Sports | February 26, 2018 12:04 pm

Athletes Cheated During the First College Sporting Event in the U.S.

SB Nation writes: "They were cheating then, and they’re cheating now."

Cheating has been a part of college sports since they were started. Just like the games and the rules have evolved, so has cheating, writes SB Nation. The NCAA was formed in 1906 under a different name because of a charter from president Teddy Roosevelt. It was mean to look into why players kept dying in college football. By the time it was created, there was a robust network of college sports already in play. But back in 1852, years before the first football game, Harvard and Yale competed in a boat race on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. Now, it is recognized as one of, if not the, first college sport events in America. And SB Nation writes that there was corporate money in it from the beginning. To encourage rail travel, New Hampshire, the Boston, Concord, and Montreal Railroad provided the college crews with an all-expense paid, two-week vacation in return for participating in the resort’s regatta. Reportedly, during the train ride, the bowman on Yale’s crew team was talking to James Elkins, the superintendent of the B&C Montreal Railroad, who had just invested in the land around the lake with the hopes of making it a tourist destination. A deal was made: “If you will get up a regatta on the lake between Yale and Harvard, I will pay all the bills.” Yale was able to convince Harvard to get on board, and the regatta was on. Before this, sports were largely an intracollegiate thing. A thousand people attended the first event, including future president Franklin Pierce. Seven years later, 20,000 people attended and it has been held annually since 1859. But it was later discovered that Harvard used a coxswain who was not a student in order to get a competitive advantage.