The athletic conference at which a number of eastern colleges will be represented soon to be held at Providence, is a welcome sign of the growth of a healthy movement toward the correction of athletic evils. The most ardent partisan of intercollegiate sport is forced to admit that under present conditions, abuses do exist, and that they are abuses very difficult to eradicate. The intensity of public interest, and the resulting fierceness of competition form an influence in favor of excess which is almost irresistible.
During the last few years the colleges have learned to realize more and more the necessity of consistent and methodical restraint, if athletics are to be retained in their normal position, subordinate to intellectual work. Each has, in its own way, tried to supply the needed regulations for itself. The result is that much progress has thus been made. But at the same time, and for the very reason that each college has thus worked on its own lines, the conflict of various opinions and interests has caused great confusion. The different systems of restraint are so difficult to bring into cooperation, that the diversity of remedies is now one of the most serious impediments in the way of a complete cure.
Sooner or later then effective cooperation must be obtained. There is small chance of final and complete success on any other basis. We welcome therefore this first meeting to unite the common interests. Of course little can be expected from this first effort, but if the movement be continued, it will open up the prospect of great practical benefits in the future.