THE FACULTY FORUM
Volume 11 , No. 1
Richey, Editorial on Athletics 1
Lange, Graduate Convocation 1
Rojstaczer on Duke Athletics 1
President Few on College Athletics 2
-by Russell Richey (Divinity School)
Why are faculty members and staff grumbling over the $200 fee for the use of university physical education facilities? It follows logically from the principles established with the parking fee for employees, namely (1) that Duke is not an university but a set of fiefdoms, (2) that individuals belong to and have limited rights only within the estate on which they toil, and (3) that trespass on other land requires some toll or fee.
From these principles follow quite
appropriately a whole range of new policies that we can and, indeed, should
welcome and embrace.
Faculty have a limited right to the office assigned them and the classrooms into which they are scheduled for a given semester. Their Duke card admits them to their building, to a part of the library, and, perhaps, to a mailroom. Beyond that, all usage of Duke facilities is to be discouraged and ought to carry a charge.
Faculty now park in one of several lots belonging to Parking Services for an appropriate fee, often entering only with a card. By more imaginative use of the Duke card, the university can effectively monitor the movement of employees, particularly faculty, and assure that their use of facilities beyond the doors and corridors leading to their offices and classes can be charged appropriately. Every building and even individual corridors can be locked and a card reader installed. Fees for entry can be graduated and varied depending on what relation a user has to that resource, how long the person stays there, how much deterrence is needed, and, of course, whether the facility has been fully paid for.
So, a person like myself who belongs to one floor of New Divinity could be admitted to other floors, to Gray Building, to the Bryan Building or to Page only with an appropriate charge. If I want to use Perkins or Lilly instead of Divinity Library, I could be charged for that. I could swipe a reader as I enter the chapel for a late afternoon or Sunday service and render a fee there as well. Should I wander into the Sanford Institute or the Levine Science Center, I should expect to pay dearly.
And shouldn't toilets throughout the university require a card for entry and for each special use therein? (Urinals will obviously require some special treatment--boxing in or work-study attendants or perhaps just a $200 annual fee levied on urinal-users.) Roads, too, ought to be gated and given readers and meters so that users pay on a proportionate basis. Duke Gardens and Duke Forest will require more imagination from the tax and toll people. Perhaps electric or high chain-link/barbed-wire-topped fences would work. Thankfully, the hospital has worked hard on fees for parking and fees for service. It could and should do more in the way of fees for visitation.
The extensive use of gates and card readers will not only allocate overhead to users on a proportional basis. It will also advance the university's security and improve efficiency greatly. The Card Office will be able to know almost exactly the location and movement of employees. Individuals prone to wander away from their work station, when unwatched, will now have Big Card's computer eye upon them at all times, their movement beyond their own hall and into toilets measured by card swipes.
What a brave new world we have entered, and all thanks to the new athletic facilities and their handlers.
Initially I was angered at the thought that my eight or ten yearly ventures onto the tennis courts would incur a $200 charge. $20 per use seemed heavy. Then I as realized the genius behind this gesture and the elegant principles on which it is based, I felt strangely relieved of the burden of the university under which I had mistakenly struggled. No longer need I think about belonging to the whole and having responsibilities and rights within it. No longer need I think about supporting a losing football program, or watching a women's soccer game, or visiting a Perkins display, or attending a concert, or dropping in on a lecture, or supporting commencement.
I belong to one floor of New Divinity, should stick to my research and teaching, and need no longer worry about something as vacuous as university service. It long ago ceased being a real criterion for promotion and tenure. And now, appropriately, we can deter faculty from it with a charge.
EdNote: Russell E. Richey may be reached at Rrichey@duke.edu
Big time college athletics are broken and basketball is the worst of the lot. Certainly basketball is not suffering financially. The pot of money, hundreds of millions of dollars from the NCAA tournament alone, gets bigger every year. Fans still come and exuberantly support their teams. But the problem known by everyone--college presidents, faculty, students, and alumni--is that more than a few players are students in name only. The percentage of basketball players nationwide who graduate within six years of matriculating is 41%. At the topflight basketball programs, players stay only as long as it takes to be noticed by professional scouts. Their relationships with universities are often shorter and less significant than a Hollywood marriage.
