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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/610

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tending the match. The professional nine are then generally represented by their business manager, and the students by the president or treasurer of their club. In the game one nine is in the field, while the members of the other are at the bases, or waiting for their turn at the bat. The "professionals" are under the strictest discipline, so that their presence does not invite or occasion dissipation in any form. Victories of college nines over "professionals" are not frequent, and are not attended by disorders on the campus.

But to some objectors the evil of "professionalism" in athletics includes more than playing with professional nines. The employment of professional "trainers" in preparing students for contests is, for some, the chief evil. Such trainers are looked upon as bad companions for our young men. It is contended that they undermine the morals of our students by their profanity and generally low talk. They are also supposed to give too high a standard of excellence for our amateur athletes, and thus to draw on too much of their time and strength, in the effort to make them conform to this standard. All these things may happen in some cases, but they do not happen frequently. Admitting, for the sake of argument, what is generally denied by the students, that for the past two years the crew has been coached by the professional oarsman who rigged their boats, his coaching would have brought him into personal contact with not more than a dozen men at the most, and for a time of only three or four weeks in the spring and summer. For a short time in the winter some of the candidates for the university nine have exercises in boxing with a trainer, in order to bring them into "condition" for the spring and summer work. There can hardly be more than fifteen such men.

The only other really professional training done has been done for those who go into track athletics. This training lasts for about six weeks, and is given to some fifteen or twenty men. A "professional" has sometimes accompanied the foot-ball team when they have played their great matches, but his office has not been to train the men, but to apply his skill to limbering stiffened joints and healing bruised muscles.

It is quite natural that students, when taking lessons of any kind, should prefer the best masters. Unfortunately, the best masters are not always the best men. That the pupils are, therefore, always led into bad courses by the example of their instructors does not follow. There is enough good sense in college students generally to dissociate good instruction from faults of character. The trainer seldom influences the student beyond the purpose of his training. The young man does not make a companion of his trainer, nor trust his morals to his direction. An easy cure for possible evils in this direction would be for the faculty of each college, troubled by vicious trainers, to forbid their students employing such men. An investigation, however, into the relations between such trainers and their pupils would show that