In the current issue of Forum, Mr. John R. Tunis, prominent for widespread "debunking" of sport, sarcastically attacks collegiate Athletic Associations and Directors, particularly those of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, under the title, "Pooh-bahs of Sport." After summarizing the principal differences which have occurred in the relations of these three colleges during the last few years, he continues by decrying officials and policies, and concludes with the suggestion, "may the solution not be to turn the problem over to those most directly concerned--the students?" The mechanical and financial details would be handled by a special accountant and staff.
Mr. Tunis's most valid objections are those opposing definite policies. It is ridiculous to say that the present system of handling intercollegiate athletics is by any means perfect. But the need of older men to direct and decide problems beyond those of mere transportation of teams cannot be soundly disputed. Whether or not undergraduates are capable of such management is out of the question. If a group of students were able to devote all of their time to the work, they would soon become submerged in countless questions of every variety.
The guidance of several thousand students in a complicated athletic program requires not only the experience which an unchanging administration can supply, but also a considerable amount of system and organization. Too much policy and too much outside interference are admittedly bad, but to give athletic control to a continually changing group of undergraduates is the poorest solution for the problem. Mr. Tunis, in an article replete with dubious and inaccurate statements, paints an ideal which would supplement a few difficulties with many others far greater.