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February 26, 1961 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1961-02-26

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Seventy-First Year
Wuth WWl Prevall"
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.

Faculty Controls Athletic Progra


)AY, FEBRUARY 26, 1961


'he WCHA and Its Problems:
AnotherIL WH

STHE WESTERN Collegiate Hockey Associa-
tionheading for a crackup?
To the casual observer everything seems to
fine., Denver has made a runaway of the
ague championship race, but even that doesn't
em so bad considering that two of the three
ilowing teams will get another shot at them
.'the WCHA and NCAA playoffs.
But beneath the shiny outward appearance
ere is dissention in the ranks.
up another storm about professionalism and
ie use of Canadian "import" players; WCHA
ches in general, particularly Michigan's Al
enfrew and Michigan Tech's John McIlnnis,
e disconcerted about Minnesota's refusal to
ay Denver. Nobody seems to know what hap-
med In the cases of Tech's Louis Angotti and
enver's George Konik, both of whom should
wye been barred from participation in league
ames for at least 'one game; officials seem to
e at a loss as to what rules to enforce and what
y do about it when they do decid#.
Ironically all of these incidents involve Mich-
an. .
Mariucci's blast at professionalism and Cana-
ans was directed at the Michigan, Denver,
dd Colorado College, all of whom are primar-
y Canadian teams. The Wolverines have one
merican and Denver doesn't have any. '
1IS MAIN ARGUMENT states that he doesn't
, want to bar all Canadians from the league,
it limit them so that more Americans will
ave a chance to play. But curiously enough he
ted the fact that the Canadian hockey players
'en't amateurs in the American sense of the
ord because the majority of them have at one
bre or another played with a Canadian Junior
iam and have accepted expense money to at-
Ind. a National Hockey League tryout camp.
This argument holds little if any water. Amer-
an athletes do much the same thing-not so
uch in hockey, but specifically in track. If he
ants to bar Canadians from participation in
e United States because of his "expense
oney" beef, then shouldn't all the American
hletes who accept money for expenses to allow
iem to compete in "amateur" track meets be
"o barred. The NCAA hasn't thought so in
he past and it seems doubtful that they will
aw, even though Marooh has succeeded in
atting another investigation into the ubject.
jROM HERE IT LOOKS like Mariucci's main
objective is winning a NCAA hockey chain
Lonship for Minnesota. With the Canadians
qne he would have little if any trouble doing
, as Minnesota has one of the few high school
ockey programs in existence and thus Mariuc-
's Gophers, although he insists otherwise,
ould have a monopoly on the players.
Trouble number two also concerns Minnesota
-this one is of an entirely different nature-
ait with the 'same ultimate goal.
Simply because Denver's powerhouse hockey
'am would beat the Gophers, Minnesota de-
ded that it would be more profitable not to
hedule them, and now while Michigan and
[chgan Tech and the rest of the league
hools have been taking their lumps from the
oneers, the Gophers have been sitting back
0d getting fat on the lesser teams of the
Ordinarily such a refusal might not make
ich a difference, but in the light of the cur-
int battle for the number two position in the
ague, it takes on tremendous significance.
MOTH MICHIGAN and Michigan Tech, the
other two teams involved, have been beaten
y the Pioneers, but have played well enough
gainst the rest of the league to stay in the
Bining. Minnesota, on the other hand, by not
Leting Denver has fattened its percentage
msderably, and now all it needs to take
cond, and home ice in the playoffs, is to win
s last'three games, leaving Michigan, whohas
eaten Minnesota three times in four games,
i the dust. .
It isn't fair.
The third controversy has arisen as a result
, the extra-curricular activities of Angotti
id Konik while on the ice.
Angotti, who drew a "match" misconduct for
is forceful protests of a penalty given to him

y Referee Marty Pavelich here in Ann Arbor,
ipposedly was ineligible to play in the "next
gularly scheduled league game."
He played in spite of the ruling, and played
ell, scoring three times as Tech beat Michi-
an State, 8-1.
N VIEW OF THIS Michigan State should be
awarded the game by forfeit, but nothing
as come of it. Either Michigan State didn't
rotest, which they insist they did, or the
ague front office has somehow let matters
ide through.
711 -1 -na

