Fascinating 1938 Exchange on Football & Academics

Jun 05, 2013

...from Llord Lewis' column "The Voice form the Grandstand" in the Chicago Daily News, 9/28/38...

EDUCATOR, EDITOR VIEW NOTRE DAME

"Dear Mr. Lewis:

With the Cubs-Pittsburgh series coming up, this is no time to write you about football, but there was one sentence of yours in today's paper which concerned football and that I venture to comment on. Notre Dame has moved up toward the front in recent years, not exerting so drastic an attitude (in academic standards) as the University of Chicago's, but certainly more than Pittsburgh's. "Most Chicago freshmen come from the upper third of the high school classes. Notre Dame accepts any bona-fide high school graduate. In that respect Chicago is certainly more "drastic." But from an examination of the quality of undergraduate work in elementary college classes, I have come to believe that you have to do just as good work to pass, at Notre Dame, as at Chicago. You know the old "I wish I'd learned to read and write" story, always passed off on some Notre Dame athlete? Well, I suspect the quality of the English composition at Notre Dame is just as high as at Chicago. It is certainly higher at Notre Dame than at the state universities (except Michigan and Wisconsin) or at Northwestern. So are the standards in Latin and philosophy. "So, Mr. Lewis, I think you are not only right, but righter even than you kno

JAMES WEBER LINN,

1357 East 56th Street.

"P.S. Last week, before the Minnesota- Washington game, there was considerable talk of the comparative lack of football material at Minnesota now. I saw that lack ascribed to various causes, but never to the right one. Minnesota is rapidly becoming a great state university, with increasingly high standards of work. The dumb boys can still enter there, but they can't stay there, not any more."


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