While the problem is obvious, no one in universities seems to have the courage to do anything about it. College presidents, concerned with their revenue streams and keeping alumni happy, say next to nothing and do even less to pressure the NCAA to make appropriate changes. College coaches, concerned almost entirely with winning, say little for fear of disaffecting future recruits. And without pressure from presidents and coaches, the NCAA, more focused on promotion of college athletics than oversight, finds bizarre satisfaction in proposing meaningless rules. Most recently, it proposed limiting the number of basketball scholarships on teams with low graduation rates to twelve, though teams need only nine scholarship players to be competitive. Its ability to regulate basketball rivals the Nevada Gaming Commission's oversight of gambling in ineffectiveness.
Until recently, Duke was one of a handful of universities with topflight basketball programs that miraculously avoided the "students in name only" syndrome. "Duke was different," we were always told. And for the most part it was true. The Duke basketball program took education more seriously than most. Oh sure, there are soft spots in our undergraduate curriculum that have been exploited by our basketball team. We have independent study classes where next to nothing is expected of students to receive a passing grade, and classes so easy that Dorothy's scarecrow could pass them with flying colors. But we have less soft spots for athletes to exploit than most universities, and historically have had exemplary graduation rates. Even if I weren't a professor here, I would like the Duke team because of its tradition of paying some attention to academics.
In the mid-1990s, however, the differences between basketball at Duke and other universities began to evaporate. Of course there were still many players on the team who successfully and admirably balanced academics and athletics. But in increasing numbers we had players who came strictly for the basketball. The once significant social stigma placed upon players who failed to graduate gradually disappeared. And with the departure of William Avery, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette, we have also lost the social stigma associated with failing to stay for four years. We have degraded into just another program where education has been sacrificed to accomplish athletics success.
It's unfortunate that it isn't possible to have a nationally competitive team without recruiting a few jocks who have minimal interest in education. And without meaningful reform, we are on course to continue our embarrassingly duplicitous path. But wouldn't it be better for us to "be different"? Rather than follow the lead of other dubious athletics programs, wouldn't it be better for us to recognize that universities across the country (including us) have crossed the line of good judgment? Couldn't Duke, which has one of the most visible basketball programs in the country, become the leader in promoting positive change?
Let me put forth the following scenario. Our president, athletics director, and basketball coach decide that they will no longer blindly follow the empty guidelines of the NCAA. Instead, they go to other prominent athletics programs that have historically paid attention to the academic side of scholarship athletics and organize a movement for renewed responsibility in college basketball. These institutions collectively put forth new and effective guidelines. Then they say to the NCAA, "We are going to change the way we do business. We're going to create a college basketball program that will be a progressive model for other universities to follow. You have two choices. You can either help us or you can get out of the way."
I know what you're thinking. "You're crazy!" Such a movement is bound to fail. The NCAA will ignore the few programs that sign on. Instead of reshaping the face of college basketball, these programs will be viewed as self righteous and foolish, lost in a Quixotic dream. Maybe you're right. But the alternative is to continue to live with the ethically compromised status quo. By taking the high road, stating the obvious current failings of college basketball, and organizing for change, we have a chance to recover some integrity. It's a chance that we cannot afford not to take.
Beginning at the End:
--by Provost Peter Lange
Convocation, August 26, 1999
EdNote: The Provost has furnished the following prefatory remarks to his Convocation speech:
Colleagues: What follows are the remarks that I delivered at the Graduate School convocation the other week. They speak to the lessons that I hope every graduate student will learn on his way to the Ph.D.--lessons in how to be a member of our complex, challenging, and rewarding profession. Although brief, this address reflects my appreciation for the many roles that faculty in the modern university juggle and the high value that I place on training our graduate students to assume these roles with understanding, aplomb, even grace. And of course, just as they indicate what graduate students should learn during their passage to the Ph.D., they also express what we, collectively and individually, must teach.
