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A Battle For Sanity

The 1961 Withdrawal from the Ontario Hockey Association by the St. Michael’s Majors

Alexandra Mountain

ABSTRACT

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.