Says Dr. Griswold
The President of yale made headlines last week with a 4,500-word speech at Johns Hopkins which was immediately hailed and howled at as "antifootball." In point of fact, it was no such thing. Dr. A. Whitney Griswold was talking about the need of U.S. education to look to its purposes.
Griswold ranged from Russia ("We cannot be satisfied with anything less than an educational system every bit as strong") to his real liberal arts point ("We should look elsewhere than to Russia for the sense of purpose ...into our own history, our own character, our own hearts and consciences"). What drew the widest play in the press were his remarks on athletic scholarships.
Indeed, his words set off a flurry of letters and telegrams to New Haven (mostly approving), among them one from the University of Chicago requesting, in the popular shorthand of the week, "a copy of the antifootball speech."
Griswold's point was that neither football nor any other sports are harmful so long as they do not distort a university's mission. But Griswold shook his head over a couple of Brooklyn-high school graduates who recently resigned their basketball scholarships at "an out-of-state university" (actually, Mark Reiner and Stan Niewierowski of the North Carolina State squad) for a variety of reasons including educational disillusionment and loneliness for Brooklyn. This bent Griswold's brows to the subject of athletic scholarships.
"For the most part," he said, the traffic in athletic scholarships "constitutes one of the greatest educational swindles ever perpetrated on American youth. Its aim is not the education of that youth but the entertainment of its elders, not the welfare of the athlete but the pleasure of the spectator...[This traffic in scholarships] works in wondrous ways to undermine the structure of American education.... It is part of the general collapse of amateurism in American athletics."
As president of a 257-year-old university, one enjoying endowments of $250 million and charter membership in the Ivy League, which forbids athletic scholarships, Griswold speaks from a special position. As Griswold himself admitted, every community must decide for itself what its educational purposes are. But though large parts of the U.S. community may not be ready for the Ivy League's well-heeled simplicities, the wagging finger of Dr. Griswold, who inherits something of the moral asperity of his Puritan predecessors at New Haven, has written a few lines on the wall worth reading in all parts of the country.
The Mighty Atom
Huddled in his blue blanket on the Yale bench, the soft-spoken little sophomore looked scarcely powerful enough to make an adequate water boy. A full six inches short of six feet, weighing in at a puny 144 pounds, Albert James Booth was unknown beyond the bounds of his native New Haven. And at that Saturday afternoon moment in 1929 New Haven and Yale University were too concerned with their own despair to give young Albie much thought. On the green turf of the Yale Bowl an Army football team, paced by galloping Chris Cagle, was making mincemeat of Yale.
It was 13-0 Army, and near the end of the first half, when Yale Coach Mai Stevens gave the sophomore his opportunity with a nod down the bench and the curt summons: "Booth." By next day, Albie Booth was known from coast to coast.