With two more deaths caused by football announced yesterday new grist is added to the mill of those controversalists who declare the game to be overemphasized in the schools and colleges of the United States.
The fact that they were both school-boys, one sixteen and one seventeen,--the fact that the former died from injuries sustained in a football game, and that the latter shot himself because he doubted his ability to pass his studies and continue to star on the football field -proves. It would seem, that the anti-football argument is not without some basis.
On the other hand, it is evident that those who take the midway stand have an even more convincing proof of their contention that colleges and schools present individual problems.
The recent fatalities would certainly indicate that interest in the game in high-schools is a distinct overemphasis--not particularly student interest, but that of school authorities, who, one fears, are trying to establish a college code of football where a high-school one is necessary.
That there are relatively few fatal injuries in collegiate ranks is obvious That the boy who died might have been the victim of a capricious fate is possible. But it is hardly sane to assume that a suicide, caused by football worries, accompanied, too, by a note wishing the school team well, can be the result of anything but an overstress on the part of the authorities, and a resulting unbalanced sense of relative values on the part of the student.
It is there that unintelligent emphasis lies. The football system itself is not at fault. The trouble is with the application of it to adolescent needs.