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Fair Play at Penn
A man may consider it nobody's business but his own if he chooses to toss his wife out of his house, but society will seldom agree with him—particularly if it feels she has been a good wife. Football fans may concede a degree of privacy in the domestic arrangements of colleges and their coaches, but when a coach is summarily fired in the midst of festivities celebrating his greatest victory, the fans—and quite rightly—feel they have a right to know why.
Steve Sebo, a first-class backfield coach at Michigan State, was brought to the University of Pennsylvania as head football coach six years ago at the darkest moment of Quaker gridiron history. Penn at that point was in a state of transition from football powerhouse to Ivy League de-emphasis. As a result, Sebo found himself facing a left-over schedule of some of the toughest teams in the country with a pitifully de-emphasized squad of nonsubsidized scholars. In two years he lost 19 straight games.
To its credit, while portions of the alumni howled for his head, the university re-signed Sebo when his contract expired. The sorely tried coach repaid the gesture during the next three years by lifting Quaker football virtually by its bootstraps from a dismal place in the cellar of the Ivy League to its undisputed 1959 championship. Then last week he was fired.
The nearest thing to an explanation that Penn Athletic Director Jerry Ford chose to give the public was an invitation to newsmen to "assume anything you like."
One assumption most of them made is that the real reason for Sebo's firing lay deep in the rift that formed among Penn alumni and athletic circles during his losing years. Sebo himself had been informed even before his championship season began that his contract would probably not be renewed (information that made his job no easier). Another and perhaps more unavoidable assumption is that the lessons of sportsmanship and fair play which under de-emphasis become the only excuses for football in the Ivy League are not considered very important in Penn's hallowed halls.
MacArthur Carries the Ball
Few memories among modern men encompass so wide a span of events with such forceful clarity of recall as that of 79-year-old General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, whose rich recollection is matched only by the ringing rhetoric with which he often frames it.
Last week the distinguished guests at the annual banquet of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame discovered to their delight and surprise that a considerable portion of this rich recollection is concerned with the game of football. Sports fan MacArthur himself was on hand in New York's Waldorf-Astoria to accept the Hall's gold medal in token of his long service "as a spiritual leader of the forces of football," and the words with which he received the honor were in themselves ample justification of it. Striding exuberantly back through the corridors of history with a football seemingly cradled in the arm of his heroic memory, he was able to endow the game with a new, almost legendary, dimension.