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History of The Athletic Association

The essay seen below, first appeared in the 1900 issue of the Iris Yearbook.

We, the students of the University of Buffalo, for the maintenance and advancement of athletics in our Alma Mater do establish this Constitution.

The above words tell completely and concisely the result of the well directed efforts of a few of the more interested members of the student body of the University of Buffalo.

Committees from each of the departments were invited to join together in one supreme effort to form a permanent organization which should hereafter govern the training of the college in all branches of athletics. This was at the crisis of our existence in these branches.

The enthusiastic students met in joint session, and discussed the subject from all points. The outlook was discouraging, for out of more than 700 students less than twenty were present at any of the meetings, and no encouragement was forth coming from any of the absent ones, but the untiring efforts of the committees were finally successful and a constitution was drawn up forming the present Athletic Association.

This occurred in the spring of 1899 so that now in this issue of the Iris we can see the record of a very successful year under this new regime. Until the present time the only athletics of any account in the University has been football, and for the past four years we have met some of the best College and Athletic teams, and to our credit, be it said, that in these four years we have lost just four games, one game each year.

This Association at present consists of three departments of athletics: 1, Football; 2, Hockey; 3, Track. Each of these departments being governed by a committee made up of a representative from each College Department, and a business manager elected from this committee. An Advisory Committee, consisting of a member of each faculty whose duty is to confer with the rest of the committees, is also elected at the annual meeting. These committees together with the captains of the teams form the Executive Committee of the Association.

The constitution provides that by the payment of one dollar a membership ticket shall be issued, and this enables the holder to participate in all the business, and renders the same eligible for election to any office of said Association. How successful. Has been the outcome of this effort of the students can be told in a few words. The officers went to work at the football schedule and although it was late to make arrangements with some of the most desirable teams yet one was tilled with some first-class teams.

The management was fearful that the student body would not come to the rescue, and on this account many of the best games were not secured, but the students when appealed to concerning the stringent needs of the team came to the front and guaranteed to keep the team during the year.

After the first game, although not an entire failure, enough influence was brought to bear to a sure the hiring a coach and from that time the team gradually rounded into form until Thanksgiving day, when they were one of the best squads on the gridiron and without an exception the best playing one ever seen on a gridiron in Buffalo.

Game after game was played and contrary to all prophecies, victory perched upon our banner. Once only, during the season was it trampled in the dust and then not without our scoring upon one of the best teams that ever chased a pigskin.

May this University continue to be represented by teams equally as good. Football is not our only accomplishment, however, for we are represented by a hockey team which has no superiors and few equals: They having carried off the City Championship in this, the first year of their existence, besides which they have beaten Cornell.

Our track team, though still in the embryonic stage is rapidly coming to the front and in the meets during this winter they have proved themselves no mean foes, and are making themselves apparent in the contents of the City Associations. They have participated in two meets, and besides the single men winning points, the relay team has been pitted against some of the best runners in the city. In the first relay they finished just behind the first man, and in the last one, so far ahead of the pursuing man that they could not have been reached by telephone. What is now needed is the unanimous support of the student body and the faculty to make this Institution capable of competing with any university or college in the country in any line of athletics.

In closing it will not be out of place to tell how the football team has found support for the past two years, and place the praise and appreciation of our past success upon its rightful owner. Dr. E. J . Myer, an alumnus with a true love for his alma mater came into the field when our team was in its infancy, and by encouragement, personally and financially made football here what it is today. In acknowledgement of his assistance and efforts he has twice been elected honorary president of this Association, which he so long endeavored to have the students organize.

That this much needed reform has been a success no one can deny. It remains now with the student body to see that there is no retrogression but a steady and rapid progression. To accomplish this it will require the active co-operation of every man in the University, not only in the contribution of money, but by the evidence of unstinted enthusiasm. Then and not until then will the Athletic Association of the University of Buffalo be, what it ought to be a permanent and powerful organization.

Iris Editors – June 1900