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A VAST amount of labor, time and patience has been exhausted over the workings and merits of the undergraduate rule. This measure was the result of an attempt to purify college athletics from the taint of professionalism, which had its origin in the inducing of prominent athletes to change their college attachments for a consideration, generally financial. The coaches, captains and advisers of all the Universities unite in denouncing this practice which is said to have prevailed in certain quarters. No end of gray matter has been wasted in composing rules with a bristling verbal parapet at every angle where the wily athlete might seek entrance-he who seeks college to exercise his muscles rather than his brains.
While this laudable work is going on, more than a score of Yale foot ball players, some of them recently graduated, others alumni of longer standing, are receiving generous cash salaries for imparting to other colleges the knowledge of foot ball which they learned at Yale. These coaches, by receiving money, bar themselves from competing in any sort of an amateur contest. This ought to show that this business does not help to keep up the amateur tone of college athletics. These old players who are receiving from fifty to one hundred dollars each week, got what they are selling on the Yale Field. They were taught by men who gave much valuable time and effort in the attempt to teach, out of love for old Yale, the system of foot ball played by our eleven with so much success. They were taught foot ball, not as a means of making a livelihood, but that they might champion the college honor in a pure and lofty spirit of rivalry.
There is not a college team worth mentioning in the country, excepting Harvard and Princeton, that has not secured or tried to secure a Yale coach this season. Why are Yale foot ball players in such demand? It is because there is at Yale a certain way of training and teaching teams and of developing material, that is found nowhere else. The “ Yale system” has become a by-word. Other college teams wish to secure for themselves this winning system, and therefore they want Yale men. Expert foot ball players from Harvard or Princeton could teach the general principles of foot ball as well as a Yale man, and they would do just as much to raise the standard of the game. But an inferior Yale coach is preferred, simply because it is hoped that he can sell for a good price the secret of Yale's success on the foot ball field. This season Yale men are drawing hundreds of dollars monthly who never played on the University eleven, or were even more than indifferent members of the second eleven.
The captain of the Yale team finds it impossible to get coaches to come to New Haven this fall to handle the eleven. So many old players are drawing princely salaries at other institutions that they cannot afford to coach at Yale out of sentiment. Perhaps some day, not far off, the Yale management must each fall outbid the other col. leges of the land to secure the services of coaches at all.
Going forth over the the land in a missionary spirit to teach foot ball and raise the standard of the game, is commendable on the face of it. But Yale has the same private right to her foot ball methods as she has to the Cook stroke in rowing. Both were honestly evolved by and for Yale, and came not by chance. It is not superiority of material on the foot ball field that makes the dark blue so formidable. This is a fatal delusion. More than one eastern college team which is receiving Yale coaching, may any season chance to have an unusually fine lot of players, who with proper training may happen to whip our own eleven, and perhaps never be able to repeat the performance. This, however, is not so high a consideration as the question of Yale loyalty and spirit of amateurism.
It seems to the Lit. that Yale is furnishing the chronic objectors to college athletics with a handle on which to hang their arguments, to the effect that anything but learning is the chief acquirement of a college education. It would be the worst injustice to charge old Yale athletes with intentional disloyalty to their Alma Mater. One great secret of our magnificent record is the self-sacrificing spirit and affection shown for the college by those who have gone from it. And loyal among the loyalists have always been the athletic men. But we think that the foot ball coaching rage has grave objections—which have been set forth from an objector's point of view. It is certain that the graduates in question believe that what they do is right-or else they would not be where they
Still the objections outlined here are made, and not infrequently, on and outside of the campus. Our purpose in raising this question is to bring out further expressions of opinion, for and against. The pages of the Lit. are always gladly given to any sort of discussion that concerns Yale in any way or degree.
The University during the past summer was bereaved of one of its most useful and honored teachers, Professor Edward T. McLaughlin, whose death the Memorabilia records.
