"The greatest contribution, and practically the only contribution which undergraduates have given to the modern curriculum of education is athletics", declared W. J. Bingham '16, former University track captain, in a speech made at a football dinner at Lawrence High School yesterday, as he launched into what he termed "the most popular sport of early winter, athletic reform".
. . . "The evils which have crept into athletics are there not through any fault of the boys", continued Mr. Bingham, "but because of outside influences which could have been curbed had our faculties been willing to accept athletics as part of their problem instead of waiting until the evils had crept in. Too many of our educators have looked upon athletics as a distracting influence which ought to be suppressed rather than assimilated"
. . . "From interviews with scores of players, it is fortunately true that George Owen was speaking for himself and was decidedly in error in attempting to speak for the great number of men who participate in this game every fall. I think most of us, however, are quite alarmed over the unparalleled interest in athletic contests, and we are willing to subscribe to the view that the pendulum has swung just a little too far."
Mr. Bingham went on to relate the incident in the selection of a new Harvard track coach, when he advised R. L. Shepard '16, not to accept the offer.
"Why?" said Bingham "Because our Alumri and they differ not in the least from the alumni of Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth or any other large college want victory. A coach in a large college is not a member of the faculty and therefore he is not defended by the faculty when the wid-eyed alumni write demanding 'Why don't we win?' "