The concept of college, popularized by Hollywood, as a 'series of romantic escapades punctuated by athletic crises' is not a worthy concept."
These words appear in Higher Education in a Decade of Decision, a newly published volume in which the 20 distinguished members of the Educational Policies Commission examine the needs and problems of American colleges. The report is the result of a four-year study, and the statement quoted above is hardly more than a passing remark in a work which deals seriously with finance, educational policy and the fitness of students to study and teachers to teach.
But the words which follow it ought surely to be of interest to all those who—nowadays—discuss the de-emphasis, re-emphasis or non-emphasis of college athletics: "Perhaps the worst excesses of this distortion of higher education came during the 1920s. Since the Depression and World War II, a significant readjustment of the values in college life has been under way."
Walter Owen (Spike) Briggs Jr., General Manager of the Detroit Tigers, was unhappy last week about the way the new owners of his ball club were running things (SI, Feb. 18). He was particularly unhappy with Harvey R. Hansen, the Tiger president of only one week.
"I'm going to straighten him out on the chain of command around here," Briggs told a Detroit sportswriter on Thursday. "This fellow [Hansen] is going around me so I may have to take him in hand." On Friday morning, sitting in his office in the stadium named after his father, Spike Briggs began taking things in hand. Hansen and John Fetzer, chairman of the board, were standing in front of his desk. Spike, apparently ruffled over being remonstrated in the press by Fetzer for "losing his head," pointed to an undated letter of resignation and asked his visitors:
"This is the paper you've read about—do you want me to date it?"
To Spike's sad surprise, Fetzer and Hansen replied, "Yes."
"Spike's only doubt about resigning," Fetzer said, "was the date."