This article examines the 1961 withdrawal by St. Michael’s College School’s hockey team from the semi-professional Canadian junior hockey league, the Ontario Hockey Association. The long-playing schedule, the heavy burden of the physical labor, and the emphasis on athletics over academics were all factors that led to the high school’s withdrawing of its team. St. Michael’s College’s experience was an early expression of concern about the exploitation of young athletes, concern that has now become increasingly shared publicly around the globe. The limited success of St. Michael’s College’s campaign for change lay in the difficulty of convincing society of this exploitation. The school’s withdrawal highlights the entrenched problem of institutions treating young male athletes as commodities.
Alexandra Mountain is a PhD Candidate in History at the University of Pittsburgh. She studies transnational sport history, with her dissertation focused upon the professionalization of developmental hockey leagues in Canada, the United States and Sweden. She would like to thank her advisor, Professor Rob Ruck, for his continued support. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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