ELIGIBILITY RULES AND THE THREE-YEAR DEGREE
In yesterday's discussion of this subject we purposely left out of consideration what is perhaps the more important of the two major points at issue. That our athletic teams suffer by the loss of many men who go through College in less than four years, there are many instances to prove. But that many men who might finish in three years by a proper arrangement of their courses prefer instead to take four years, and that the chance of taking part in athletics for an extra year is the principal inducement to such men, is not so easy of proof. We venture to assert, however, that the cases in which, for the sake of athletics, men take an unnecessary year to get their degrees are more numerous than the case in which men are lost to the teams by leaving College ahead of the majority of their class.
It may seem that an undergraduate who prefers to spend a year of his college course in needless study merely for the sake of "making" a certain team, or of playing an extra year on a team of which he is already a member, sets a low value on his time. It is rather an indication of the high value that is put on athletic honors-an exaggerated value, perhaps, but one that finds general acceptance.
To offer all such men the chance to obtain a master's degree in their fourth year in the University, and to extend the eligibility rules to cover such cases, is a solution of the difficulty which is fair to the teams, to the individuals concerned, and to the two other universities which are in the agreement. The possibility of getting an A.M. degree would give the three-year man who would otherwise leave at the end of Junior year an incentive to remain through the regular four years, and it would give the man who is taking an unnecessary fourth year something tangible to work for. Only by such a measure can the real intention of the eligibility rule be carried out.