Perhaps the greatest concern during Principal Henry Shaffer's eighteen month term was the athletic policy of educational institutions in general and of Clarion in particular. In his 1912 report to the superintendent of public instruction, Principal Shaffer expresses his views, "This Normal School has viewed with grave concern the `spirit of the age' in athletics in schools from the public school to the university. The policy adopted in most institutions has resulted in the abnormal development of the physically strong, the ones who need such development least, and the serious neglect of the physically weak, those who need such training most. The former have undergone a process of hard, grinding work and training, which has almost eliminated the element of play and sport. The student who has been weak or disciplined toward exercise has been deprived of needed physical development.
|Tennis on the site of Chandler Dining Hall|
The school had evolved an athletic policy for girls limiting activity to intergroup and intraclass contests in the school. Shaffer's solution to the commercialization of athletics was to work for the same policy with respect to contests among young men.