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Throwback Thursday: A Shocking Hit on Cornell Athletics

This week in 1958, Cornell University Athletic Director, Robert J. Kane, placed several athletes under academic probation, causing them to be ineligible for the spring term. The 19 penalized players belonged to men’s basketball, men’s hockey, track & field, squash, crew, and fencing.

The specifics of the deliberations would not be revealed by Kane. This sanction represented the greatest number of athletes placed on probation within Cornell’s recent history. Kane justified that those on suspension were only a small percentage of Big Red athletes, estimating that 1,800-2,300 exist at Cornell. No other Ivy League school has announced such a significant probation.

Varsity basketball was hit the hardest, as Dave Zornow and George Farley were declared ineligible. Sophomore Jay Harris and soccer captain John Nelson, acting as substitutes on the squad, also suffered the same status. Kane said that in the past 10 years, only two previous basketball players had been placed on suspension.

Hockey lost the services of defenseman Lane Montesano and lineman Roger Eastment. Coach Lou Montgomery’s track team saw three men go on probation — Ronald Young, Dick Hemmig, and Farley. Four other members of track & field were declared ineligible as well.

Captain of the squash team, Ed Fox, and teammate Rad Roberts were unable to play in the spring. Additionally, crew lost Richard Boener, Fred Harwood, Charles West, and Charles Whitehead, while fencing relinquished Mark Levin, Richard Darwent, Raoul Sudre, and Hillel Disraely.

All Big Red winter and spring sports took a serious blow on account of the university’s surprising announcement.


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