NOW IS THE TIME
(Originally suggested by the "Princetonian," this editorial, after thorough discussion and remodeling by the seven college newspapers concerned, is being run concurrently by each of them. The "Cornell Daily Sun," the "Dartmouth," the "Spectator," the Harvard CRIMSON, the "Pennsylvanian," the "Princetonian," and the "Yale Daily News" believe that the subject, an Ivy League, is of great importance to each of the seven colleges.)--Editors' Note.
Firmly convinced of the value of the plan after a month's cooperative investigation and discussion, the undergraduate newspapers of Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Yale are today joining in a proposal for the formation of an Ivy League, to include the football teams of these seven institutions.
The Ivy League exists already in the minds of a good many of those connected with football, and we fail to see why the seven schools concerned should be satisfied to let it exist as a purely nebulous entity when there are so many practical benefits which would be possible under a definitely organized association. The seven colleges involved fall naturally together by reason of their common interests and similar general standards, and by dint of their established national reputation they are in a particularly advantageous position to assume leadership for the preservation of the ideals of intercollegiate athletics -- a leadership which could prove much more effective than the present conflicting, disjointed and confused attempts made by individual universities.
There can be no doubt that the formation of the Ivy League as an official entity would at once create a wholesome enthusiasm among the members of the institutions involved, which is usually lacking now except during championship seasons. Every game with a League opponent would naturally have an important bearing on the League championship with the result that the stress would be removed from the importance of having an undefeated season and anti-climactic games would also tend to be eliminated. Teams which did not win most of their games could still take an interest in their standing in the League.
Another apparent and important advantage of the League is the opportunity which it immediately offers for the construction of general agreements which are recognized to be desirous by all but which a regrettable lack of cooperation has checked before. A standard maximum period of pre-season practice, a system whereby schedules would not have to be made out years in advance, mutual scouting agreements, a uniform number of home contests for each team, standard visiting team guarantees and uniform post-season game regulations are some of the things capable of being effected if only some medium of cooperation such as the Ivy League were available.
Other advantages might be expected to be forthcoming if the League should prove successful in its early ventures. Proponents of the League idea are not at all convinced that these long-run hopes would necessarily be realized. At the same time, however, they all attest to the fact that there is an immediate need of some method whereby unanimity of action may be experimented with, in the hope that a beginning can be made toward the salvation of athletic idealism from the serious threats which menace it today. Measures pertaining to standard rules of eligibility, registration of athletes and investigation of their financial record are steps which every true sportsman enthusiastically recommends. Whether or not the Ivy League will be able to bring about such measures is only a matter of conjecture, and yet it might very well set an invaluable precedent for others to follow if these ultimate objectives can be realized. Surely, it is worth the experiment.
When the Ivy League is formed it will have the benefit of the experiences of other college conferences by which to profit. The League to be effective must not shut itself completely off from the rest of the football world. It must remain small enough to ensure a chance for its members to play two or three outside games besides the required number of League games and yet it must be willing to include others who might prove to be logical additions. It should be formed with the ideal that it will be expanded to include every phase of intercollegiate sport, and that it will make an honest attempt to fulfill the highest standards of sportsmanship. In this way those universities whose common background is the oldest and most distinguished in the country will be able at last to assume the responsibility of leading the way out of confusion into enlightened cooperation for the best interests of intercollegiate sport.