Congratulations on beginning your careers as graduate students at Duke University! You have been duly "convoked," which is to say "together called" to this gathering in the Chapel. Many of you also feel called in another sense, compelled to your calling of graduate study in your chosen field. You have already demonstrated, through research at the undergraduate level, a high degree of dedication and sophistication. I welcome you to Duke University and share your excitement as you embark on the next level of study to which you have aspired and for which you have been selected. You are an impressive group, and I have the highest expectations for your success.
As you probably know, the root of the word convoke is vox, which means voice. I want to spend my few minutes with you today on the subject of how you will get your voice as a professional. Your faculty members will ensure that you get a solid education in your years at Duke; I will leave the subject matter of your discipline in their capable hands, and yours. What I want to address this afternoon is the subject of training rather than education--that is, how you learn to be a member of your profession as a university faculty member in a discipline. I know that many of you will enter fields other than college teaching. My remarks apply in many ways to you as well.
It is important that you recognize the need for training as well as for education. Perhaps there was a time in which it was enough simply to love your subject matter--to be "called" to it--though, frankly, I doubt it. Today, certainly, being a professional scholar-teacher is more complicated than ever. Therefore, as you keep your eyes on T-cells or phonemes, auctions or nanophenomena, or whatever it is that engages you, you are also well advised to pay close attention to observing the myriad activities of the faculty around you.
I hope that each of you will find one or more mentors to guide you in this acculturation process. We must, as faculty, encourage this process. But you should seek to weave yourself as fully as possible into the daily fabric of the life of your department. There is no better way to gain an appreciation of the complexity of modern Academia and to learn your profession.
What do I have in mind when I refer to complexity? I mean several things by the term: the amount of information that you will have to deal with, the technological enhancements to teaching that you will want to employ, the array of professional duties you will be asked to juggle, and the need to develop your rich personal identity as friend, partner, spouse, parent, and child as well as professional. I also mean the increasingly diverse audiences with whom we must converse about what it is we do as faculty members, why what we do is important, and how it builds a stronger, more vibrant community and society. Let me touch on each of these in turn.
There is no question about the extraordinary amount of information that is now available to us. When I was a graduate student, I was expected to read all the literature on any given topic . . . and I was actually able to do so, though not without considerable commitment and much "midnight oil." In the current era, despite the best of intentions, it is not possible to access much less to ingest and integrate all the information out there. As President Keohane said this morning, knowledge may be power, but not all information is knowledge.
How to accommodate to this problem is one of the challenges facing you, and one of the important aspects of your training to be a professional. Of course, the proliferation of information is a challenge for all citizens, but for yo--uas a discoverer, evaluator, and purveyor of information by trade--it is even more daunting. Addressing this issue with faculty will help you develop the necessary strategies for achieving literacy and sifting knowledge from information, as well as for maintaining sanity.
Teaching tools, as well as research tools, are more varied today, and being in front of the classroom is not what it used to be. First of all, it is not in front to the same extent as when I was a graduate student and a young faculty member. In those days, you walked into the classroom, took your position at the lectern in the front of the room, and told what you knew. You hoped you told it well. Now, faculty can be found anywhere, including in cyberspace.
For the recent generations raised on video games and MTV, which includes many of you and perhaps most of your students, the expectations by students of teachers have expanded to include use of the latest technology. In fact, this may be a key to reaching them as learners. This is another area, then, for enhancing your informational and skill base.
If research and teaching are more complex activities than they used to be, a third challenge of the academic life today is the breadth of its professional responsibilities. Faculty members are expected to take on a wide range of obligations in addition to their ever-broadening research and teaching. These expectations include mentoring graduate students, undergraduates, and/or junior colleagues; taking on committee assignments within the college or university (this is especially important at a place like Duke, which highly values faculty governance); and serving in leadership positions in professional organizations nationally and even internationally.
