History tells us--or is it only legend?--that the first of European universities consisted merely of a group of young men so eager to acquire the learning of their time that they combined their small resources and hired certain Wise Ones to teach them. It is easy to believe that the maintainance of discipline in that school, was easy, as such young men would want to get the worth of their money, and if they though any of the Wise Ones was not giving it, his dismissal would be prompt.
Nowadays things are different. College power is in the hands of adult authority, and at least a majority of the students go to colege with the queer idea, not of getting there as much as they can, but, by the selection of easy courses, of getting as little as is compatible with graduation. There are exceptions, indeed; but they are not very popular and they acquire no fame. That may be partly the fault of the newspapers, which pay so much more attention to football stars than to the winners of scholastic honors, but if superiority in learning made a man famous in college it would do so out of it as well.
As for collegiate athletics, the usual defense of sports and games is that they make for health and physical development. Is it not strange, however, that three months in an army post will turn every one of a company of recruits into a fine, upstanding, clear-complexioned soldier, though many of them have been slouching boys with pasty faces, while no such effect is produced on a whole student body by four years of college athletics? New York Times