Nothing in recent years has given so much weight to the annual criticisms against college football as the event reported in connection with the Notro Dame-Southern California game. In the amazing story of espionage and imprisonment meted out to a member of the Southern California squad for alleged betrayal of secret plays to members of the rival team, such an attitude utterly foreign to the spirit of amateur competition is revealed.
This is not the first indication that football is treated on the Pacific Coast with an exaggerated seriousness. The determination to win at all costs has overridden things which properly precede it in importance, among them a decent respect for the rights of individuals. In the present case that determination has revealed itself in a ruthless professionalism which has not scrupled even to cast an implicit insult at its football rival. The implication that Notro Dame was not unwilling in bribe a member of the Southern California squad considerably dulls the luster of the Trojan victory.
Even more amazing than the incident itself is the reported attitude of the University authorities. The President merely "recognizes" the affair, and declares it "closed." There is no sign that it is recognized as an extreme result of over-emphasis. In an atmosphere where football is considered the central interest of college life, it probably passes as a regrettable but minor blunder. To those who think of a university as something more than a field-house and a stadium, it will appear as the outcome of a wide-spread evil in contemporary college life.