Only a Theory?


Discussing the endeavor under way in various colleges of the East to relate football properly to the curriculum, the Cornell Daily Sun asks this question: "Is it the beginning of a general movement, or but a flurry which will die away, leaving the undergraduate world in as complacent enthusiasm about the pigskin as before?"

The Dartmouth would like to suggest a possible answer for this question. We believe that this evaluation of football is the beginning of a general movement in the undergraduate world, which is bound to have its effect maybe not within a year or five years but eventually. One reason which leads us to this conclusion is the fact that the movement already has been introduced in many institutions of the East, and is even under discussion in preparatory schools.

To name some of these institutions: We are familiar with the stand of the Harvard CRIMSON, the Yale News has indorsed the general stand of the CRIMSON, the Princetonian assents to the fact that football bears too much importance in ratio of the importance given the curriculum, the Brown Daily Herald has said, "until some undesired evils, not the fault of the game itself, and which should never be associated with any sport, are removed, football can hardly be regarded as an unmitigated good." Undergraduates representing many colleges at the Wesleyan parley, with the exception of one, in a personal vote approved a radical readjustment of the present schedule system. And the Exonian, at Exeter, reveals that statistics prove football to be the decisive factor in determining the institution many of its graduates enter.

If this revolt does prove only a flurry, then it will be a sad admission of a charge often made against American colleges today. We believe that to allow football to hold the place it holds now in undergraduate life is to admit that the majority of undergraduates do not come to college to train their minds. It means that social success, a good time, are most important, and that learning is incidental.

Should this be admitted a fact, when we say let there be more and larger stadiums, let freshman classes not only buy sweaters for their teams but also give them gold watches and tin halos, let the plans for the new library be scrapped and a monster coliseum be built upon Memorial field; let the classroom discussions during the football season be taken up with such topics. "Do you think we'll beat Norwich Saturday?" but also, please, let those now and then men who come to Hanover to study in the quiet of the hills be taken to Lake Tarleton so that they can avoid the hysteria of the periodic football migrations.


Furthermore, we would remind the Cornell Sun of the statement by Professor Paton of Princeton that any change for the better must come from the students themselves. He said, "the students have more sense on the football question than the alumni." We hope that this statement ultimately will prove the fact, for agitation to lessen the importance of football certainly never will come from the alumni. This is natural, however, since the alumni find in football their best opportunity to recall golden days gone.

We would like to have Dartmouth undergraduates thinking seriously on this question, and taking some steps to help whatever ultimate move to adjust the situation is agreed desirable. The Dartmouth.