The Early Failure of Faculty
WHEN CHANCELLOR MACCRACKEN of New York University in 1905 called for an inner-institutional faculty conference to decide whether intercollegiate football should be banned or reformed, the resulting birth of the National Collegiate Athletic Association was not the first attempt to bring about faculty control of intercollegiate athletics. Neither was the creation of the Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives (Big Ten) in 1895. The movement toward inter-institutional faculty control of athletics began a generation before the NCAA, when faculties from Princeton and Harvard Universities independently formed faculty athletic committees. Concern about the inability or unwillingness of students to control their own athletic programs initiated these faculty responses. Within a few years a move by faculty to create inter-institutional control of student games was begun in eastern colleges. Though these faculty reforms were structurally unsuccessful, they were the harbingers of faculty-controlled athletic conferences and a national athletic body.
A theme of rugged individualism on the part of college students running their own extracurricula pervades the period before the NCAA was born. Like the industrialists who favored a laissez-faire policy in the late nineteenth century, students were reluctant to share with their academic superiors authority in athletics, a non‐ academic area. Similarly, there was strong resistance to giving up individual institutional autonomy over college sports in favor of greater control and the collective good. Nevertheless, as America