There was a time once when the University of Chicago was known for something other than economics and eggheads.
A century ago, Chicago was one of the kings of college football. Legendary coach Amos Alonzo Stagg prowled its sidelines. Seldom did Chicago even play road games. Foes came to the South Side because the paycheck was too good.
But 70 years ago this winter, the school disbanded its football team. The stadium became the birthplace of the atomic bomb, when the first controlled nuclear chain reaction was performed under its stands in 1942. Now a library stands there, which is exactly how Robert Hutchins would’ve liked it. “When I am minded to take exercise,” said Mr. Hutchins, the school president who led the push to ax the team, “I sit down and wait until the mood has passed.”