The old bogy of professionalism in intercollegiate athletics has been raised once more, this time by John J. Tigret, United States Commissioner of Education, in an address to the Tenth Recreation Congress at Springfield, Illinois Mr. Tigret charges that the "evil of professionalization of colleges" is reaching to the schools, and that the alumni associations are largely responsible for the tainted condition of undergraduate sport. He goes on to declare that he is unable to point to a single college which is not subsidizing or paying its athletes, and in which the president is not winking at such payment.
From a man of Commissioner Tigret's position, a flat statement of this sort is more than unfortunate, especially since the signing of the Big Three Agreement between three of the most prominent universities of the country. It is tantamount to implying that the agreement is purely for outside consumption, and that the officials of the signatory college, all men of established probity, are conniving at what would very nearly approach a conspiracy to deceive.
It is, of course, impossible to assert categorically that evasions of the eligibility rules never occur. Among the thousands of college students that engage in athletics in American universities, there are undoubtedly a few who have succeeded in hoodwinking the authorities. But the assertion of Commissioner Tigret, on the strength of these isolated cases, that the spirit of professionalism rules intercollegiate sport, is an appreciate overstatement of fact; and to imply that the president of the colleges involved deliberately wink at such a state of affairs is to border on the ridiculous.