Dr. McCosh, in his annual report to the trustees of Princeton, remarks as follows on the subject of athletics at that college :
"I am bound to state further that within the last few years gymnastic games have been carried on to an injurious extent. The very circumstance that when I came to this college I introduced gymnastics makes me now the more anxious they should be kept within due bounds. I am not aware that there has been any excess in physical exercise, but there has been in the exciting games that are played. I calculate that some eight or ten students in every class of one hundred lose very much of the benefit of their college life because their hearts are in the sports rather than in the studies. I am sorry to be obliged to say that the enthusiasm of the students is expended on these muscular feats rather than on intellectual exercises. The hero-of his class is one who stands high, not in literature or science or philosophy, but in more physical agility. The larger portion of the ordinary news organ of the college is often given up to the report of games. I have asked the faculty to devise effective measures to avert these excesses. A committee has prepared a careful report on the subject. I trust we will be sustained in our efforts by parents and by the public press. In Princeton no student is allowed to contend in any public game without the written permission of his parent or guardian. But there are parents who weakly give their consent to the importunities of their sons, and then complain that we have trained them in idleness. The public press, as a whole, are telling the colleges very plainly that they are going to excess in sports. Let them encourage those colleges that are seeking to lay restraints on the evil. Some colleges are refusing to join in the exertions we are making, not to stop sports, but to keep them within due bounds. These colleges may gain the championship in games, but let the public know that it is not to their credit or for the good of the students committed to their care by fathers and mothers. It may come to this, that we have to refuse to allow our students to play with those colleges which lay no restraint on the time devoted to games. A student here told his professor that he had come to college, not to study, but to play foot-ball. We do not wish our college to be viewed by young men as a place where this can be done."