The league rule was enacted in an attempt
to discouage such actions as those displayed
by Angotti at the Coliseum, but it isn't any
good unless it is enforced.
Denver's George Konik, an All-American de-
fenseman, was involved in something of the
same kind, only his escapade was a little more
serious. Konik actually belted an official during
a fight that erupted while DU was playing
Colorado College. Here again, according to
league rules, Konik should have been thrown
out, not for just one game,but for the season.
He's still playing.
THE FINAL CONTROVERSY involves the old
trouble ,with officiating
Reports from rinks around the league led us
to believe that the game isn't the same every-
where. Along the same line some players and
coaches have accused some teams of slanting
the officials.
The most notorious case again involves Min-
nesota, sad to say. In Michigan's visit to Wil-
liams Arena, the Wolverines were handed 12
penalties over the course of the evening. They
spent 15 of the 20 minutes in the second period
All of this still wouldn't raise too many eye-
brows, as hockey players have reputations for
getting a little wild at times, but when in the
same evening, the other side is given only two
penalties, then it becomes time to take a closer
THE OFFICIALS CALLED Michigan "the dir-
tiest team they had ever seen," but this
observer feels that while Michigan probably
deserved 75 per cent of those penalties, heads
were turned too often when Mariucci's little
angels committed a fpul.
Apparently Michigan isn't the only team that
doesn't care for the Gopher's officials as Michi-
gan Tech, in their visit to Minneapolis, re-
fused to play unless the officials were changed.
All of this seems to stem from one point, the
lack of a stroig front office to control the
For all practical purposes the league presi-
dent has no power. Each of the seven members
of the league is entitled to one vote when any
controversy arises. The only function of the
president is to count the ballots.
In a league with the problems the WCHA has
it seems that the only way to control matters
would be to set up a strong president instead
of a weak one.
resentatives of five different Conferences,
and though most of the policy was ironed out
when the WCHA evolved from the old WIHL
three years ago, there are bound to be differ-
ences that will crop up in the future. And only
through a strong central office, instilled with
the power to enforce his rulings, can the schools
be brought into control.
It can be argued that for only one sport it
isn't practical to go through such an elaborate
procedure of setting up the office, but it should
also be brought to light that without one,
there may not even be that one sport. The
WIHL cracked-what is there outside a sup-
posedly better understanding between schools
to assure that the WCHA will not follow suit?
After all, the schools are the same and the
problems as well.
TO REMEDY THE PROBLEM concerning the
- refusal of certain teams to schedule cer-
tain other teams for pure nonsense reasons,
it seems that a return to the point system
might be appropriate.
That way a team couldn't be unjustly penal-
ized in the league standings for scheduling
games with a strong team, and would encour-
age each school to schedule a full slate.
The way it stands now, anyone can drop
anyone else for any particular reason, including
personal gain. And if the league is going to
continue its present playoff plan in which the
number one and number two teams get home
ice for the playoffs, and there is no reason it
shouldn't, then something should be done to
assure the two top teams the spots they de-
The third part of the program might include
some kind of a school for officials set up by the

league before the season starts to assure at
least some semblance of standardization to
To ask a team to adapt its style of play to
every rink it visits throughout the season is
ridiculous. Currently in one city players can get
away with things that are snapped at in
others, some of which are legal and some of
which aren't.
Even with such a school, nothing could be
said which would force officials to leave per-
sonal bias at home, but in the state the WCHA
is in right now, anything would be an improve-
tha t if theWCHAr is nin tn call itelf a

