The Council of Ivy Group Presidents, chaired by University President Sheldon Hackney, decided last week to end the League's 35-year ban on freshman participation on varsity football squads effective in the fall of 1993. In a related move, the group also scaled back the number of openings for football players in each school's freshman class from 50 to 35, "in order to reduce the number of students recruited to play football, and to better integrate freshmen into existing football programs," according to a statement released this week by the group. The changes, agreed to in principle at the group's June 25 meeting, must still be ratified in December by the group in order to take effect. "[The action] continues the strong tradition of Ivy League football operating within our accepted admissions standards and without awarding athletic financial aid," Hackney said in a statement. "Although our institutions are different in many ways, we have acted to preserve our common academic and athletic principles." The agreements may also effect the way some admissions decisions are reached across the League. "It will have more of an effect on smaller schools," said Undergradute Admissions Dean Lee Stetson this week. "It will have a negligible influence on us." Stetson said the new policy may however have an effect on the make-up of the school's class each year, possibly shifting some spots away from student-athletes. "It will allow us to reduce the number of spots designated for student-athletes," he said. "We would like to leave as many of the spots in the class open to students of various kinds of abilities." But Stetson said he was unsure how those new spots would be delegated, with the decision to be made after consultation with Athletic Department officials. "The other option would be to adjust for students of more minority backgrounds, or for international or geographic distribution," he said, adding that the policy "could [also] mean other female student-athletes would be more fully recruited." None of these decisions have yet been reached, Stetson said, adding that the Group agreements will have to be analyzed further before their full effects will be determined. "I don't see it as a negative or a positive," he said of the impact on admissions. "I just see it as a change." The Council's decision promises to have a drastic effect on Ivy League football programs. Please see story in Summer Sports, back page. The Chronicle of Higher Education contributed to this story.Comments powered by Disqus
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