Yale University

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A private, Ivy League university on the east coast of the USA, at which sports were given a high profile. The annual rowing competition with Harvard University began in 1852, and is the oldest inter-university sporting event in the USA. Yale has provided Olympic champions in rowing, and did much to establish American football in its modern form, under the influence of Walter Camp (1859–1925), a player at Yale for five years from 1876, and coach from 1888 to 1892. Camp employed the principles of F. W. Taylor's scientific management in training and performance, and is recognized as one of the most innovative figures in the growth of the college game. Up to 1900 Yale had a run of thirteen unbeaten seasons, and won or shared fourteen national championships. Camp wrote his Book of College Sports in 1893 and went on to publish numerous further books and more than 250 magazine articles. ‘Manly toughness’, as Rupert Wilkinson calls it, underlay the cultivation of the Yale sport culture: ‘exponents of manliness like Walter Camp and Theodore Roosevelt used ideas of gentlemanly fair play to distinguish controlled virility from viciously tough behaviour and goody-good sissiness’ (American Tough: The Tough-Guy Tradition and American Character, 1984).

Subjects: Sport and Leisure.

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