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Prof. Plant is a
member of the Law School faculty
and is Michigan's faculty repre-
sentative to the Intercollegiate
Conference (the Big Ten. The fo-
lowing is a condensation of an ar-
ticle that appeared in the January
1961 issue of THE JOURNAL OF
ONE OF THE conditions of
membership in the Intercol-
legiate Conference ("Big Ten") is
that there be "faculty control" of
athletics. The basic philosophy is
that the intercollegiate athletic
program has validity only if it
is an integral part of the total
educational program of the school.
As such, it ought to be in the
control of the group whose func-
tion is to plan and carry out the
educational program. The debat-
able issues revolve around what
constitutes faculty control and
how it should be implemented. It
is not likely that a plan can be
developed that will have univer-
sal validity. The most that can be
done in a discussion such as this
is to outline some of the elements
that should be given weight in
arriving at an acceptable modus
f s
tables of organization, it may be
more profitable to consider the
nature of the task, with particular
reference to the attitudes and
characteristics that ought to be
possessed by faculty men who are
to engage in the control of inter-
collegiate athletics. In taking this
approach I consciously tip my
hand to some extent, for the im-
plication is that not all faculty
men should have a part in such
control. This is indeed my view.
The mere fact that one is a mem-
ber of an institution's faculty
ought not entitle one automatically
to take part in the control of
athletics. Faculty control can only
be enduring and effective if it is
reasonable, responsible, and wise.
If it is arbitrary, or capricious, or
irresponsible, it will be discredited.
I hold that any task can be carried
out successfully, regardless of or-
ganizational arrangements, if the
right people for that job are put
to work at it. Conversely, if the
wrong people for that task are at-
tempting to carry it out, the in-
evitable result will be failure and
discredit, no matter how well con-
ceived the organizational arrange-
ments may be. Thus the suitability
of the mien who are going to be
given the job is crucial.
Intercollegiate athletics, which
Professor Frank Gardner, Faculty
Representative of Drake Univer-
sity, has described as a tiger held
by the tail, calls for certain quali-
ties onthe part of those who are
to hold the tail. Sterling charac-
ter and ahigh order of mental
ability are attributes that are
abundant in a university faculty.
But they are not enough. There
are additional important consid-
erations, of which the following
list is suggestive, though not ex-
The men who are to guide the
program ought to have a lively but
balanced interest in athletic acti-
vities and to be reasonably sym-
pathetictoward the program and
its objectives. This is not to say
that they should be zealots or wor-
shippers of athletic heroes, for the
zealot will bring swift and sure
disaster upon the whole program.
The point deserves mention be-
cause a substantial number of
faculty people have not the slight-

est interest in this phase of col-
lege life. Such people ought not to
be asked to give thought to athlet-
ic matters, and, more important,
ought not to be required, or even
permitted, to vote in the determ-
ination of athletic policy. To place
them in a position where they
must do so is an injustice to them
and to the athletic program.
SYMPATHY with the program
and its objectives is suggested on
the theory that those who are op-
posed to intercollegiate athletics
(and there are a certain number
on every campus) are not likely
to make a constructive contribu-
tion to the cause of faculty con-
trol if they have a part in it. Their
approach will be nihilistic. The
result will be, not the demise of
intercollegiate athletics, but the
demise of faculty control.
The faculty athletic controller
ought to be a person with a judi-
cious habit of mind. He should be
one who does not reach his deci-
sions hastily or on the basis of his
visceral reactions; but who studies
the facts and listens to the argu-
ments before he formulates his
judgment. It is sometimes assumed
that this is an ever-present char-
acteristic of the professorial mind.
I respectfully question that as-
sumption, at least when matters of
athletics are involved. Frequently,
I have encountered faculty men
who were national authorities in
their own fields' and who would
not dream of stating an offhand
conclusion in the area of their
special competence, but who made
the most dogmatic and sweeping
assertions on athletic affairs with-
out any substantial study or pre-
vious thought on the subject. On
this topic even careful scholars
seem prone to assume an attitude
comparable to that of the P.T.A.
parent who suddenly becomes an
expert on elementary education,
and who thinks he can give all the
answers in simple fashion right
off the top of his head. For ex-
ample, a renowned professor,
whose name would probably e
recognized by many of my read-
ers, only recently said to me, "This
whole business of financial aid to
athletes is ridiculous. College ath-
letics should be either entirely
amateur, with the boys being paid
no wages at all, or it should be
entirely professional, with the
boys being paid wages competitive
with the salaries paid by the pro-
fessional clubs. Make your choice
and stop fooling around!" I am
sure he would never make an as-
sertion in his own field in this
manner. Another professor re-
cently stood before a general fac-
ulty meeting at my University
while we were discussing athletic
problems and announced, "I do
not come here to expose myself to
persuasion; I come to see that my
prejudices are enacted into law!"
* * *
I SUBMIT that men whose
minds are likely to function in
this fashion when they leave their
areas of special study ought not
to be permitted to have a voice in
controlling intercollegiate athlet-
ics. The major problems in the
athletic field are extremely com-
plicated. They involve basic edu-
cational philosophy, economic fac-
tors, sociological factors (includ-
ing race relations), administra-
tive problems, public relations ele-
ments, and, in some places, heavy
political overtones, They will nev-
er be solved by off-the-cuff gen-

