The second one is my favorite:
But what I notice as an historian is that two of these fake letters concern the same thing: anxiety about athletes flunking out. Both Jack Meagher, the coach, and George McCarble, a player, beg Santa for passing grades.
It used to be quite easy for all students, not just athletes, to flunk out of Rice. Just the other day one of my colleagues in the Woodson showed me a long list of names of students who had been put on probation one semester, so long that it must have constituted a significant portion of the student body. Standards were both extremely high and completely inflexible, and after all, attendance was free so you didn’t lose any revenue when a student left. This was rough on everyone but in the 1920s the pain was especially felt by the athletes. Coach Heisman tried to keep more players eligible by taking over part of East Hall as a sort of athletic dorm but although the added discipline helped a bit, Rice kept losing both players and games. So in 1929, a new Physical Education curriculum was adopted in hopes of keeping more and better players on the field.
Did it work? Eh. Not really. Things didn’t really get any better until Jess Neely arrived in 1940.
Bonus: Spotted on campus yesterday. It’s a bold (and festive) man who wears such a tie.