The death of Walter Camp marks the passing of the greatest figure in the history of American football. To the horde of readers of sporting pages he was simply the omnipotent eye in the game which saw all, knew all, and through his mythical. All-American teams, published the annual Who's Who of the gridiron. Through this medium Walter Camp was known to the obscurest enthusiast who knew nothing of his uncontested right to sit in judgment over the national college sport.
More than any other man, he was responsible for modifying and modernizing football, making of it the great American game as it is played today. And if football owes its very personality to Walter Camp, many is the minor sport now played in American colleges which in an entirely different way, owes its existence to him. Minor sports do not now, and never have, paid for themselves. In the early days the problem of athletic deficits seemed an insoluble one and wholly irreconcilable with the necessity of maintaining diversified sports. As treasurer of the Financial Union at Yale, Camp worked out the first satisfactory solution of the difficulty. By pooling the finance of all sports and placing them under a unified control, he showed that taken all together they could be made to pay for themselves. Since that time centralized finance for athletics has been adopted by the leading colleges of the country, with the result that minor sports which were once thought impossible without private subventions, now flourish in American colleges.
As one of the most famous sons of Yale, Walter Camp will be greatly mourned at New Haven. But so great was his influence as an innovator in college athletics that lovers of sport everywhere will deeply regret his passing. His insistence upon the highest ideals in sport made him university admired and respected, and his own work will remain a monument to him so long as football remains football.