Prof. Marcus Plant

eralities or by enacting prejudices
into law,, however laudatory they
may be. They will be solved the
way most other difficult problems
are solved, which is by careful,
dispassionate study and a great
deal of trial and error.
In connection with the las
point, let me say that a faculty
man ought not to be controlling
intercollegiate athletics if he has
the disposition of an evangelistic
reformer. I have seen several such
individuals burst upon the scene
with the general attitude "Re-
pent, ye sinners!" These people
used to bother me, probably be-
cause of their implied aspersion on
the sincerity of their colleagues,
and also because they found so
simple the problems I found so dif-
ficult. But these exhorters no long-
er bother me, for I have found
that their fervor does not last
long. After a certain amount of
braying, they fall flat on their
faces, and most of them retreat
to more tractable subject-matter.
Others come to the realization
that inspirational oratory is not
the path out of the wilderness and
get down to work.
A faculty man who would con-
trol athletics must not be afflicted
with volatile emotions. If he has
a low boiling point, particularly if
he is sensitive to criticism, he will
spend most of his time in a state
of emotional turbulence. For he is
sure to be criticized almost con-
stantly for every real or imagined
deficiency in the entire athletic
program. The subjects of griev-
ance will range from the academic
standards of the university to the
price of hot dogs at the stadium.
Perhaps the most irritating aspect
of his work will be the stream of,
misinformation that pours from
certain sections of the press. Much
reporting of sports news, as such,
in the daily newspapers is accur-
ate and well done. Occasionally, a
news writer who fancies himself a
cut above the ordinary refuses to
stick to his beat, develops a col-
,umnwith a by-line, and sets him-
self up as an oracle on intercolle-
giate athletics. Thereafter he is
under compulsion to fill his col-
umn, whether with fact or fan-
tasy. The harm some of these
people do in misleading the pub-

lie is often irreparable. Even worse
is the irresponsible conduct of
some nationally known magazines
that exploit the public's interest
in athletics to build circulation.
Such practices have an impact on
the sincere faculty man who is do-
ing his best. Since many of his
colleagues tend to take published
distortions at face value, he is
forced to do a great deal of un-
necessary repair work to correct
the impressions they leave. One
must be ready to be criticized un-
justly, and have his efforts mis-
interpreted, and not let it demor-
alize him.
THE FACULTY athletic con-
troller must have the courage to
withstand pressure that sometimes
becomes very heavy froi powerful
groups desiring to use the athletic
program to accomplish collateral
objectives in which they are inter-
ested. Intercollegiate athletics at-
,tracts tremendous public atten-
tion, and is a great vehicle for
publicity. For these reasons many
people seek to climb on its, band
wagon for their own ends. Politi-
cians areprobably the worst of-
fenders in this respect. For ex-
ample, scarcely a year goes by that
does not witness some office-seek-
er in an area of high television-
set concentration proposing legis-
lation or other official action look-
ing toward unrestricted telecast-
ing of college football games. He
is not interested in the welfare of
intercollegiate athletics; he wants
publicity, and is currying favor
with the voters.
Finally, .one who takes part in
controlling athletics must be pre-
pared to devote a great deal of
time and effort to the enterprise.
It cannot be well done if it is :given
only casual and occasional atten-
tion. It takes steady and system-
atic work, much of it burdensome
and somewhat dull. The dilet-
tante's contribution is of no more
value here than it is in most uni-
versity affairs.
In the case of large universities
with faculties numbering more
than a thousand persons, it seems
obvious% that control by the entire
faculty would be out of the ques-
tion. Meetings of such a group are
held infrequently, and the deci-

