In those early years, military teams often played against college teams, and that occasionally caused problems. In 1894, for example, two separate games were scheduled to be played on Thanksgiving Day in Indiana, even though the tradition was for just the state's top two teams to play that day.
The president of Purdue University, which was slated for a Thanksgiving game against Depaw University, grew upset when he heard of Butler's scheduled game with the Indianapolis Light Artillery. So, he began sending letters to other college presidents expressing a number of complaints.
Among them, he suggested that maybe college teams should stop playing military teams -- not just because simultaneous games threatened ticket sales, but also because soldiers tended to be bigger, stronger and older than college students. He worried about both the safety of his players and the purity of the college game.
The group that met to address those concerns ended up forming the first collegiate athletic conference, now know as the "Big 10." The NCAA, likewise, emerged from concerns that the game was too violent and caused too many serious injuries and deaths. Captain Palmer Pierce, the coach of the West Point team, became the president of that institution, originally called the Inter Collegiate Athletic Association, which put regulations in place to make the game less brutal and bloody.