Who was football's father?

Clinic

September 22, 2002|By SUN STAFF

Many might guess Amos Alonzo Stagg, Knute Rockne or Pop Warner. But they were famous coaches. The American game's originator, and there's no argument over the point, was Walter Camp.

* Camp, an early rugby player at Yale University, is credited with Americanizing the English game in 1879 while still in college. He later helped found the National College Athletic Association and was on every football rules committee through 1911. He died in 1925.

* Rules he persuaded others to use included starting plays from a stationary scrimmage line, snapping the ball from a center, having four downs to advance the ball or yield it, having set plays, and limiting teams to 11 players on the field. He also picked the first All-American team.

* In 1906, with football criticized for being too brutish, Camp was on a committee that added the forward pass, revolutionizing what had become a dull, strength-oriented sport.

SOURCE: The Walter Camp Football Foundation

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