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Not Knocking Knox


Without letting it bother me an awful lot, I always thought of football scouting as being a pretty low device and I wondered why colleges would agree to scout and be scouted. As long as there was an agreement between the A. A's of the different universities, there was nothing much to be said about the situation except that a football scout was a questionable individual much like a cigar-passing Washington lobbyist. I imagined him to be a small, dark haired man with a false mustache and an evil eye.

But after reading James L. Knox's article "In Praise of Football Scouting" in the November Sportsman, I changed my ideas quite a bit. It seems that Knox is Harvard's chief scout and should therefore know whereof he speaks.

"Can you imagine," the article runs, "a university announcing to its prospective freshmen that they must submit to an examination on a given day and refusing to tell whether it would be in Sanskrit, chemistry, trigonometry, biology, or psychology? A football player would be almost equally at sea if he had no idea of the type of game which his opponent would play, for the possibilities are as varied as the branches of scholastic learning, or would be if every coaching camp carried the possible variations of the game through to their extreme limits."

Of the actual services of the scout, the writer says, "He brings to the coaching councils all the latest improvements in plays and coaching methods which the multitude of coaches throughout the country may devise, and he gives his own camp an opportunity to discuss and adopt the new idea without even the delay of a season ...... That is one basic reason why the game has developed so rapidly in recent years." Student at Large,   The Yale News.

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