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THE CZARS OF THE CINDERS

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

With the approach of the Spring season, the organizations which have superimposed themselves apon track and field athletics have illustrated a new the incongruity of their connection with amateur sport. The other day, the Western Conference passed a rule forbidding students at any of the colleges under its jurisdiction to participate in meets held under A. A. U. auspices. Though apparently aimed at the bogie of professionalism, this decree was promulgated as a blow to the prestige of the Eastern clubs that comprise the national governing body.

The sectional feud is an old one. It was first brought to a head in 1923 when Paddock, the California spriner, delying a regulation of the A.A.U., competed abroad with the backing of the newly formed National Collegiate Association. Horrified by such disrespect, the A. A. U. promptly suspended the offending athlete for professionalism. When it became evident, however, that the A. A. U. would supervise the approaching Olympic tryouts, Paddock apologized and was reinstated a significant commentary on the sincerity of the "Professional" charge. Since then warfare has been less open, but periodic suspensions for offences ordinarily connived at, have indicated that politics, it quiescent, is not altogether absent.

Although it is undeniable that the patronage of these organizations has played an important part in the nation-wide expansion of athletics, such petty jealousy and autocratic behavior are utterly foreign to the amateur spirit which they profess to represent. For since a man who engages in sport purely for recreation is under obligations to no one it is difficult to understand why any organization should feel called upon to restrict his activities on the cindor path. Yet, by raising the cry of keeping amateur sport uncontaminated this is precisely what the A. A. U., the Western Conference, and similar federations have presumed to do. That actual professionalism flourishes unrebuked even under the most virtuous of these organizations, however, is by no means a secret. And amateur athletics would make a noteworthy step back towards their true function, should they revolt against the tyrranical and often hypocritical paternalism which now surrounds them.

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