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Expansion of Athletics

Photograph of mascot from 1925 Yackety Yack

During the 1920s, athletics became an even more important part of university life. The athletic program hired its first administrators and instituted a student athletic fee, and student-athlete eligibility rules were tightened. Basketball became an inter-collegiate sport in 1911. In 1924, the university chose the ram as its mascot in honor of Jack Merritt, a football star nicknamed "the battering ram." Because of football's popularity, alumni lobbied for a larger stadium in the early 1920s, and alumnus William Rand Kenan donated the funds for the project. The university completed the stadium in time for the 1927 football season.