THE MICHIGAN DAILY
TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 1967
PAGE SIX THE MICHIGAN DAILY TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 1967
Scandal Reaction: 'Everybody Cheats'
Associated Press News Analysis
CHICAGO-A former Big Ten
football coach said college rules
are so strict and unrealistic that
they encourage hypocrisy. '
"Everybody cheats a little,
some cheat a whole lot," the
spokesman, who preferred to re-
main anonymous, said in discuss-
ing the recent crackdown on the
University of Illinois in the $21,-
000 slush fund case.
Another coach who moved to
a different conference comment-
ed: "You can't let a boy go
around with holes in his shoes,
but if you help him you are break-
ing the code. It's ridiculous. No
wonder the rules always are being
Illinois was slapped down for
doling out sums-$15 . and $35 a
month generally-to needy foot-
ball and basketball players over
a five-year period.
The university, through Presi-
dent Dr. David D. Henry, blew tle
whistle on itself, only to get the
book thrown at it.
Seven star athletes were sus-
pended, five permanently, their
careers virtually destroyed. The
Big Ten Conference told Illi-
nois to fire head football coach
Pete Elliott, basketball coach
Harry Combes and assistant
Howard Braun or face suspen-
sion. The coaches resigned.
"It's like getting the electric chair
for spitting on the sidewalk," said
Clive Follmer, former Illinois ath-
lete and now a successful attor-
ney in Champaign, Ill.
"You have one policeman to
patrol a city. He nabs 17 law-
breakers and three million go
free. This is the same thing."
Somebody suggested it was like
being tried and convicted by -the
Mafia or the James boys.
Half a dozen of the conference
members who voted such stiff pun-
ishment for the offenders have
been caught with their fingers in
the till themselves. Some gat off
more .lightly. Michigan State is
sweating out the final year of a
four-year suspended probation for
paying air fare home for one of
its football players.
A spokesman for the conference
had an explanation.
"Illinois kept a detailed book
on its fund and the disburse-
ments," the official said. "The
fund was operated with the
knowledge of the coaches, who
knew it was against the rules.
The evidence against others is
not always as concrete."
The severity of the judgment
was widely criticized.
"This was just peanuts compar-
ed with what others are doing,"
said Doug Mills, the Illinois ath-;
letic director for 25 years before
resigning Dec. 1 for what he call-
ed personal reasons.
A Green Bay Packer star, who
played in the Big Ten, said he
was amazed at the stiffness of the
"When I was in college it was
common knowledge that a lot of
the guys were getting extra mon-
ey and special favors-gifts from
alumni, tickets for trips home and
cash when they needed it," he
said. "Everybody knows it. You
just can't do anything about it."
"In the Big Ten, you can't
even give a boy spending money
y for his laundry 'or a weekend
date," a coach said. "If he comes
to the campus for a look, you
can't let him touch a football
or dribble a basketball.
"He gets the feeling that the
school doesn't want him. So he
goes to a campus where they throw
out the red carpet for him-legal
or not. And they do. When one
of these major Big Ten schools
wants a boy, they have a way of
A broad survey by the Asso-
ciated Press after the Illinois in-
cident disclosed that athletic di-
rectors, coaches and ex-players
talk glibly of existing abuses-but
strictly off the record.
The conclusion drawn from in-
terviews was that most schools
are guilty in some ways.
The college policing bodies -
the various conferences and the
tough National Collegiate Athlet-
ic Association-try to keep a close
eye on infractions. They have
their own gum-shoe investigators
scouring the campuses. They check
out every report of a possible
But they apparently only man-
age to scrape the surface. There
are subtle ways of evading the
law; and most of them are used.
Main offenders are wealthy
alumni or aulmni groups.
"You'll find most of the of-
fenses, such as these at Illinois,
deal with needy boys who have
no means of picking up even
pocket money," said David
Downey, an All-Big Ten basket-
ball star ate Illinois in 1961-63
and now an insurance executive
and lawyer in Champaign.
"You see a boy with holes in his
shoes or with a frayed jacket, so
you give him a few bucks. Tech-
nically, this is against the rules..
Morally, to most, it seems all
"Under the rules, an athlete is
not, even even permitted to work
on the campus to pick up laundry
and pocket change. Other students
can, but not the athletes.
"I have done some recruiting
for he university and I'll guar-
antee that Illinois is not the worst
offendet I don't have enough
evidence to bring anybody into
court, but I know other schools,
including the Big Ten, are doing
the same thing."
There are devious means of cir-
cumventing the code.
One former college athlete,
now a pro, said that he was
persuaded to enter a Big Ten
university when a business man
signed to give him a heavy cash
award upon graduation. The
man paid off.
Michigan State and Wisconsin
are among the schools with stu-
M'.Opposed Last Ruing
By JOEL BLOCK
Throughout the proceedings of the Illinois case, the Michigan
athletic board had favored a heavier institutional penalty against
the University of Illinois instead of the dismissal of the three coaches.