Research and teaching in and of themselves constitute a full-time occupation. They require time and effort for reading, for first drafts and revision, for dealing with editors and publishers; and for preparing lectures and assignments, grading, advising, and writing recommendations, not to mention incorporating the latest technologies into our pedagogy. How, then, can you fit the additional professional responsibilities into your day--the committee work, the advising of students--especially if you are in the process of proving yourself intellectually and seeking tenure? Watching those who do--and do not do--this well can provide much guidance, often more than any words of advice.
Which brings me to the next complication, the balancing of the professional life with the personal. Surely this has been a perennial challenge, and in truth all professions today, not just the professoriate, are subject to increased demands. But the professoriate is the profession that I know the best, and I know that the manifold expectations for faculty activity, combined with the exigencies of two-career family life, pose a challenge for faculty members.
Certainly we are enriched by the fullness of our lives, and most days we wouldn't have it any other way. But we do have to figure out how to get it all done. How to get the house cleaned or the dinner prepared, how to get the kids to and from day care or nursery school, soccer practice or band practice--not to mention how to squeeze in a few minutes for squeezing our partners and children--are questions daily faced by busy faculty members and graduate students alike (not to mention administrators).
Staying late at the office and getting takeout pizza often seems a convenient response, if not an especially palatable one, to the pressures on our time. Getting nourished and replenished in all ways--physically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually--is, however, a human necessity. Because this replenishment can be so compromised by the demands of our jobs, I suggest that you look carefully at those faculty members who seem to "have it all together," and that you learn their strategies for prioritizing and organizing, for working and getting the most from life, from the rewards of being a professional and those from being our own unique, individual selves.
One last complexity of the profession that I want to touch on is the need to reach diverse audiences. Like our graduate school population, our undergraduates are an increasingly diverse group of people. Encountering them within and outside the classroom, in our roles as instructors, mentors, and role models, requires knowledge and sensitivity about where our students are "coming from." Whether we are talking about literal geography or age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, economic background or physical and learning ability, the contemporary institution of higher education is incredibly more diverse, which is to say richer, than its counterpart of the past. And we are beginning to appreciate that groups defined by one category or another are not monolithic, but rather are themselves quite varied.
Thus, it is imperative that you carefully observe whether the teaching methods and assumptions in the classes you take and teach are effective at reaching diverse audiences--that is, you should determine whether students are literally and figuratively given voice, and whether they are hearing yours. Besides observing what happens in the classroom, you will need to promote active conversations on issues of pedagogy, with faculty and with your peers.
Learning how to be an effective teacher requires more than knowledge of your field (and I have already mentioned how hard it is just to keep up with information). It also requires knowing your students and developing instructional skills above and beyond the latest teaching technologies. Developing these instructional skills is a training issue to which you must attend in order to become a true professional.
I would note as well another group with whom you will want to communicate clearly and often: graduate students and faculty outside your own department. The issues and challenges of the day are so complicated, so multifaceted, that even to articulate them, much less to resolve them, we are best off if we take an interdisciplinary approach. Many of you are well positioned for undertaking real communication across boundaries; some of you have even been named University Scholars, a new initiative that recognizes and promotes interdisciplinary interests among graduate and professional students as well as undergraduates. I would advise all of you, however, to learn to embrace interdisciplinary aspects of scholarship, and to seek to familiarize yourselves with the languages of other disciplines.
