American Sports and the Great War: College, Military and Professional Athletics, 1916–1919
Peter C. Stewart
Drawing on newspaper accounts, college yearbooks and the recollections of veterans, this book examines the impact of World War I on sports in the U.S. As young men entered the military in large numbers, many colleges initially considered suspending athletics but soon turned to the idea of using sports to build morale and physical readiness. Recruits, mostly in their twenties, ended up playing more baseball and football than they would have in peacetime. Though most college athletes volunteered for military duty, others replaced them so that the reduction of competition was not severe. Pugilism gained participants as several million men learned how to box.