The Week

by Dartmouth Editorial Board | 10/18/02 5:00am

Much-Needed Cooperation

Acting on international pressure for the first time since talk of war with Iraq began in earnest, the Bush administration relaxed its stance yesterday on the use of force in a United Nations resolution on Iraq. With the compromise, the U.S. is no longer demanding that military action follow immediately if Iraq fails to comply with inspections -- instead, the U.N. Security Council will convene to discuss further action.

The compromise reflects an important commitment to international dialogue. War should be a last resort, and the Bush administration's acknowledgement of anti-war sentiments, coming from close allies and Iraqi neighbors alike, demonstrates a willingness to consider other possibilities before risking human lives. The administration has taken a long-awaited step in the right direction.

North Korea's recent acknowledgement of its nuclear-weapons program highlights the need for a unified approach. With another potential threat to American and international security becoming apparent, cooperation with our allies will be essential in assuring peace on all fronts.

A Problematic Rule

The new Ivy rule that prohibits varsity athletes from practicing for at least seven weeks during the off-season is under fire in athletic departments across the League. Jeff Orleans, executive director of the Council of Ivy Group Presidents, said that the reasoning behind the ruling was "a sense" that practices, competitions and training unduly infringe on students' free time.

The fact that coaches and athletes are up in arms, however, suggests that the new ruling attempts to fix a problem that does not exist. Many scholar-athletes are attracted to the Ivy League for its balance between serious academics and serious athletics -- a balance that may tip under the weight of these new restrictions.

Because Ivy League schools do not give scholarships contingent upon athletic participation, students who cannot make the time commitment already had the option not to participate in sports.

The rule discriminates against athletes, ignoring the less conspicuous but comparable time commitments that students make to other extracurricular activities.

Most importantly, the rule will eventually weaken the teams it purports to help, steering capable high school athletes to attend non-Ivy Division I schools with less restrictive regulations.

When the Ivy presidents meet again this December, they should eliminate this crippling rule.