Finally, I must mention another element of the term "diverse audiences": that is, the public beyond the walls of the university. College faculty these days do not remain locked in their so-called ivory tower. By definition you are a population happy with your libraries and your laboratories, your books and your beakers, your reading and your research. Perhaps this is one reason why the scholars of the past were often criticized for holding themselves aloof from society and for speaking largely to themselves in language that excluded the general populace. Today, the rigid boundaries that once separated gown and town, in perception if not in reality, are tumbling down, just like the boundaries between departments and subject matters. Just as faculty must learn to speak to scholars in various disciplines, so too they must learn to speak to those outside the academy: politicians, lawmakers, and ordinary citizens among them.
This is partly a matter of self-interest. If we don't effectively communicate what we do, we cannot expect support, either from the parents who pay their children's tuition or the donors who target their contributions to us or the legislators who help to support us in other ways. These people now hold us far more accountable, and we must learn to be comfortable in telling our stories in words they can understand. Finding our voice for the public also recognizes that the distinction between basic and applied research is largely arbitrary, and that the betterment of society depends in part on what we are learning and teaching on the campus.
So you see that you have a great deal of training to accomplish, as well as education, over the next several years. I hope I have not discouraged or dismayed you by this catalogue of tasks ahead! I have meant, rather, to prepare you in some ways that you may not have considered from your vantage-point as entering graduate students. Even more, I want to excite you about the multi-dimensional career ahead of you, a career that I personally am intensely grateful for, after all these years.
Let me now close as I began, by praising you and expressing my confidence in your success. You will contribute greatly to Duke University, by serving as what one faculty member here has called "bridge mentors" to undergraduates and by enlivening the intellectual exchange with and among faculty members. As you deepen and broaden your understanding of both a given field and the habits of scholarship, you will simultaneously learn the norms of professional conduct and participation. When one day you take your own place as faculty member, or as professional in a related field, I hope that you will look back on your graduate school career as a helpful training ground for that role. But let me not fast forward to such a dizzying degree. Let us savor this day, right now. I share your excitement on this occasion, your Graduate School convocation, and I wish you well in the years ahead.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
EdNote: The following essay, remarkably prophetic
of our own time, was published in The South Atlantic
Quarterly in January 1906. It was sent to the FF by Tom Harkins of the
Duke University Archives staff, who also furnished the explanatory afternote.
He can be reached at email@example.com
The Excessive Devotion to Athletics
--by Dr. William Preston Few (1867-1940)
President of Trinity College/Duke University (1910-1940)
The recent revelations to the public of the exaggerated emphasis put upon intercollegiate athletics and the rank abuses that have in late years grown up about the whole system have produced a shock almost as severe as the shock produced by the disclosures of public and private graft. And between these evils and dangers in college sports and the evils and dangers in the business world there is an unmistakable connection; for the excess that manifests itself in college sports is but a reflection of the same spirit that is everywhere abroad in our country. The intensity with which college sports are pursued is a manifestation of the spirit which the American people put into everything; and the craze for winning games embodies the spirit and methods of trade. The impulses and habits acquired at home are carried into the schools and colleges. But to account for the rise of evils is not to justify them; and for some of the evils that have grown up about competitive athletics there is no justification.
Thoughtful men have, for some years, felt that college authorities ought to call a halt and set some limit to the all-controlling place athletics have come to hold in American colleges. The American public has lately been in a fair way to hysteria on the subject. What the sober thought of the more reasonable could not achieve seems about to come at the hands of the many, in the great mass of brute force of enraged public sentiment. To lop off some of the grosser evils of college athletics will be worth the cost to the American people of a genuine case of national hysterics. This swift passing from one extreme to another is our characteristic American way of making progress. To come to a just and durable judgment it is necessary to strike a balance.
That there are evils in inter-collegiate athletics is beyond question. The disclosures recently made show the conditions in some of the prominent Eastern colleges to be worse than had been known to the general public. Football, as the most exaggerated form of intercollegiate games, is being widely condemned. As at present played, the game should no doubt be abolished. The entire country has been laid under obligations to Columbia University for its announced determination to banish the game; and Harvard never did the country a better service than it is now doing by the investigations it is making and the action it will no doubt take in due time. The present game should be killed and some better autumn game allowed to come in its place; maybe Association or Rugby football, in which a larger number of men could take part, and with less risk to life and limb.
