The Yale Daily News has done good service in reinforcing through an exploration into Yale history the truth established for Harvard by President Eliot that success or failure in athletics has no influence on the numbers of a college. The News, going back as far as 1866 in its researches, has shown that at Yale there has been no relation between increase or decrease in enrollment and the winning or losing of games and races. In 1868, 1872, 1880, 1891, and 1899 the entering classes showed an increase, though Yale had been unsuccessful in athletics the year before; and decreases in the entering classes in 1876, 1881, and 1895 followed successful seasons in athletics. In the period from 1885 to 1894, when Yale teams and crews were winning pretty steadily, there was, to be sure, a considerable and almost continuous increase in the entering classes; but there was a like increase during the same period at Harvard, and we certainly at that time were not distinguishing ourselves in athletics. The experience at Yale therefore falls in exactly with that at Harvard to disprove any relation between athletics and enrollment.
American Boys Keep Their Heads.
It is clear that American boys keep their heads in this matter; whatever the space given to college athletics by the newspapers, and no matter how tense the absorption of graduates, the boys themselves seem to pick their colleges without much regard to the winners. There was a great and general increase in the number of boys going to college beginning about the middle or end of the eighties, and many colleges showed the result in their numbers; but success in athletics has been one of the least of the causes which controlled the distribution of the increase. It is a habit of the American people to enjoy its amusements hysterically; but underneath the yelling there is always a saving sense of humor. In this endowment of the fathers the sons have a full share.