Much ado is being made at the present time about college athletics. Because in certain cases there have been exhibitions of brutality, a hue and cry has been raised against some of the most popular forms of athletic activity. It is the old story of use and abuse. That which may be abused must not be used. But the principle if carried out would work vast mischief. There is no virtue which may not be made a vice. Shall everything capable of abuse be given up, or shall we not perform a greater service for the world by going forward under proper rules and regulations? We may grant that limbs are broken and lives lost; but we must remember that there is no form of life's activity which is not attended with risk. We close our eyes to all danger to limb and life when questions of business are concerned. If the world can afford to sacrifice the lives of men for commercial gain, it can much more easily afford to make similar sacrifice upon the altar of vigorous and unsullied manhood. The question of a life, or of a score of lives is nothing compared with that of moral purity, human self-restraint, in the interests of which, among college men, outdoor athletic sports contribute more than all other agencies combined. As a matter of fact, the statements concerning bodily injuries incurred contain gross exaggerations. If athletics have been prostituted by gamblers and pugilists, let the college world come to the rescue and assign them to the place to which they belong. Woe betide the day when our college men, with temptations of every kind besetting them, become so slothful, so demoralized, so diseased as to lose their interest in athletics. In the University of Chicago, athletic work is directly and exclusively under the control of the university authorities. It will so remain. The university has encouraged athletic sports; it will continue to encourage them. We believe that this is an important part of college and university life. We shall see to it, however, that no man upon a university team shall ever have a second opportunity to disgrace either himself or the university. At home and with the teams of other institutions we shall endeavor to cultivate a spirit that shall be, in the truest sense, elevating.
Chicago University Calendar on Athletics.
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