Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 22, 1962
NUMBER 45, PAGE 2,10a

Pepperdine's "Prudent Course Of Action"

David Harkrider, Bellflower, California

On January 12, 1962, newspaper writers and radio commentators reported that Pepperdine College and three other colleges were scheduled to participate in basketball games to raise funds for the rebuilding of Mount Saint Mary's College, a Catholic school. These facts were reported by leading newspapers in the Los Angeles area: I. Pepperdine's opponent was Santa Clara; 2. Pepperdine and Loyola were "hosts" to the "benefit"; 3. All profits were to be donated to St. Mary's College.

For a sample of the publicity given to this event read the following excerpts taken from newspaper: The Los Angeles Times — "Loyola's defending champs and the ambitious Waves of Pepperdine take their opening potshots in the West Coast Athletic Conference basketball chase tonight at the Sports Arena. The Lions engage USF in the 9 o'clock finale of a doubleheader which starts at 7 with Pepperdine tying into Santa Clara's WCAC Holiday tournament winners. The teams trade foes Saturday night. Net proceeds from tonight's winner will be turned over to the St. Mary's College, damaged in the recent Bel-Air fire." The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner: "LOYOLA, WAVE FIVES HOST BENEFIT AFFAIR. Mt. St. Mary's College for girls, ravaged by the recent Brentwood area fire to the amount of $2 million, begins to look toward the future tonight. Three Catholic men's colleges - Loyola U., U. of San Francisco and Santa Clara - and Pepperdine, a Church of Christ operated co-ed college, will donate all net proceeds to it from their West Coast Athletic Conference basketball double header tonight at the Sports Arena."

Fourteen days later, Pepperdine, under pressure, issued the following statement prepared by Dr. M. Norvel Young, president: "Our recent basketball game in the Sports Arena was listed as a charity game for St. Mary's College. This announcement by Loyola University came about following their request that Pepperdine College play Loyola University a special basketball game (not a regular season game) with proceeds going to the above named school. This we declined to do. Subsequently, they elected to apply their net proceeds from the games played that night to this charity. Their decision did not require the approval of Pepperdine College and did not cost Pepperdine College one cent. We would be just as free to announce that the proceeds of our home games with Loyola University or any other school would go to Magic Valley Christian College or any other organization we might choose. In either event, the only recourse open to the other institutions is to refuse to play a regularly scheduled game. Since the College would not suffer financially and since it really is outside the realm of our discretion what another school does with its share of the gate receipts, we felt that holding to the regular schedule was the prudent course of action. We have appreciated the personal statements and telephone' calls expressing confidence in Pepperdine College despite certain publicity which might have led to unwarranted conclusions."

This statement is supposed to justify Pepperdine's participation in a "charity game for St. Mary's College." The facts reported in the newspapers were not denied in spite of allegations circulated by the Pepperdine fan club that the newspaper accounts were inaccurate. Dr. Young reasoned that because the game "did not cost Pepperdine one cent" and because it was a regularly scheduled conference game, it was "the prudent course of action" for them to participate in this "charity game" for a Catholic College.

Dr. Young's statement did not mention some pertinent facts. He related their refusal to engage in a "special basketball game" with Loyola. And then said of Loyola: "Subsequently, they elected to apply their net proceeds from the GAMES (Emphasis mine, D.H.) played that night to this charity." What he did not mention was that Pepperdine played Santa Clara and not Loyola in the benefit game To clarify this point I called Bill Banowsky at Pepperdine and he admitted that not only had Pepperdine played Santa Clara, but that they were the HOME TEAM in this game. (This is why they were called "HOST" to the affair by the Herald-Examiner.) Banowsky, who is assistant to the president, explained that Loyola and Pepperdine, as home teams for the games, shared the responsibility of paying for the use of the Sports Arena. He also admitted that as home teams they were equally entitled to share all net profits from the game. Loyola offered to assume the full responsibility of paying the expenses involved in the four games for the exclusive right to all of the net profits. By agreeing to this, Pepperdine literally gave their share of the profits to Loyola. Loyola took the profit they earned as one of the home teams and the profit conceded to them by Pepperdine, all net proceeds from the games, and donated them to St. Mary's College.

Half Of The Money Given To This Catholic College Would Have Belonged To Pepperdine Had They Not Relinquished Their Right To It!

Dr. Young admitted that they were aware of Loyola's desire' to have 'a "charity game for St. Mary's College." Are we to assume that he didn't know why Loyola wanted the exclusive right to all profits from the January 12th games? Do they normally consign their profit from a sporting event 'to another college? These facts seem to indicate that Pepperdine was aware of Loyola's decision to donate the profits to St. Mary's College at the time they agreed to relinquish' their right to half of the profit. If this is not true, we have but two other alternatives: Either Pepperine thought that Loyola was naive enough to assume the entire responsibility of a potential financial loss, or in a philanthropic mood they decided to give Loyola some money. If you accept the latter choice, they still made a benevolent donation 'to a Catholic college.

Furthermore, Dr: Young attributed the news release to Loyola University, From the publicity given this event it appears that even Loyola was under the impression that Pepperdine had consented to making this contribution to the rebuilding fund of St. Mary's College.

Dr. Young describes this as a "prudent course of action." Would it have been "prudent" if the games had been played to benefit Communism? Yet, as matters now stand before the church and the world, Pepperdine's leaders are defending their participation in a charity game for Catholicism as a "prudent course of action"!

This demonstrates the extremes that brethren are being led into by liberal thinking. As long as the leaders of Pepperdine have so little respect for the Bible that they consider is "wise" to support Catholicism, we can have no confidence in the college.