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In all of college football's crises, past and present, the alumnus has generally been given a villainous role. Oldtime caricatures used to picture him as a bloated capitalist type in the best tradition of Communist cartoons of Wall Street tycoons, buying and selling players for the greater glory of his Alma Mater. In later years he has grown younger; in fact, he is even accused of being sophomoric. He has also been reinforced by the booster, the "synthetic alumnus" who adopts a school and becomes its vociferous and/or bountiful supporter. But, as usual, he is supposed to be the power behind the scenes, the man with the money who can wink at the rules, the fellow to whom victory on the football field is the final meaning of the old college spirit, the ultima Thule to which the coach, desperate for winning players, can appeal.
Last week, in the first part of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED'S survey of the college football crisis, the alumnus took his share of the licking in the opinions delivered by college presidents, athletic directors and coaches. So, now let's take a look at the alumni, see just how they operate and hear what they have to say.
Right away, it's clear that they are well organized. Canvassing the country and the conferences, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED found alumni clubs and booster organizations in just about every major football town, and all of them had a going program for helping football players, as well as other athletes and deserving students, to get through college. It is also clear from the survey that most of them feel that what they are doing is right and just and necessary, under the circumstances. The prevailing sentiment seems to be: "The football player cannot play, and study, and work for his tuition all at the same time. There simply aren't enough hours in the day, and so it's plain that he has to have help."
Beyond that, opinions vary. Let's listen to some of them.
Perhaps the embattled Pacific Coast Conference is the best place to start. Here, under the PCC code, athletic scholarships are not permitted; assistance is in form of grants-in-aid, jobs and the so-called 75-40 formula—$75 per month in legal help, $40 under the table. And the alumni are bitterly in accord on one major point in the current football scandal: "There is nothing wrong in giving aid to the fine football player. The only wrong has been perpetrated by the administrators who have completely failed to face up to the realities of the situation and make the operation aboveboard."
It is on the record now that alumni organizations and booster clubs in the PCC have given aid considerably above conference rules to football players at various colleges in recent years. For example:
According to records presented by J. Miller Leavy, UCLA alumnus and assistant district attorney, the Southern California Educational Foundation disbursed $71,235 during the last two years. Broken down, this figures to be an average of $45 in illegal aid per month per man at the University of Southern California, according to PCC Commissioner Victor O. Schmidt.
The records of UCLA's nonprofit group, the Young Men's Club of West-wood, showed that over a three-year period beginning in 1952 the club spent $189,102 in aid to athletes. In 1954 alone the club disbursed $84,009. Some of this money went to secretaries' salaries, transportation and entertainment of prospective athletes, season tickets for members and so on, but all in all, according to Commissioner Schmidt, it figured out to about $40 a month in illegal aid to athletes.
Where does the money come from? Robert B. Campbell, president of the Young Men's Club of Westwood and a contributor to student aid for 32 years, reported as follows:
"Personal contributions vary. In the early days of UCLA they weren't much, but of late they've been considerable. Let's call $500 a nice round figure."