There is good in intercollegiate athletics, when properly conducted. They have made considerable contribution to American college life and deserve to be saved from the perils that threaten them and the evils that now actually beset them. The two chief dangers of intercollegiate athletics are excess and the spirit that would win by unfair means. It may be fairly said that these are the two most prominent dangers in American life. The faults which everybody recognizes as belonging to intercollegiate games are therefore not to be charged to any inherent weakness in the system, but are to be taken as manifestations of American life. While, then, these faults must not be regarded as inherent weaknesses inevitably attaching themselves to college sports; yet these faults must be overcome, else they will make college sports more harmful than useful and will in the end destroy them altogether. The situation has grown more intense year by year, and continually the athletic is being substituted for the intellectual ideal. That this excessive importance attached to athletics is doing harm to American education cannot be questioned. And these evils are more pronounced in the larger and older colleges of the East and North. They are evils that have grown out of mere bigness. They have come from great prosperity, like many of the evils in the business and political life of the country. These larger colleges must do something to lighten the strain that is now upon athletics; and something will doubtless be done before long. Perhaps to abolish the gate receipts would produce the desired results.
These pronounced evils of athletics in the larger Eastern colleges have not threatened the colleges in the South. Our evils are not evils of prosperity, but evils of adversity; and they came from lack of organization, from the chaotic state in which so much of our education finds itself. The country has been too poor, the colleges have been too small, and the communities in which the colleges have been located too sparsely settled to give Southern intercollegiate games the vast crowds and immense gate receipts that have produced the fanaticism and wild enthusiasm in the North. And yet athletic conditions have been no better in most parts of the South than in the North. But the unfortunate situation here is attributable to the disorganized state of education, and, as a symptom of this disorganization, it is most discouraging. Southern colleges are growing rapidly, and the entire section is becoming prosperous as never before. Prosperity will soon come to intercollegiate athletics; and if to the evils of disorganization, we add the evils that come from bigness and prosperity, we shall have a state of things that will be unendurable. It is absolutely essential that all reputable Southern colleges at once put themselves right in the matter of intercollegiate athletics.
What is needed is a common set of rules for all reputable colleges. These rules ought to be reasonably fair, and they ought to be enforced by an intelligent and just public sentiment in the college and out of it. A college that will habitually indulge in sharp and questionable athletic practices will not develop moral power enough to correct itself, until it is sternly judged at the bar of public opinion. If professionals or semi-professionals are sent against amateurs of another institution, the conditions are unequal if the facts are known; if they are concealed it is unfair and dishonest. Nothing can be more permanently vicious and hurtful to the college than the practice-not unknown to some institutions in the North and in the South-of playing men of doubtful amateur standing and at the same time proclaiming to the world that the standing of these men is unquestionable. This instilling into the minds of the educated youth of the country the doctrine that in order to win it is allowable to indulge in sharp tricks will do more harm in the long run than the college will be able to counteract by any good offices that it can perform. The time will soon come when any kind of shady practice in athletics will be regarded as dishonorable. The time ought to be at hand when it will be a discredit to any college to send out teams that are composed of men who are not genuine students and amateur athletes; when to send out a team not composed of amateurs and concealing the facts will be treated like any other form of common dishonesty.
A common set of rules ought to be in force at all reputable colleges, because there can be no just comparison when the competitors do not meet on an even footing, and the results must always be unsatisfactory. I believe it is entirely wrong for any college to allow its teams to go against other college teams that are not composed of real students and amateurs. The better organized Southern colleges have already taken this position. Northern colleges can do a distinct service to the cause of decent athletics in the South by taking the same stand in games played on their Southern trips.
