A President's Trials 93
ence to the relationship between the administration and the faculty, all
other employees, and students; between the administration and the
many loyal Wake Forest alumni; and between the administration and
friends of the college generally."
Regardless of how general the investigation was intended to be, it
was Tribble's relationship with the athletic program that brought all of
the resentments to a head and created the collision between the
president and a powerful bloc of the trustees. Those most actively
opposed to him were Watkins, Hutchins, Federal Judge Edwin M.
Stanley of Greensboro, and Dr. Carl V. Tyner of Leaksville. To say
that they were opposed to Tribble is not to impute dishonorable
motives to them or to any of the other alumni who subsequently
joined the chase for Tribble's scalp. They all sincerely felt that
Tribble's removal would be in the best long-range interests of the
college; that time has proved them wrong in no way casts aspersions
on their sincere convictions.
To the strongest of Wake Forest's athletic enthusiasts, Tribble made
a mistake when he allowed Coach "Peahead" Walker to go to Yale.
Although Walker was not beloved of the state's fundamentalist
Baptists, his many upset victories on the football field and his pop-
ularity on the after-dinner speaking circuit had won him an almost
fanatic following. His supporters were highly incensed when Tribble
allowed what they thought of as only a few dollars to cause the loss of
Tribble further alienated the sports interests when he declined to
listen to a proposal from the Athletic Council that all of the profits
from the college cafeteria and the College Book Store be handed over
to the Athletic Department.
The situation was further complicated in June 1954 when James H.
Weaver, who had been athletic director for eighteen years, resigned to
become the first commissioner of the newly formed Atlantic Coast
Conference. Weaver, a large man with a strong personality, had been
a shrewd judge of men and an excellent manager, and he had never
submitted to Tribble's domination.
To succeed him Tribble nominated young Paddison W. Preston, a
popular All-American athlete who was serving under Walker's
successor, Tom Rogers, as an assistant coach. Preston did not really
want the job. He felt that he was too young and inexperienced, and