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February 17, 1963 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1963-02-17
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Battle Between the AA U and NC

FREEDOM OF SPEECH:
Absolutismf H

Mishandling of Amateurs;
Result from Conferences

The open forum of Hyde Park.

By ROBERT SELWA
YOU ARE a Supreme Court justice and,
before the court is a Smith Act
case. The defendant is a man basing
his appeal on the First Amendment. His
attorney argues that the Smith Act is un-
constitutional because it is a law abridg-
ing the freedom of speech. The other side
argues that the Bill of Rights is not a
"suicide pact" and cannot be taken lit-
erally.
What do you do?
If you take an absolutist position, that
the words "Congress shall make no law
. abridging the freedom of speech . ..
mean exactly what they say, you have
problems. What about libel? obscenity?
the security of the nation?
If you take a reservationist position,
that the words should be taken with res-
ervations and exceptions, you also have
problems. Where do you draw the line?
Who and what do you suppress, and how
can you justify it?
The Supreme Court has been trying to
deal with these tough questions f6r the
past five decades. Probably never before
has "a single sentence-the .First Amend-
ment-been put under such intense scru-
tiny with as little satisfaction. The words
of the First Amendment do not change,
but the makeip of the Court does, as well
as the mood of the times, leaving the in-
terpretation of the First Amendment in
flux.
Meanwhile, ever so often some noted

person will publish a new view or a more
fully developed view on this issue. Hugo
Black, a Supreme Court member since
the 1930's, last year published an article
in which he suggested that the words be
taken absolutely, even to permit libel.
More recently Sidney Hook, the New York
University philosopher, published a new
book, The Paradoxes of Freedom, in which
he outlines a reservationist position.
IT IS IMPORTANT that the absolutist
and reservationist positions be exam-
ined and weighed against each other be-
cause the liberties of Americans are at
stake. When some liberties of some Amer-
icans are abridged, the precedent is set
for the abridgement of other liberties of
other Americans.
The importance of a solid interpreta-
tion of the First Amendment takes on
meaning when you look at recent events
say in the area of academic freedom. Last
year the American Association of Univer-.
sity Professors reported a 50 per cent in-
crease in the number of unresolved aca-
demic freedom cases. One of these 52
cases involved John Mass, an English in-
structor at San Francisco State College,
who was fired after refusing to answer
questions put by'the House Un-American
Activities Committee. Another case was
that of Jack Owens, a Lassen Junior Col-
lege teacher who lost his job for writing
a letter to a local newspaper criticizing
the educational level of the county pub-
lic school system. Henry St. Onge, a
Wayne State Teachers College, Nebraska,

English instructor, found his contract
cancelled after he provided a forum in his
back yard for an anti-HUAC speaker ban-
ned from Ohio State University. Wayne
State University of Detroit banned a
spokesman of Young Americans for Free-
dom who wanted to speak on Wayne's
speaker policy.
Such events occur partly because of
conflicting and, confused interpretations
of what is "free speech." If the issue of
what free speech and the First Amend-
ment mean is ever cleared up, schools
and governments would have a guideline,
and the opportunity for injustice might be
lessened. At least you would be better
able to know an injustice for what it is.
W ITH THIS IN MIND let us analyze the
absolutist and reservationist posi-
tions. The best argument for the absolut-
ist position may be found in the words
themselves of the First Amendment. They
are direct and explicit, stating simply
that Congress shall make no law abridg-
ing the freedom of speech.
The First Amendment does not add any
qualification such as "except in times of
war" or "except in cases of slander." Like
the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Eighth and
Ninth Amendments, the First is written
in absolute terms that admit no excep-
tion. Justice Black describes these terms,
these words, as plain and easily under-
stood, positive -and emphatic. His case is
a good one.
But Sidney Hook argues that the Unit-
ed States has a commitment to many
values, some of which conflict at times.
There are numerous rights, both stated
and unstated in the Bill of Rights, that

