11 Astonishing Facts About Chicago
University of Chicago cancelled its football program in 1939 because it thought big-time sports were corrupting schools.
It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Today, as far as “extracurricular” courses go in the US, football seems to be what’s considered the most important of all. One could argue football comes on top, followed by the rest of the sports, which are followed by the arts.
Well the University of Chicago got rid of football in 1939 because it hampered the university’s efforts to become the kind of institution it aspired to be. The heads of the university felt it should be devoted to education, research, and scholarship. They felt intercollegiate football had little to do with any of these.
The University of Chicago wasn’t the only one to want to do this, either. Many other universities and colleges around the country had similar feelings, but didn’t have the same freedoms to drop programs. Many of them had governmental controls on certain aspects of their education.