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Steve Sebo of Penn is perhaps the only coach in history to have lost a good end, a boy named Bill Kesack, for a whole year of eligibility because the boy flunked nuclear physics. "The difference between the Ivy League and other places," says Sebo, who was once an assistant at Michigan State, "is that there, when the players get on a bus, they talk football. Here when we make a trip the kids talk about how to split the atom."
THE IVY LEAGUE ALL-STARS
Moody, introspective, shy, Batcheller could have stepped right off North Beach in San Francisco or out of Greenwich Village. He wears his hair long and roams the campus dressed in a black leather jacket and a pair of black leather boots. At Princeton, yet.
"The guys call me a hood," he says, "but I don't care. This is the way I like to dress. And I can't wear a tie. My neck keeps getting bigger, and none of my shirts fit." But Batcheller isn't really a hood at all, maybe not even very beat; he's just a nice boy who is different—and a whale of a tackle.
Son of a Navy captain ( Annapolis, class of '34), Batcheller never played football until his junior year in high school, had no college scholarship offers and hardly hoped to progress past the junior varsity at Princeton. As a matter of fact, he didn't even expect to go to Princeton. "It was an accident," he says. "When I took my college board exams I wrote down my preferences: Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia Tech, Bates. But someone said, 'You're entitled to put down six schools. Why don't you try one in the Ivy League?' So I wrote down Princeton. It was just a name. When Princeton accepted me everyone said, 'You'd be foolish to pass up this chance.' So I came to Princeton."
More than three years later, Batcheller isn't sure whether he likes the idea or not. "I view it with mixed emotions," he says. "It's a great school, and all the opportunities are here. All the tools. But you get out of it what you put into it, and I have a feeling I've missed too many opportunities. I run into these perverted cycles. I'll stay up until 4 o'clock in the morning and then sleep till noon. Cut my classes. I guess I have a negative attitude."
Still, Batcheller has done well. Since giving up the idea of becoming an engineer in his sophomore year and switching to economics, his grades have shown a sharp rise. And on the football field, where he has advanced from the jayvees to second string to stardom in three years—while gaining more than 20 pounds—Batcheller has become a demon. He is perhaps the most improved football player in the conference. Two weeks ago in a losing game against Yale, Batcheller was named the outstanding lineman on the field.
"I'm happy about Ivy League football," he says, "because I might not have been good enough to play some place else, but I feel they have gone too far with de-emphasis. In fact, they have made football the whipping boy. What's wrong with holding spring practice? They have fall crew practice, don't they?"