sions that must be made in ath-
letic matters often require prompt
action. Furthermore, meetings of
such a body, regular or special,
are often poorly attended. The
danger would be that a small pro-
portion of the faculty, the compo-
sition of which was largely a mat-
ter of chance, would be making
the decisions. Some form of dele-
gation of the power to decide and
act is required,
* * *
IT WOULD seem advisable to
delegate the function of control to
a relatively small body whose sole
responsibility was to handle the
affairs of intercollegiate athletics.
Its members ought to be selected
for terms long enough to make it
worth while for each to become fa-
miliar with the current status and
history of the crucial problems i
the field; in other words, there
should be reasonable continuity of
tenure. But tenure on such a body
should not be indefinite, for there
is also a danger of the develop-
ment of a "vested interest" com-
plex, with an accompanying rigidi-
ty of mind. Deliberate rotation of
membership is desirable if it is not
too rapid. New blood should be
steadily introduced into the group.
The question of whether the
members of the controlling body
should be appointed by the presi-
dent or" elected by the faculty at,
large I adebatable one. The dan-
ger of having the president ap-
point the membership is that he
may choose only those who repre-
sent his point of view. The dan-
ger of having the members
elected by the faculty at large is
that the persons chosen will be se-
lected on the basis of mere popu-
larity rather than suitability for
the task. Perhaps a compromise
between the two alternatives is
possible; the faculty might nomi-
nate a panel of names from among
whom the president would choose
his appointees.
Whatever the method of, selec-
tion, once the body is chosen it
should be given full responsibility,
with power to decide and to act. It
ought not to be required to clear
its decisions with the general fac-
ulty or any of the faculty's other
operating organs. Nor should it be
subject to a veto once a decision
has been reached. Such devices
merely disperse responsibility, im-
pair morale and undercut the ef-
fectiveness of faculty control. Ths
is an area in which the principle
should be followed of picking the
right people for the job and then
letting them go ahead and do it.\
Together with this power to de-
cide and act, however, the con-
trolling body should have the re-
sponsibility an the duty to furn-
ish full information to the faculty,
and the members should be sub-
ject to questions at any faculty
meeting regarding actions taken
or contemplated. All members of
the faculty should be entitled to
express their views. freely at fac-
ulty meetings or elsewhere on any
subject having to do with athletics.
As to whether the alumni and
the students should be represented
on the controlling body, it is hard
to generalize. In some collegiate
"fanilies, both groups have a
very active interest, and: it may
be wise to have representation
of their points of view. In any
event, the membership should be
so arranged that the ultimate con-
trol rests with the faculty mem-
bers, who, by joining together,
can outvote any other combina-
tion of interests.



Battle Looms Over Aid to Athletes Plan.

Daily Sports Writer
NEXT FRIDAY and Saturday the
Big Ten faculty athletic rep-
resentatives will gather in Cham-
paign, Ill., as part of the Confer-
ence's business meetings.
And although this year's meet-
ing will sound like a mere cap
pistol alongside last year's fire-
works display, the a g e n d a i s,
blessed with one proposal that
could bring the heavy artillery out
of hiding again.
Last year, it will be recalled,
the faculty representatives in an
unprecedented and electrifying
maneuver, voted in favor of pro-
hibiting all Conference institu-
tions from engaging in post sea-
son NCAA playoffs in any sport,
including football bowl games.
This bombshell, which was termed
a maneuver by the pro-Rose Bowl
forces to throw a scare into their'
brother institutions, was later re-
scinded at the Conference's May
" * *
THIS YEAR the number one is-
sue scheduled to be brought up at
the meeting concerns aid to ath-
letes. The issue may be a hot one,
for like the Rose Bowl, opinion is
Since 1957 the Big Ten has-
placed aid to athletes on what
might be termed a need basis. The
"need" plan was the result of a
four year study by four different
committees, the last of which ac-
tually formulated the program

for a year, including tuition, room,
board, books and fees.
* ' *
WHEN THE plan first went in-
to effect, the boy who entered
school on this part of the program
was required to remain in the up-
per quarter of the male class he
entered with, in order to keep the
This, 'however, soon proved un-
workable. Some. institutions were
just not prepared to rank students
on this basis, and a substitute had
to be found. It came in the form
of a grade point average. By act
of the faculty representative the
athletes under the program now
have to maintain a 2.5 cumulative
grade average to retain their
(2) The second half of the
"need" program is the part that
has alternately been under fire
from various Big Ten institutions.
It is also the broadest part of the
program, the part under which
most Big Ten athletes enter school.
* * *
UNDER THIS part of the pro-
gram if the athlete has graduated
in the upper two-thirds of his
class he can qualify for a finan-
cial aid grant, but only insofar as
establishes he need.
A college service board confi-
dentially evaluates the ability of
the parents to send the boy to col-
lege, and the difference between
the amount of family aid given
and the cost of an education is
supplied by the institution.
A third part to this "need" pro-
___ it4 4 ~lc.. m- r o AT

