Mary can upgrade its schedule, play worthy opponents at home as well as away and reap the prestige and financial benefits that big-time football sometimes bestows.
Most William and Mary students and faculty members oppose enlarging the stadium. They argue that football muscle-flexing is out of place in sedate Williams-burg and that the money in question could be better applied to faculty salaries. Last month 3,000 of William and Mary's 4,500 undergraduates protested by boycotting a day's classes and there have been two demonstrations since then. The faculty has voted its overwhelming disapproval of the plan. Nevertheless, the school is sticking to its guns.
In disregarding the wishes of students, the Board of Visitors has yet to satisfactorily answer the fundamental question: For whose benefit is college football being played? Also, the board may not fully appreciate that bigger stadiums put a premium on winning; playing .500 football in recent years, William and Mary has had trouble filling even 15,500 seats.
On the other hand, by asking that the money be used for higher faculty salaries, the administration's opponents are engaging in wishful thinking. The New York Times piously editorialized last week that "it's only right" that the $4 million be put to academic purposes, adding, " Williamsburg is a restoration town—and there's nothing more in need of restoration than the purpose of higher education." But it is naive to assume that those who donate large sums for football would also be eager to contribute to faculty salaries, however worthy that cause may be. At the same time, the assumption that academic excellence and big-time sports are mutually exclusive ignores schools that have successfully combined the two—Michigan and Stanford, for example.
YANKEE DOODLE BOY
At the turn of the century Tod Sloan, the renowned American jockey, packed his tack and went to ride in England. Sloan took along 10 steamer trunks, a valet and a secretary and grandly listed himself on programs as J. Todhunter Sloan. He won 21 of his first 48 races and inspired George M. Cohan's Broadway musical about horse racing, Little Johnny Jones. Out of that show came the songs Give My Regards to Broadway and Yankee Doodle Dandy, which includes the lyric, "Yankee Doodle came to London just to ride the ponies."
Now Steve Cauthen is going to London, too. Cauthen, who guided Affirmed to the Triple Crown in 1978, announced last week that next month he will begin riding under exclusive contract to British owner Robert Sangster, who has had the leading stable in England the past two years and has also enjoyed considerable racing success in France. Cauthen denies that the timing of the move had anything to do with his recent slump, during which he lost 110 straight races and was removed from Affirmed in favor of Laffit Pincay Jr. "I'm going because I got a terrific offer," Cauthen says. "It's a good chance for me to gain experience and travel the world, to see what Europe's like."
Europe should be just fine. Races there are generally longer than those in the U.S. and Cauthen excels at rating his mounts. Another nice thing about Europe is that purses for major races tend to be larger. Cauthen reportedly will receive the usual 10% of all winnings plus $400,000 and incentive bonuses. During the seven months that the contract will run, the 18-year-old jockey could earn $1 million.