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Expansion of Athletics

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.