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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 24.djvu/615

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COLLEGE ATHLETICS.

Since some very worthy people who believe in manly sports object to young men playing for money taken at the exhibition-games, it is necessary to say a word of explanation with regard to this feature of all ball-games. If field athletics are to continue, the expense of them must be met in one of two ways, either by gate-money or by subscription. Most young men prefer to give their money at the gate, and thus to pay for what they see. If a club knows that it is to spend only what it earns, it will be stimulated, first, to play as good a game as possible; and, secondly, to spend its earnings with prudence. It seems only just, too, that, if the public desire to see a good game, they should pay for the exhibition. The men work hard in practice, and are entitled to have their expenses paid. More than that they do not ask. They do not play for gain, but for honor. By their rules, they do not allow any man to be a member of their organizations who has earned money as a professional.

The evil of liability to strains and injuries in athletics can not be entirely obviated. It is well to bear in mind, at this point, the fact that even those who are not athletes do not, therefore, enjoy immunity from accidents. Yet, so far, according to the recollection of the writer, no regular member of a Yale Crew, Team, or Nine, has been permanently injured by participating in a race or match. Still, it is possible that a slight injury, to a person having organic weakness, might result in a fatal difficulty. Such an issue might be avoided by the requirement that every candidate for trial should be examined by a competent physician, and, in default of procuring a certificate of physical soundness, should be excluded from participation in athletic contests. Besides this, every candidate for a place in a crew should be debarred from entering a race unless he had mastered the art of swimming.

If, moreover, the Faculty of every college having a system of athletics would exert a sympathetic as well as a judicious oversight of the students interested in the system, they would find the young men quite willing to listen to friendly suggestions. If, also, the times of recitation were so arranged that a proper amount of time could be devoted to exercise without interference with study, more brain-work, and of better quality, would be secured than by the policy prevailing in some colleges, according to which, not only no encouragement is given to athletic sports, but, on the contrary, every obstacle is thrown in their way.

The college which neglects or ignores physical culture may send out scholars, but it will not educate forceful men. It will not be the living power which it might be. Truth is not to prevail by the dry light of intellect alone, but through the agency of good, wise, and strong men.