These common rules should be definitely formulated and should be widely known. The rules should be the result of accumulated experience, and they should represent the best thought of the best institutions of learning in the country. But it must be admitted that rules of themselves will not be effective. Laws must be backed by enlightened public sentiment, and where this public sentiment does not exist no rules can ever be availing. There ought to be among reputable colleges a gentleman's understanding to live up to the rules and to send out as representatives only men who have a right to be on college teams. Unless this sort of sentiment exists in a college, it will become a breeding place for sharp practices and dishonesty; and for this state of things, the faculty and the governing board cannot be held blameless.
Another serious need is some comprehensive organization to which disputed matters may be referred. In the South there is an organization of this sort, and it ought to be initiated in other parts of the country. The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association was organized some twelve years ago and it now has some twenty-odd members comprising the better colleges of all the Southern states except Virginia and North Carolina. Trinity College alone represents these two states in the organized movement for the betterment of athletic conditions in the South. For the backwardness of the two states named, the University of Virginia and the University of North Carolina must divide a large share of responsibility.
This association is making an honest effort to better the athletic conditions in the South, and it has had conspicuous success. I can see no serious objection any Southern college could make to joining this association. It is better to join it and try to strengthen it than to remain on the outside and cavil at it. I am sorry to say my observation has taught me to believe that objections to joining such organizations are nearly always disingenuous. This association has adopted a body of rules that proscribe all who are not genuine students and amateur athletes. To an executive committee is referred the question of eligibility of the teams of the twenty-odd colleges that compose the association. Thus it secured an impartial board in the place of an interested athletic committee to pass upon the eligibility of every man who represents his college in an intercollegiate contest. So far as I have been able to observe, this board has always been composed of fair-minded and sensible men.
There are still left a few colleges that manifest an evident dislike to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. They are as a rule colleges that make no effort to regulate their athletics and want to befoul the general atmosphere by making other colleges seem dishonest as they themselves. There have been some sad manifestations of this sort of spirit within recent years. Some of the same colleges that have manifested this spirit have manifested also a shameful lack of common honesty. On some occasions paid coaches have played against other college teams. At other times ineligible men have been played under assumed names. There has even been a rumor that in one of the important football games played in the South this past season twelve men were run in at one time. We in the South are justly proud of the sense of honor and spirit of chivalry that manifest themselves in so many phases of the life of this gentle and generous people. By some strange perversity, men honorable to the minutest detail of conduct in all other matters, in this one thing become sophisticated and unwilling to meet issues squarely.
But if there are Southern colleges that have good reason for remaining outside the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, they ought to publish to the world their attitude on the subject of intercollegiate athletics; and their teams ought to conform to the requirements now in force in well-regulated American colleges. Or else they should not claim to stand on the same footing with amateur college teams. The colleges that fail to do their duty ought to be outlawed by all colleges that stand for decency in athletics as in other things, by intelligent and fair-minded newspapers, and by right-thinking men everywhere.
Afterword by Tom Harkins, Associate Archivist:
When he wrote this article, William Preston Few was the Dean of Trinity College. The College was then still under the ban on intercollegiate football imposed by President John C. Kilgo in 1895. The sport had come under widespread criticism from clergy and educators due to gambling, the use of athletes who were not students, and riotous behavior by fans. Trinity students did compete in other sports, however, notably baseball and basketball. The football ban was lifted in June of 1919, and intercollegiate play resumed here in the Fall of 1920. Wake Forest also had imposed a similar, if shorter, ban (1895-1908). Later, as Duke's President, Few was engaged in planning the University. It might surprise people to know that the first structure on the new Gothic campus to be completed and used was not a classroom, library or laboratory, but the football stadium. The first game, Duke-Pittsburgh, was played October 5, 1929, almost a full year before the West campus was opened for classes.
Franklin Crowell, Methodism, and the Football Controversy at Trinity College, 1887-1894" in The Journal of Sport History, Vol. 17, #1 (Spring 1990).
Tom Harkins, Associate Archivist
Duke University Archives
firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel. +1-919 684-5637