Professor McLaughlin was born at Sharon, Connecticut, in May, 1860. He was the son of the Reverend D. D. T. McLaughlin, of the class of 1834, of Litchfield, Connecticut. He was fitted for college at home by his father, and entered Yale in the class of 1883. At college he was distinguished in literary work, winning the Lit. medal in his freshman year, being one of the leading contributors to the Lit. and chairman of its board of editors, and winning the DeForest Oration prize at graduation. After a year of graduate study here he was appointed tutor in English in the college. In 1890 he was made assistant professor in English, and in June, 1893, he was appointed to the new chair of Rhetoric and Belles-Lettres, which it was denied him to actively hold.
His funeral was held at his home in New Haven, on July 27th. He lies buried at Litchfield.
His time of teaching in the University was short, but it was very fruitful, for he was by nature eminently well
fitted for his work. He possessed in a remarkable degree the power of teaching, that power so indefinable, yet so distinct from any of the teacher's other qualifications, and so necessary to the teacher's success. And the union in him of this power with wide and deep learning, exquisite taste, a love for his work, an attractive personality, and a contagious enthusiasm for all that is best and highest in literature, made his teaching wonderfully effective. Without effort, apparently unconsciously, but very surely, he communicated to his scholars some measure of his own fine taste, and his own love for the good things of literature. It sometimes seemed as if there was in his classes an almost daily growth of literary perception and interest. There are many men, some still in college, some now graduated, who attribute to the inspiration of his teaching most of what love and knowledge of literature they possess and who look back upon his teaching as a continual, never-to-be-forgotten revelation of beauties in literature hitherto unknown and thought of. Nor was his influence as a teacher bounded by the limitations of his class-room work. To the aspirants for success in writing who came to his attention, he was a helpful critic, frank to point out faults when they existed, generous with praise when it was deserved, always full of fellow-feeling and encouragement. And outside his work as a teacher he was constantly exerting an inspiring influence on those in the University who were lovers and students of literature, or tried writing on their own account, always ready to meet them with assistance and sympathy.
Those who knew him, as they at this time return to this place, where they were accustomed to meet him, which he loved and they love so well, find it almost impossible to realize that he is really gone from them, so pronounced was his individuality, and so strong the impression he made on all who came into contact with him. But constantly they meet with reminders of the sad reality that he is indeed no more with them, and constantly they feel the great sorrow and the great loss which his taking away thus in his early prime, before the time of the fullness of his powers, is to them and the whole University. His death seems indeed an almost irreparable loss, for it has taken from the University one whose rare literary inspiration and whose intimacy with the men of Yale will hardly soon meet in another. But even though this is so, his loss should be to us who remain an admonition to keep his teachings in our hearts, and remembering them, to work with more earnestness for that which was his great aim in his teaching, the increase of the love and study of what is best in literature among the men of Yale.
Another loss we are compelled to record and the University to mourn—the death of Dr. W. Irving Hunt, recently tutor in Greek.
Dr. Hunt entered Yale in the class of 1886, at the beginning of the Junior year. During the two years of his course he devoted himself with distinguished success to the study of the classics, and he remained here for two years as a graduate student in the same department. In 1888 he was appointed tutor in Greek. A year later he was given leave of absence, and made Soldier's Memorial Fellow, being thus enabled to spend the next year in study at the American School at Athens. In 1890 he returned to his work of teaching at Yale, and for two years taught with great success and promise of greater, both as a teacher and scholar, but in July, 1892, lung troubles forced him to leave New Haven. He had in June of that year received the degree of Ph.D. from Yale. The next year he spent in attempts to regain his health, and seemed successful. He had declined a place in a New England college, but accepted the appointment of assistant professor of Latin at the University of California, and was preparing himself with confidence to take up his work. But on August 16th he suffered a severe hemorrhage, and on August 25th he died.
Dr. Hunt's achievements in his department of study were remarkable for so young a man.
His scholarship was profound, accurate, and enlightened. But with his work as a scholar, except of course as it manifested itself