"The athletic board was unanimously opposed to the ultimatum
given by the Conference which forced Pete Elliott, Harry Combes,
and Howard Braun to resign," Michigan's faculty representative,
Marcus Plant said yesterday.
"Several of the men, on the athletic board are professional
people and they thought that the individual penalties were not in
line with penalties normally imposed on individuals in the profes-
"They termed the order to fire the coaches as 'too extreme' in
that it was the same as excluding someone from his profession."
In the emergency meeting of the Big Ten athletic directors in
February, Michigan's athletic director I.O. (Fritz) Crisler voted
against the proposal to force Illinois to fire the thee coaches. After
he found that the rest of the Big Ten athletic directors were in
favor of the motion (Illinois abstaining from all voting on the issue),
Crisler moved that it be reported to the public that the vote was
At the March 2 meeting of the faculty representatives, Plant
voted along with the eight other representatives to back up the
athletic directors' decision to invoke the "just cause" clause.
The rule says that if the institution retains on its athletic staff
the guilty persons, its conference membership will be suspended or
terminated-unless it can show just cause why it shouldn't be.
Plant stated, "I thought the violations were serious enough to
warrant the use of this severe penalty. But at the time, I thought
Illinois would be able to show cause and the coaches would not have
"There were two other faculty representatives at that March 2nd
meeting who were sympathetic to the Illinois' cause. I don't know
what changed their minds between then and the March 18th meeting.
"I chose to vote against the resolution in the final vote because
I wanted it to be on the record that the University of Michigan did
not agree that the coaches should be forced to resign."
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A coach told how a rival school
nailed a promising athlete by
getting him into a friendly poker
game with some prominent busi-
ness men around town. The busi-
ness men conspired to let the
prospect win several hundred dol-
lars, and the boy suddenly got in-
terested in the particular college.
Some colleges give varsity
players tickets to sell-out games.
These can be hawked-perhaps
not legally but without risk-
for fat prices, sometimes as
much as $50 a ticket.
Several years ago recruiting
practices among major colleges
were wide open, with outstanding
prospects enticed by all sorts of
awards and promises. Some athletes
got new cars. One AllbAmerica
had been presented 100 new suits.
Parents were put into new homes.
Players even got scholarships for
their girl friends.
In the late 1940s, the National
Collegiate Athletic Association
adopted the so-called sanity code
which put a clamp on recruiting
practices. Gains were made but
the evil of cheating could not be
Later, the work program was
launced. Under this rule, an ath-
lete on scholarship could work
around campus, doing odd jobs at
the going rate. The rule was abused.
Some athletes got paid without
working. Others got exorbitant
Then in 1957 the current
grant-in-aid policy was adopted.
Under this rule, generally in
force throughout the country, an
athlete's grant had to be lim-
ited to his scholarship, board
and books with $15 extra a
month for spending money. The
Big Ten refused to adopt the
$15 spending money clause.
Iowa once had its membership
in the conference suspended for
nine months and 22 of its athletes
declared permanently ineligible
for giving illegal aid.
Twice in the last decade Indiana
was disciplined for financial in-
fractions. Phil Dickens, Indiana
football coach, had to watch his
team's games from the stands
while serving a 'one-year suspen-
Coach Woody Hayes of Ohio
State got in hot water with the
NCAA in 1956 for lending money
to his players from a $4,000 fund
he received for television appear-
Hayes, one of the most out-
spoken and controversial of
coaches, leaped to Illinois' defense.
He said the punishment was too
harsh for the offense.
Michigan State was placed on
probation in 1953 because of a
Spartan Fund-similar to that
at Illinois-and is currently on
suspended sentence for paying
one of its football players.
Bill Reed, the graying square-
built former newsman who over-
sees the Big Ten as commissioner
from a swank office in a Chicago
hotel said he was "astounded and
dismayed" by the revelations of
the Illinois case.
"We were going smoothly, we
thought that the compulsions to
cheat had been reduced to an'ab-
solute minimum," he added. "Now
we don't know. We can't say sim-
ilar conditions don't exist on other
campuses. But, failing to prove it,
we can't say they do exist."
The c o 11 e g e situation has
brought new alarm to Avery
Brundage, president of the Inter-
national Olympic Committee and
an Illinois alumnus, who contends
the nation's moral fibre is being
"At one Big Ten university, the
annual appropriation for scholar-
ships is $416,000," Brundage said,
"The accomplished high school
athletes sell themselves to the
highest bidder like fancy live
dent loan funds. If an athlete gets
in a tight squeeze, he can swing
a loan and not be required to pay
until after graduation.
"I think you'll find ma-ny of
these boys making such loans,"
a former Big Ten basketball coach
said. "When he's out of school,
who will make him pay it. Or who
will prevent a wealthy supporter
of the team from picking up the
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