Intercollegiate Athletics 319
The faculty, however, had not been blind to the evil. It seems that in
the spring of 1893, the registration of those whose main purpose at
College was to play baseball passed unnoticed. The next year,
however, the faculty, awake to the situation, voted to request the
President to state to Messrs. Smith and Stafford that they could
matriculate only on condition that they give assurance that it was their
intention to become bona fide students and remain in college during
the remainder of the session. The next spring the faculty was
somewhat more stringent, but these men and one other were allowed
to register by paying fees in advance.10 After this there was some
improvement, but soon the evil was found to be continuing in a more
concealed but no less virulent form. The employment of well known
players during the baseball season of the spring term did indeed cease,
but Wake Forest and the other institutions began to employ promising
players who could be present all the year. Some of these were good
students, but in that day of loose entrance requirements many were
more interested in baseball than their studies, and thought they had
done their part when they had played well in the game. Of course,
these were undesirables in any college. Further improvements were
made from time to time; and first in the catalogue of 1898-99 was
published a set of rules on the qualifications of players on athletic
teams, which in essentials are those of the Southern Conference of
today. But, as is well known, no rules have been able to keep
improperly induced players off the teams of our colleges and
It took some years for baseball to become well established at the
College. The attention of people generally was called to its evils as
the number of games increased and some were played in towns in all
parts of the State. Stories of rowdy and drinking teams were rehearsed
and all instances of their misbehavior in hotels and on trains were
noted and learned by heart; and there
to the dictum of our kind guardians in prohibiting the admittance of professional
base-ball players to the College, we hardly think such a decree necessary. Bitter
experience has already taught us better." See also Minutes of the Board of Trustees,
June 13, 1895.
10 Minutes of Faculty for February 15, 1894, and March 4, 1895.
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