In proposing to banish the practice of athletic scholarships by removing the guilty colleges from its list of approved institutions of learning in this section, the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education has done little more than register its appreciation of a fact: it has certainly not discovered the remedy for the situation.
It is and always will be practically impossible in most cases to prove just when a college is subsidizing its athletes. When an enthusiastic graduates club in a small town happens to choose an athlete as the recipient of its annual scholarship, the members of the club cannot be accused of definitely paying athletes. Moreover, colleges and universities which now offer athletic scholarships will not cease to do so because of the new ruling promulgated by the Commission; if they feel the ruling might injure them, they will merely conceal their subsidization of athletes more closely than they now do. And whether they conceal the fact or not, people will still recognize them for what they are worth.
If these "institutions of higher learning" choose to raise their athletic prestige indirectly by the employment of athletic scholarships, they are naturally and inevitably paring down whatever scholastic prestige they may possess; they are causing more harm to their reputation as an educational institution than any removal of their names from a list would accomplish. Such colleges in any case attract a definite type of man who is not primarily a student, and they will continue to attract this type regardless of outside attacks on their scholastic standing. The whole evil is but a part of the general American glorification of athletics, a popular fancy which finds a convenient outlet in certain colleges.
However, to accept the facts is not to condone them. While the action of the Commission is quite ineffectual, it may serve to emphasize the present growing disgust with *port* in America's so-called institutions of learning. But any actual improvement in the situation cannot be expected to come from outside pressure, it must come from a revulsion of feeling on the part both of the student members of the colleges in question and of the outside world which has hitherto tacitly admitted, if not applauded, the practice of athletic scholarships.