cannot- all, prevail at once. The granting
of one freedom may entail the curbing
of another.
This argument can. be documented.
Not stated in the Bill of Rights; but rec-
ognized increasingly today, are the right
to know and the right to privacy. These
rights can conflict. The public may have
a right to know about the. doings of gov-
ernment, and an individual may have a
right to privacy in his home, but in a
congressional investigation does theright
to privacy or the right to know prevail?
In the same situation should a duty to
discuss or a right to remain silent prevail?
Similarly, newspapers have the right to
write editorials, but when an editorial
concerns the innocence or guilt of a per-
son accused of a crime, it may interfere
with his-right to a fair trial.
Hook does not use this kind of docu-
mentation. He writes instead that one
person's demand for freedom to speak is
at the same time a demand that the
freedom of those who desire to prevent
that person from speaking should be
curbed. "When my freedom of speech is
a right,"' Hook continues, "it entails the
restraining of all restraints on my free-
dom, the curbing of the freedom of others
to curb me."
FOR TWO REASONS this is a misappli-
cation of the conflicting rights argu-
ment. First, the curbing of the right to
discuss cannot be a right itself. Speech
is a right recognized by and stated in the
Bill of Rights. Enforced silence is neither
stated nor recognized. A person may vol-
unteer to keep quiet, for example when he
takes the Fifth Amendment. But when he"
is silenced without his consent-as when
he is banned from speaking on a campus,
the spirit of the Bill of Rights is not being
observed. On the contrary it is being
violated.
Second, the curbing of speech is no
admired value, while free discussion pro-
vides the basis for other freedoms. With-
out free discussion democracy -becomes
merely a wooden framework. Free dis-
cussion is prime-what is the right to as-
sembly if you can't discuss? How can you
petition if you have not discussed what-
to petition? What good is trial by jury-
how is it possible-if you cannot discuss
your case? How are you going to decide
whom to vote for unless you have heard
both candidates argue freely? How can
Congress make good laws without debate?
Of this one can be sure: the First
Amendment was meant to protect the
freedom of discussion, which is one kind
of speech. The first legislators may or
may not have had other kinds of speech
such as libei or obscenity in mind when
they passed the Bill of Rights and sent
it to the states for approvalh
But most certainly those first legisla-
tors did have in mind the tyranny over
opinion that they and their fathers and
grandfathers and great-grandfathers had
been fighting against for centuries. The
authoritarianism of the institutions of the
Middle Ages and of the kings of the lat-
ter ages instilled rebellion in men who
wanted open societies of peoples determ-
ining their own destinies. The struggle of
the ages had been for free discussion; it
THE MICHIGAN DAILY MAGAZINE

competed in Bern immediately upon ar-
rival and then were sandwiched into com-
partments-one for six men-for the trip
to Rome.
"I was lucky I didn't have to run until
late in the Olympic games," Max Truex,
United States 10,000-meter runner, said.
"The guys who had to compete early in
the games were completely exhausted. We
didn't qualify anybody in the 5000 meters
or the half mile. And the guys got elim-
inated on times and distances that were
far less than their best."
Jim Beatty, famed miler, adds, "I felt
dead. I couldn't move. A few days before
I left the United States, I had the best
workout of my life."
These strong feelings of dissatisfaction
with the AAU's handling of the '60 Olym-
pics eventually bore fruit, and for a three-
month period, December 1960 to February
1961, the Union and the NCAA negotiated
for a chance of power. The meetings went
for naught,-however, and finally, in Sep-
tember 1961, after rejecting the AAU's
final proposal-a joint advisory board to
the AAU-the coaches embarked upon
the federation program, which would
columnarize international control of re-
spective sports into the hands of coaches.
Thus, decisions for the Olympic track
team would be made by the coaches who
head the track federation, and similarly
for all sports. This is the control system
used in all other countries.
The University's track coach, Don Can-
ham, executive secretary of the Inter-
collegiate Track Coaches Association,
then circulated a questionnaire among
college and high school track coaches.
The survey sought to discover if coaches
were in favor of forming a federation to
control track or if they wished to remain
under the existing AAU framework. The
result was a ringing approval of the
federation revolt. By a vote of 478-9, the
coaches approved the proposed federa-
tion.
Interpreting the result, Canham voiced
the feelings of the federation. "The most
obvious people to instruct in track and
field are the college coaches of America.
These are men dedicate to track. They do
not make much money. Their lives are
spent in teaching kids to run and throw
and compete. As of now, they are under
the thumb of the AAU. The deal is that
the NCAA provides the coaches; the AAU
provides the management. We can ar-
range our own'tours."
THROUGHOUT the budding reyolt, the
AAU, and notably Ferris, retained
their staid complacent attitude. "There
are always people who are outs and who
want -to be ins. But they cannot take
over from the AAU," he thundered at
the 1961 AAU convention. But in spite of
this air of confidence, the AAU knew
all too well what was going on and knew
also that a precedent for such action had
been set 14 'years earlier.United States
amateur hockey, wishing to throw off
the AAU yoke for similar reasons, peti-
tioned the Ligue Internationale de
Hockey sur Glace, the world governing
body for the sport; for recognition outside
the AAU. As no decision was forthcoming,
both the AAU spoonsored group and the
dissidents sent'teams to the 1948 Olym-
pics. The LIHG rejected the AAU team
and accepted the dissidents, thus grant-
ing them effectice autonomy.
With this event at least partially in
mind John Burn, Colorado State basket-
ball coach, commented "You cannot be a
governing body ywith nothing to govern.
And the AAU is rapidly losing subjects
to govern."
Throughout the ensuing series of pro-
posed separate meets, secret meetings,
proposals and counterproposals, the AAU
attempted to retain its unperturbed front.
Peter DiLorenzi is a junior in the
literary college majoring in His-
tory. He formerly covered athletic
administration on The Daily Sports
Staff.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1963

