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The Professor Football League, of which Mr. Bill Edwards, a college graduate, is president, has a rule which forbids any professional league club from signing college students prior to their graduation. Mr. Edwards has realized that the colleges are competition for their athletes during the latters' undergraduate days and has seen fit to make a very, sane and worthy rule forbidding the professional clubs from interfering.
Football is not the only sport that tempts the undergraduate to unbalance his college career, nor is the Professional Football League the only organization which needs such a ruling, as that administered by Mr. Edwards. The last few days has seen the Middle West in the midst of a war waged on this very question. Mr. Z. G. Clevenger of Indiana University, secretary of the Western Conference, recently said in a letter to Mr. Murray Hurlbert, national president of the Amateur Athletic Union, that the strength and vitality of athletes was being overtaxed. "We are trying to control this, however, practicing what we think are reasonable limitations on schedules and hours of training . . . . Further, the scholastic requirements for athletic competition in this conference are very rigid and these men are not permitted to spend many hours per season off the campus with athletic teams." The letter ends with a request of not enrolling Conference athletes for A. A. U. competition until these athletes have gradated from their respective universities.
Mr. Hurlbert retaliated with the opinion that the college athletes are not being given enough competition and that they should therefore compete in A. A. U. basketball tournaments and track meets. His opinion is evidently shared by the colleges of the East who permit individuals of their track teams, for instance, to compete in New York or Boston Athletic Club meets in the dual capacity of representing both their college and the athletic club. It is this individual exploitation of the undergraduate athlete to which the Western Conference rightly objects. Let college teams, as such, compete in A. A. U. meets, it says, but hands off the individual.
In principle the solicitation of college athletes by professional football leagues or amateur athletic clubs is very must the same. The result of participation under either type of organization lays undue emphasis on the athlete as an individual, and on the part which athletics as a whole should play in education.
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