RED BARBER, Scarborough, N.Y.
"No. In our time major college football will be tops. It's such a big business that the big schools will do everything to hold their crowds. The college game has a fanatical following. The pros are perfect but cold. People like to watch them but they can take or leave them."
This is an article from the Oct. 24, 1955 issue
LT. COL. J. T. HILL, USMC, Quantico, Va.
Coach, Marine football squad
"It's a strong possibility. The trend toward de-emphasis tends to decrease the caliber of football at many colleges. If this continues, few colleges will have top teams. These will draw but the others will suffer. Alumni enthusiasm won't diminish, but that won't fill the stadiums."
H. P. (FRENCHIE) LATOURELLE
"Certainly. The colleges will bring this on themselves through de-emphasis of football. Sure, the alumni will remain loyal, but the majority of fans want to watch top football. Who wants to see once-mighty Penn humbled by Virginia Tech 33-0? Even the alumni were shocked at the score."
CHARLES EVANS HUGHES III
"No, because college football primarily is a great pageant. The college football season represents the finest in American life and tradition. It will never lose its hold or appeal. In many colleges baseball was played by semipros. As the major leagues grew and prospered, they just took over."
BERT BELL, Philadelphia
Commissioner, National Football League
"Definitely no. The NFL has every safeguard to protect college football. Our rule on eligibility states that no player is eligible if he is still eligible for intercollegiate athletics unless such a player's class has graduated or he has received a diploma from a recognized college."
RALPH S. DAMON, Garden City, N.Y.
President, Trans World Airlines
"I doubt it. Professional baseball did take the cream off the attendance at college games. That's because the real problem in colleges was the short spring season when baseball was barely under way. In football, with the Rose Bowl and other bowl games, colleges have as long a season as the pros."
WARREN MOSMAN, Hamilton, Ohio
"Yes. The pros have a league. A champion is crowned each year. The suspense of league competition can't be matched by the colleges. There's no college champion in football. Postseason games that might provide a comparison are frowned upon by many colleges."
JOHN V. MARA, New York City
President, N.Y. Football Giants
"It's true that pro football has become very popular, but not at the expense of college football. The pros play a different, more exciting brand of football. Fans thrill to the skills of our players, most of whom are ex-college stars. College football has its own appeal and there is room for both."
JORDAN OLIVAR, New Haven, Conn.
Coach, Yale University
"Not to the same degree. In undergraduate days college spirit is crystallized through football. In postgraduate years the alumni maintain this spirit and flock to their games. In some big cities the pro game has caught on. However, these cities can easily support both college and pro football."
BOBBY DODD, Atlanta, Ga.
Coach, Georgia Tech
"That's strictly guessing. At present there is no indication that pro football will take the interest from the college game in the near future. College football will always hold great interest for the students, alumni and friends. This in itself should prevent pro football from ever overshadowing it."
SAMMY BAUGH, Abilene, Texas
Coach, Hardin-Simmons University
"No. Professional football depends on college football. The pro game would die without the colleges, which, in a sense, take the place of the baseball farms. Professional football scouts do not sign college players until their classes graduate. In baseball they do."
NEXT WEEK'S QUESTION:
Is a dog really man's best friend?