Until yesterday I had been completely unable to understand what the Rice Athletic Association was or what it did. How in the world was this different from the Athletic Department? The name was ubiquitous in the files, on stationary, printed on articles of clothing, programs, tickets, all over the place. Here are a couple of pictures from a post I wrote about this mystery and here’s the link to the post itself:
Even the track team’s socks say “Property of Rice Athletic Association!”
So yesterday I was working with the papers of the Committee on Outdoor Sports, the powerful group that had general responsibility for running athletics at Rice for many years and I found these minutes from January, 1964. It’s the first paragraph that I’m interested in:
I find this just hilarious: “No one could quite tell where the title ‘Rice Athletic Association’ came from, nor why it was used.” That is, in fact, just how the world works.
I’m also close to convinced that this is the best answer I’ll ever find. Note that Alan Chapman ’45 wrote these minutes. Alan was at various times Rice’s representative to the Southwest Conference and the NCAA (including a stint as NCAA president in 1973), and he served on the Committee on Outdoor Sports for decades, replacing his father-in-law Hubert Bray ’19, who himself served on that committee for decades. What I’m saying here is that if Alan Chapman didn’t know where the name came from I’m probably not ever going to figure it out either.
Bonus: Campus Photographer Tommy Lavergne, baffled by a fresh paint dilemma.