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The 1905 Movement to Reform Football

Topics in Chronicling America

The Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), now known as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), was formally established on March 31, 1906 to reform the rules and regulations of college sports. Early football games often resulted in injury and even death, prompting some colleges and universities to close their football programs. The reforms were encouraged by President Roosevelt in 1905, after his son was injured while playing football for Harvard. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.
Drawling of football player from the New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, November 19, 1905, Image 36

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Important Dates:

  • October 9, 1905: Roosevelt meets with college officials in an attempt to curb unsportsmanlike conduct in football.
  • November 15 1906: Columbia University suspends its football program due to the high number of deaths and injuries.
  • December 28, 1905: Representatives of 62 Colleges and Universities meet to appoint a rules committee for Intercollegiate football.
  • January 12, 1906: Rules committee meets.
  • March 31, 1906: Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS) formally established.

Suggested Search Terms:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Football, Roosevelt, Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Henry MacCracken, Walter Camp.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  February 11, 2016
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