YALE, Princeton, and Harvard have formulated an athletic agreement which is admirable. Of course this agreement does not indicate any radical departure from present practices, as some commentators would have it, but is very largely merely a codification of the public opinion of these three universities. It puts in explicit terms ideals which have been generally held by graduates and undergraduates of Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.
The terms of this agreement are worthy of study by all those who are interested in cleaning up the amateur athletic situation in America. The present regulations, supplementary to those already in existence, include, first, a requirement that-
The university committee on eligibility shall, in advance of competition, require of each candidate for competition in any sport a detailed statement of the sources of his financial support, including any sums earned during vacation. In the case of each athlete who is shown to have received financial aid from others than those on whom he is naturally dependent for support, the committee shall then, in advance of his competition, submit the facts to the committee of the three chairmen (representing the three universities), which shall decide upon his eligibility. In cases in which the motives for extending aid to an athlete are not clear to the committee of the three chairmen, that committee shall take into account failure on the part of the athlete to maintain a creditable record in his academic course in character, scholarship, and willingness to meet his obligations, as evidence that a continuance of financial aid to the athlete on grounds of character, scholarship, and conduct seems unwise, and that therefore the committee may have to declare him ineligible.
An athlete is barred from participating in college sports if at any time he has received any pecuniary reward from any connection with athletics, and a student is also barred from any athletic team or crew who receives, “from others than those on whom he is naturally dependent for financial support, money by gift or loan, or the equivalent of money, such as board and lodging, etc., unless the source and character of these gifts or payments to him shall be approved by the committee of three chairmen on the ground that they have not accrued to him primarily because of his ability as an athlete.”
Two important sections of the new agreement state that any student who transfers to Yale, Harvard, or Princeton from any college or university shall be ineligible to represent these institutions in any sport in which he represented his former college or university except when playing against the university from which he transferred, and that the “three universities wholly disapprove of all propaganda, either through special inducements or through disparagement of other institutions, to induce boys in the schools to go to a particular institution.”
Concerning coaches, the agreement says that “it should be the aim of each university, as far as practicable, to have the coaching of all teams done only by members of its regular staff,” and that “while under contract” no coach shall write for publication on the subject of athletics without first submitting for approval by the university authorities any articles intended for publication.”
The agreement prohibits athletic practice prior to the week before the universities open, reduces the length of athletic schedules, and forbids post-season contests. Two wise provisions require that athletic schedules shall include so far as possible only contests with teams representing institutions setting similar standards of eligibility and that athletic publicity shall be subject to constant supervision and study in an effort to lessen undue emphasis upon athletics in general and football in particular.
Source: The Outlook, 11 Oct 1922