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THE COLLEGE ATHLETE
The implication that I am in any way opposed to college sports is unfounded. I feel intercollegiate athletics of the amateur variety have a high degree of educational value for young people. Nor am I opposed to "big time" college sports for institutions which wish to pursue such programs.
What I do oppose, however, is the practice of maintaining commercialized sports under the guise of "amateur" athletics. My position is a very simple one. Let those colleges sincerely interested in amateurism select athletes after matriculation, without advance effort of any kind to induce athletes to go to their institutions instead of to some other. Such institutions could form an amateur league and play each other.
The rest, those which recruit players with various inducements such as athletic scholarships, should eliminate the hypocrisy from their position and call themselves the National Collegiate Professional Athletic Association or some similar name, and restrict their schedules to members of this league.
To those college authorities and alumni who argue that athletic scholarships get a lot of boys a college education who wouldn't otherwise get to college at all, let me ask this:
If a student is worth a scholarship and is just as worthy academically as any other aspiring applicant, why demand athletic skill as a prerequisite for helping him? And if he isn't equally worthy on academic merit, why do him the injustice of exploiting his athletic ability for the financial profit of a college from which the student cannot profit educationally? The scholarship available "for athletes only" is nothing but play for pay and should be clearly labeled as such.
The only legitimate reason for enrolling a man at a college or university is that there is some foundation for believing he can benefit from the educational opportunity offered. Out of those who ought to be in college on that basis, many will have athletic skill and interest and will form fine amateur teams. As for those colleges which want to continue hiring players with scholarships and other devices and thereby fielding professional teams, let them do so openly and without guile.
THAT LITTLE FLY AND I
SI, I love you. Not with the craving of the hashish devotee for the pipe, but with the puzzled passion of a father toward a wayward child, who only seldom, but then so gloriously, fulfills his parents' dreams of a better, richer, finer life than his old man's.
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