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August 13, 1968 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1968-08-13

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Seventy-seven years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
under authority of Board in Control of Student Publications

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily exp ress the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



The Big Ten inquiry:
Preserving the double standard

Gt /
4I/ 11 S~c: r
(&R"AIN MA I ,
"That's our nation' s trouble these dlays-
too much cynicism."


THE DECISION last week by Big Ten
officials to clear Michigan State Uni-
versity of charges the school provided
illegal aid to athletes, fails to confront
the important issue raised by the allega-
tions; and only reinforces the "double-
standard" between what the conference
rules say and what athletic departments
actually do.
The statement by Commissioner Bill
Reed reveals the superficial nature of the
Big Ten inquiry.
"It is my considered judgment that
with respect to each of the published
allegations either there is not'sufficient
grounds for believing that a violation oc-
curred or that remedial action taken by
(Michigan State) is adequate," he said.
Reed was referring to the charges pub-
lished in a series of Daily articles on
athletic aid at Michigan and Michigan
State. Daily reporters found abundant
evidence of various violations including
free movie passes, grill passes, excessive
ticket allotment, summer jobs, and pos-
sible recruiting irregularities.
Only a small proportion of the evidence
uncovered was actually printed, however,
since the purpose of the articles was not
to condemn the particular institutions
involved, but to reveal the widespread
"double-standard" between the rules and
the reality of Big Ten athletics.
REED'S STATEMENT indicates that
conference officials investigated the
charges with a different purpose in mind;
to disprove individually each of the pub-
lished allegations. Big Ten investigators
evidently chose to ignore the nine-tenths
of the iceberg below the legitimate sur-
face of Michigan State athletics.
The stance taken by Spartan coach
Duffy Daugherty of outraged indignation
at The Daily's charges was a wise move;
for as shown by last year's "slush fund
scandal" at Illinois, the worst thing a

Big Ten school can do is to admit its own
Daugherty's later decision to drop his
threatened libel suit against The Daily,
however, suggests that the allegations
may have had some merit.
Nevertheless, Big Ten investigators
were able to "disprove" some of the spe-
cific charges and waited for "remedial
action" by MSU officials on the rest.
THIS POSITION is identical to that
taken by individual athletic directors
when irregularities came to light in the
past, with the notable exception of the
1967 Illinois case.
Retired Michigan athletic director H. O.
(Fritz) Crisler told Daily reporters he
"hunted down several breaches of Big
Ten rules in past years" but "corrected
the situations before a conference inves-
tigation was necessary".
The Big Ten has shown that it is more
than willing to go along with this atti-
tude, since it is interested primarily in
good public relations, rather than enforc-
ing the "Conference Rules and Regula-
tions" listed in the Official Handbook.
The University of Michigan, however,
is more likely to be penalized when the
Big Ten reports in six weeks on its al-
leged violations, since several Wolverine
coaches admitted knowledge of the ir-
Whether or not a penalty is imposed,
however, the Big Ten will have missed
the point. Once again, violations either
will or will not have been "swept under
the rug." And once again, the "double-
standard" will have been preserved.
Hopefully, future allegations at other
Big Ten schools can reverse this trend,
and force the complete investigation of
current practices and the necessary re-
vision of an outdated rulebook.
Sports Editor


104So What's Ncull?"

Robinson's defeetion: A trend?