who could qualify only for tuition
scholarships because of their rank
in the high school graduating
"Winding an eight-day clock is
not exactly my idea of a legiti-
mate job," remarks Plant. It was
practices such as these that led to
the formation of the committees
that finilly came forth with the
aid based on need program.
There was but one alternative
to the "need" program at this
time. "If we hadn't adopted the
need plan there would have been
affirmative votes to ride the sled
all theway to the NCAA," declares
Plant. "Riding the , sled" is Prof.
Plant's expression for saying that
the conference would have more
or less adopted an every school
for itself program, within NCAA
THIS, IN effect, would have
meant that all athletes would have
been given the "full ride," mean-
ing tuition, room, board, books,
fees, and $15 a month, with no
limit on the number of tenders.
Enough faculty representatives,
however, felt that the NCAA al-
ternative would, not have curbed
illegal recruiting and other fla-
grant abuses which sorely needed
regulation. Thus, the present plan
was passed, with Michigan vot-
ing the affirmative.
Througout its four year exist-
ence, Michigan has continued to
favor the aid based on need pro-
gram, but other schools in the Big
Ten have brought the program

program and should their research
be complete by next weekend, it
will be presented to the faculty'
representatives and put to a vote.
An affirmative majority would be
needed for the new program to re-
place the present program.
* * *
ALTHOUGH THE details have'
not yet been worked out, the new
proposal would have three main
(1) The need factor would be
eliminated altogether.
(2) No boy could get aid unless
he placed in the upper one-half of.
his graduating class, or had
achieved a specified composite,
score on the American College
Test Program or a specified stand-
ard score on the Scholastic Apti-
tude Test of the College Entrance
Examination Board.
(3) Tenders would be reduced to
70 per year for each school.
While Michigan stands com-
mitted to the need factor, it is not
uncompromisingly opposed to the
tentative new proposal. "The
Board in Control of Intercollegiate
Athletics at Michigan is in favor
of any step that will raise the
academic standards,," explains
Prof. Plant. "We would look with
favor on passing entrance pxami-
nations. But we also want to keep
the need factor."
* ' * -
JUST WHERE each school
stands .on the new proposal will
not be known until the crucial
vote is taken. The Associated Press
has listed Indiana, Iowa, Michi-
Va Rta n Ohi Mte .rthwest-

BEFORE closing this portion of
the discussion, it may be pointed
out that there is one way in which
the faculty of a college or uni-
versitycan exercise powerful con-
trol of the athletic program with-
out moving out of its academic
sphere.' There are three elements
in this method of control. If the
faculty (a) controls the stand-
ards for admission of students to
the institution, (b) sets the aca-
demic standards of eligibility for
competition in intercollegiate ath-
letics, and (c) exercises complete
autonomy in grading the students
in their academic work, no stu-
dent will ever participate in inter-
collegiate ahletics without hav-
ing the full assent of the faculty
with respect to those 'aspects of
his college life with which the
faculty is most concerned and in
which the faculty is 'most expert,
He will never be admitted to the
institution unless he meets the
standards which the faculty has
established, and ,thus he will :come
to college, notdas an athlete, but
as one who appears to have the
mental and emotional capacity to
absorb the benefits of a college
education. After admission he will
never participate in intercollegiate
athletics unless he demonstrates
the ability to meet the academic
standards of eligibility created by
the faculty. Thus the faculty's in-
dependent judgment on each stu-
dent, uninfluenced by the athletic
coaches or the administration, Will
determine who is to be on the ath-
letic squads. This is probably the
most potent control that can exist.
A strong argument can be made
that the faculty needs no addi-
tional control. With this power in
the faculty, it is hard to see how
the administration or the athletic
staff could take the athletic pro-
arnm outsithe bounnsof the in-

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