SI Vault
November 09, 1959
Some weeks ago on these pages we reported a discussion that took place in the Harvard Law School (SI, Oct. 26). The discussion, held under the supervision of Professor Lon Fuller, concerned itself with the ethics of various forms of subterfuge on the sports field, with particular emphasis on the question of whether a baseball catcher who "pulls" a ball into the strike zone to fool an umpire is acting with more or less ethical sanction than a football player who feigns injury to fool a referee. The ensuing argument promptly leaped from our pages to the halls of the University of Minnesota Law School, where Professor Yale Kamisar and his students took instant issue with the conclusions reached by Professor Fuller and his students. Professor Kamisar wrote us a letter about it. We sent the letter to Professor Fuller, who replied with another letter. Since both of these learned gentlemen are obviously well qualified to defend their views, we ourselves feel it the better part of wisdom to retire and turn the floor over to them.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
November 09, 1959

All Yours, Professors

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue
1 2

The result of this is to put a premium on violating this agreement or on pushing its boundaries to the outer limit. The so-called "built-in" limitation on faking is exactly the same as the "built-in" limitation on slugging—"Don't slug too much, or we'll step up our own slugging." There is the difference, however, that the umpire who wants to avoid serious injuries can stop slugging, but can't stop apparent faking, precisely because to do so would be to run the risk of causing serious injury.

It is one thing to take a slight advantage of an umpire's slowness of visual response. It is another thing to take advantage of his desire to see that no one gets killed.

1 2
Related Topics
Yale Kamisar 1 0 0
Lon Fuller 1 0 0
Harvard Law School 2 0 0
Spencer Tracy 0 0 0
Glanville Williams 0 0 0