CAMPAIGNS AGAINST Richard Milhous Nixon have traditionally
been waged with a certain relish. From the beginning the boy
from Yorba Linda, Whittier, the White House and Wall Street has
struck an image of pathetic ineptitude. It would haye been cruel
to poke fun at him except that he has always been so arrogant in his
blundering, so self-righteous about par king his foot in his mouth.
Not that the attacks have been inspired whollyoby sentiments of
good natured fun. What admirers refer to as his "pragmatic approach"
to issues has often in the past been a euphemism for a ruthless am-
bition. Many will never forget his campaigns against Jerry Voorheis
and Helen Gahagan Douglas, the Hiss and Chambers affairs, Checkers,
the 1954 campaign, etc. ad nauseam.
But given this basic layer of reasons for hating Nixon, the actual
task of converting opprobrium into hatchet job hasn't necessarily
been unpleasurable. Some of the poison works written about Nixon
have become classics of the genre, like Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s
seminal 1960 essay Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference?
Schlesinger's themes, in keeping with his interests and his style,
were essentially scholarly. He tried to probe the Nixon personality
with the tools of the sociologist, and concluded that Nixon was the
archtype of Riesman's "lonely crowd" thesis.
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A L T H O U G H hardly what someone
would call a key political figure, the
defection of Jackie Robinson to the Dem-
ocrats is at least an indication, in Sen.
Javits modest understatement, "that all
isn't perfect in Republican-land."
For it is a general rule in contempor-
ary American politics that leaders are
led, that those uncommitted to the pres-
ent political party structure will act on
principal long before a party leader does,
and that such massive reaction by any
large number of people will draw some
politicians with it. The Vietnam War is
the handiest example, and what Robin-
son did may be, on a smaller scale, a
similar phenomenon.
Robinson acted forthrightly before any
major politician who might be so inclined
to take a similar step, and it is possible
that there may be more liberal defections
from the Nixon-Agnew ticket. While mass
defections are not likely, a minority
party like the Republicans needs all the
votes it can get and can't afford even
minor disruptions of "unity."
BUT THE WHOLE question of defections
is indeed a strange one, for the Re-
publicans in their Miami festivities last
week spent much of their time enthus-
iastically telling each other that victory
depends on unity. Each candidate care-
fully commented that he would support
his foes if they were nominated and
pledged his fullest support to the deci-
sion of the convention. Nixon, above all,
the staunchest party man of the lot,
swore by party unity. Yet it was he who
created the threat of a split that now
exists, however weak or strong it may be.
It was under the guise of unity Nixon
directed his appeal to the South, and it
was that appeal which threatens to dis-
rupt conciliation in the party. The choos-
ing of an Agnew or even a Goldwater
conservative like Sen. John Tower of
Texas would have been acceptable if the
Republican presidential nominee had
been Rockefeller, Percy, or Lindsay.
But Nixon fails to generate in the
north, especially in the northeast, the
necessary enthusiasm, to counter the lib-
erals' dismay over a choice like Agnew.

that he may have been jumping into un-
known waters by declaring for whoever
the Democrats nominate - Humphrey,
McCarthy or McGovern. Nixon has at
times sounded liberal enough to warrant
the support of a moderate Negro like
Robinson. He was talking a liberal. a day
or two before his nomination and there's
no telling what he'll be saying a day or
two from now. But on both questions,
Robinson's reasoning seems to have been
No matter what Nixon says now, he
has committed himself to the "Southern
strategy." The very fact that he assured
Sen. Strom Thurmond a veto power over
his vice presidential choice bodes ill for'
the rest of his campaign. And the ma-
terial choice of Agnew makes a far
stronger and more convincing commit-
ment than any speech he might make.
As for the'choice among the Democrats,
the alternatives are uniformly accept-
able to the Negro vote. Pragmatically, the
alternatives are unimportant as far as
domestic affairs are concerned; there is
no platform fight brewing on domestic
issues as there is on Vietnam and there
is thus no threat to the nominee's stand,
and that nominee is assuredly Humphrey.
WITH THE added revelation that Sen.
Jacob Javits is having second
thoughts about the Republican ticket,
trouble may be brewing for the Republi-
cans, at least in the North and North-
east. And the problem it creates for
Mayor John Lindsay is the most inter-
esting aspect.
Lindsay, much more liberal than Javit; ,
has committed himself to Nixon and the
party as part of his plans for capturing
the Republican presidential nomination
in '72. While he can still verbally support
Nixon - in fact, he has to after the
strong commitment he has already voiced
- it cannot be less than very embarrass-
ing to him to be out-liberaled by some-
one on his right. If defections on any
larger scale do develop, he will be left
holding a rather strange looking bag, but
one which it would be even more embar-
rassing politically for him to abandon.
In the long run, though, despite his own
stand, a liberal revolt against Nixon-

A 1968


It is the cartoonists, however, and not the authors, who have the
most fun with Nixon. They have drawn every conceivable Nixonism.
Early this year, Herb Block of the Washington Post sketched a frame
in which Nixon is standing over this squat, dumpy auto with a card-
board sign in the window. The caption (inveitably) smacked of,
"Would you buy a used car from this man?" About the same time,
Newton Pratt of the Sacramento Bee portrayed a smiling Nixon
marching triumphantly into the city room of a newspaper and an-
nouncing to the gentlemen of the press that they had "Dick Nixon
to kick around again."
BUT THIS YEAR for the most part the spring of Nixon ideas
has been comparatively dry. As Robert Semple, Jr. pointed out in
Sunday's New York Times, the Nixon, watchword for this year has
been "caution." Thus, the cartoons this year have not been able to
attack recent Nixon bloopers; instead, they have clung to the old
cliches, or attacked the limbo state into which Nixon's personality
seem to have gone, or just waited.
Two of the eternal themes remain. There is the Nixon face, a face
which-like Lyndon Johnson's-is adaptable to the grossest cari-
catures. And there is Nixon's never-ending attempt to show the world
that he is a changed man. This year, that effort has taken the form
of a "New-Nixon" publicity campaign. And after the depressingly
anachronistic events of last week's Republican convention, the keynote
question for the campaign to come is the one asked on this page by
Herb Block: "So What's New?"

The making of a President-i968



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