Still refusing to admit the realities of the
situation, Ferris discounted the real pow-
er of the dissident faction. "This revolt
has been stirred up by five per cent of the
track coaches in the United States," he
growled, refusing to point out that it was
supported by another 88 per cent.
The hectic and confusing period ex-
tending from October, 1961 to November,
1962, saw a series of supportive moves by
gymnastics and swimming coaches, NCAA
admission of official support for the pro-
posed federation and, finally, a major
peace parley between the NCAA and the
AAU at New' York in November. On the
first day, the meetings of the two, groups
appeared to be headed in the direction of
peace efforts of the previous three years,
especially when Attorney General Robert
F. Kennedy made an eleventh-hour ap-
pearance--with blank results.
KENNEDY'S APPEARANCE. to impress
upon the warring 'groups the disas-
trous effect of their failure to come to
terms quickly upon the U.S. entries in
the Pan American Games and the '64
Olympics, apparently worked Wonders for
on the next day, they reached a truce. The
five points of agreement were:
1) A coalition agreement between the
AAU and the Federation.
2) That ,a coalition be formed with
equal representation for the two groups-.
with two-thirds needed to control.
3) In 1964, the new coalition would seek,
with the AAU's blessing, to have the In-
ternational Amateur:Athletic Federation
recognize the coalition as the governing
body for track and field in the United
States.
4) In turn, the Federation would claim
no jurisdiction over open athletes. It
would be institutional, and all other ath-
letes would be under AAU jurisdiction.
5) A coalition track meet would be held
for the purpose: of determining U.S.
teams for international meets.
If the Treaty of Versailles took 20
years to be proven worthless, the Treaty
of New York took only 18 days. On Dec.
2, the AAU executive board endorsed the
coalition in one breath and reaffirmed its
control over international meets in an-
other, and the war of words was on again.
At last, President John F. Kennedy,
aware that if an immediate solution was
not reached, our '64 Olympic chances
would be ruined, brought MacArthur, the
Great Arbitrator of '27, out of mothballs
and commissioned him to mediate talks
between the Federation and the AAU
and to enforce whatever peace would be
forthcoming.
MacArthur justified the appointment.

The amateur: What group will

On January 19, a settlement 'was an-7
nounced with the following provisions:
1) An immediate amnesty for all ath-
letes disqualified by either group (for
competition in unsanctioned meets).
2) A lifting of the ban on the use of
athletic facilities by either group.
3) A board to be formed of three AAU
and three United States Track and Field
Federation representatives to pass on eli-'
gibility for the '64 Olympics, with any
disagreement passed on to MacArthur as
final arbiter.
4) A recommendation to the President
that he call an athletic conzress after the
'64 Olympics of leading men in all sports
organizations to work out a plan under
which all groups would pool their re-
sources for a united effort in sports.
This, then, is the present state of the
administration of sports in the United
States. Already, there have been violations
of the pact, and, in spite of MacArthur's
Levithan position, the chance for others
to occur is great.
A LTHOUGH THE COACHES now insist
" that their only goal throughout the
campaign has been an eaual voice in in-
ternational selection. it is difficult indeed
to see how the original trend to an all-
out revolt and takeover will be halted.
Granting the coaches this relatively mod-
erate goal, the current solution, if it re-
mains viable, represents, a complete vic-
tory for their cause and leaves them in
the same position as the AAU. They both
have as their own best interest the pres-

ervation of
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ing power,
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Who will choose candidates for Olympic teams?

A

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