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Walter Okeson Fears Overemphasis Will Cause Removal of Football From College Schedules


Intercollegiate football is in iminent danger of being dropped from the athletic programs of the better colleges, in the opinion of Walter R. Okeson, chairman of the Intercollegiate Football Rules Committee and a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

"Is is my considered opinion that football is in real danger today from its friends or rather these who claim to be its friends," says Mr. Okeson. "Financial competition for schoolboys athletes brings evils in its train which more than offset whatever good there may be in furnishing a college education to those men who really desire it and are ambitious enough to acquire and use it. Excessive drinking at games, gambling, and rowdy exhibitions by spectators all furnish ammunition to those who are opposed to football.

"Finally, when football grows so in importance that the academic purposes of a college become secondary in the eyes of the alumni to the success of the team, the value of that college as an educational institution becomes questionable."

Mr. Okeson believes that football and all intercollegiate competition is more likely to endure if the colleges strictly control such competition and keep it in its proper place. "The tail cannot forever wag the dog," he says. "As a passing spectacle it may be interesting to observe such a freak of nature, but think of the feelings of the dog. Even a dog has pride, and it behooves us who love football to remember that colleges also have pride in traditions and achievements that far outshadow the winning of a few games. If we forget it we may wake up some day and find that the dog has, with some pain, but no great sorrow, detached his tail."

At present colleges are blindly following their course of overemphasis, and all the talk against recruiting and subsidizing has little effect Mr. Okeson fears.

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