19.84 linear feet (19 records boxes, 2 document cases), photographs, digital images, DVDs, CD-Rs
South Dakota State University has been active in intercollegiate athletics since the 1920s. The university participated in Division II North Central conference until the start of the 2008-2009 academic year when the university became an active member of NCAA Division I. This collection is composed of material related to athletics at South Dakota State University. Included are files regarding administration, the Athletics Committee, publications, the Women’s Recreation Association, and files related to specific sports (e.g. baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, football, rodeo, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling).
Administrative interest and support for varsity athletics was non-existent in the early history of South Dakota State College. This situation was not unique at South Dakota State but very similar to the attitude that existed at other land-grant colleges. College administrators looked upon competitive athletics as frivolous, dangerous and unnecessary pursuits, which were totally incompatible with the philosophy and objectives of higher education. It was left to students interested in competitive athletics to provide the leadership, organization and administration of early athletic endeavors.
Football was organized in the fall of 1885 and like baseball, track and field participation was of the intramural nature. Early athletic endeavors usually found competition between classes or divisions within the college.
Before the turn of the century, intercollegiate athletic competition included a variety of sports and activities: baseball, football, track and field, tennis, bicycle races and oratorical contests were all popular. It is claimed that athletic contests among colleges actually got started as the result of oratorical contests. Contestants in state oratorical competition decided that the value of their meet might be enhanced by the inclusion of some form of physical endeavor.
One of the major obstacles in the development of early athletics was the disregard of the necessity for hiring a coach. Older students or an interested volunteer from the faculty often coached early teams.
The year 1922 marked a new era for South Dakota State athletic teams as the North Central Conference had been formed. Dr. Harry Severin, Professor of Zoology at South Dakota State, played an important role in the formation and administration of the conference and served continuously for 40 years as conference secretary. The first championship contested by the conference was won by South Dakota State College.
South Dakota State University has been very active in intercollegiate athletics since the 1920s. In addition to a great deal of success in North Central conference participation, SDSU has pioneered and promoted many new sports such as: wrestling, gymnastics, field hockey, swimming, and a variety of outstanding sports clubs.
South Dakota State University became an active member of NCAA Division I, starting at the beginning of the 2008-09 academic year.
This collection is composed of material related to athletics at South Dakota State University. Included are files regarding administration, the Athletics Committee, publications, the Women’s Recreation Association, and files related to specific sports (e.g. baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, football, rodeo, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling).
The administrative material consists of material dealing with academic advising, development, compliance, equipment, facilities and operations, the Jackrabbit Sports Network, marketing and promotion, and the ticket office. Folders are composed of annual reports, programs, handbooks, brochures, photographs, mascot designs, newsletters, schedules. The series also contains banners, caps, t-shirts, and jerseys. The Athletics Committee consist of meeting minutes and budget files. Files regarding of the individual sports consist of media guides, clippings, record books, programs, brochures, fact books, and photographs. A large amount of cross country and track and field files are included and consist of results from meets and workouts and research. The publications series includes the Rabbit Report from 1978-2014 and The Bum from 1956 to 2017. These files are not complete as they are missing some issues.
SDSU Archives and Special Collections
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South Dakota State University Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, Brookings, South Dakota.
Copyright restrictions apply in different ways to different materials. Many of the documents and other historical materials in the Archives are in the public domain and may be reproduced and used in any way. There are other materials in the Archive carrying a copyright interest and must be used according to the provisions of Title 17 of the U.S. Code. The Archive issues a warning concerning copyright restrictions to every researcher who requests copies of documents. Although the copyright law is under constant redefinition in the courts, it is ultimately the responsibility of the researcher to properly use copyrighted material.
SDSU Archives and Special Collections, Hilton M. Briggs Library, "Jackrabbit Athletics Records" (2018). University Archives. 115.