University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

Wells, Chester Caesar (ed.) / The Wisconsin magazine
Volume X, Number 2 (November 1912)

Anderson, Charles Thomas
The darkness and the dawn,   pp. [unnumbered]-17

                   By Charles Thomas Anderson, '14
  No more glorious chapter has ever been written in the history of the University
Wisconsin than that embodied in the splendid article here presented. The
dark days of
depression that followed the athletic reformation, the unselfish, self sacrificing
of our own "Doc" McCarthy, the heroism of the few players of the
time of Wilce and
Culver, and the final saving of Football as a Wisconsin institution, for
the generations
   that are to come, present a story too vivid
   mind the everlasting slogan, "There are no
   the darkness that to-day we might bask in
F EW KNOW the story of Wisconsin
   football, that institution cherished by
all true Wisconsin students. An institu-
tion whose purpose is honor, but which at
one time in its history held only the shell
of honor, and a shell filled with greed and
corruption.  It has had many ups and
downs in its career of over twenty-five
years at Wisconsin, but the supreme test
came during the years of 1906, '07, and '08.
  It was in the early part of 1905 that Wi3-
consin awoke to find that she was not main-
taining the high standard with which foot-
ball had been started.
  In the later part of the nineties Wiscon-
sin football reached its height, and the
Badgers were shoved up to a place which
to maintain, they must win. Thus, blind
winning became the goal, and win they
would at any cost. Elated by this brim-
ming cup of victory, support for football
came in all forms, but perhaps in no more
conspicious and greater form than an in-
exhausting role of money. As the lure of
the goal became stronger, and the competi-
tion for team material grew fiercer, Wis-
consin began, very slowly at first, and
cautiously, to offer financial aid to such men
who would attend school and play on the
to tell in words, one which burns into thej
Quitters at Wisconsin". Those men braved
the sunshine of the dawn.
football team.
   The method proved very profitable.
Games were won, and the Badgers, down-
ing their opponents, held their own. Grad-
ually the method was enlarged upon. and
a complete system of buying was worked
out. No attempt was made to hide the
iniquitous practices, and graft cropped out
in the perfectly apparent form of a train-
ing table and rooming house for the foot-
ball men, which was conducted for the
greater part of the year.
   In the fall of 1905, the decadent con-
 dition of athletics and football in particu-
 lar had reached its depths. At this time,
 Phil King held down the position of head
 coach. The faculty representative on the
 athletic council, who was, at that time,
 elected by the students, was R. M. Bashford
 of the law school, who was also a very
 prominent man in state politics. Kilpat-
 rick, who was manager of athletics, Ed.
 Vanderboon, who was captain of the foot-
 ball team and member of the athletic board,
 Tom Leahy, who was captain of the base-
 ball team and also member of the athletic
 board, and George R. Keachie, a track man.
 formed a ring, whose purpose was to get
 absolute control.

Go up to Top of Page