A top scholar tries various sports in college to win over a girl who rejected him for a star athlete.
In California rain a high school graduation is held inside. Popular Mary Haynes (Anne Cornwall) graduates, and it took Jeff Brown (Harold Goodwin) seven years. Ronald (Buster Keaton) is awarded best scholar. He says his secret is books and not sports. As he speaks, the audience leaves, except for his mother. Outside Mary tells Ronald that she disagrees about athletics, and she rejects him.
Ronald goes to Clayton College to be near Mary. He gets a job at a soda fountain. Ronald unpacks sports equipment and how-to-play manuals. Dean Edwards (Snitz Edwards) welcomes Ronald and commends his scholarship. Ronald learns to make milk-shakes; but when he sees Mary there, he quits.
Ronald joins the baseball team and is put at third base on the second team; but he plays so badly that the others laugh at him. On a front yard some guys toss him in a blanket, and he sees into a woman's room. He gets a job as a colored waiter, but the black starts coming off his face.
Ronald joins the track team, but he does poorly in most events. Jeff laughs, but Mary says she is glad that he is trying. Ronald improves in the high jump, and Mary watches him learn how to pole vault.
Dean Edwards tells Ronald that he is failing in his studies because of sports, and Ronald says he is trying to win a girl. The dean assigns him to be coxswain for the crew. The crew coach (Carl Harbaugh) and the crew plan to get rid of Ronald. The coach drugs his coffee, but Ronald switches the cups.
Jeff goes to Mary's room and says he was expelled and that he will stay until she agrees to marry him. Ronald overhears the coach and stays in the locker-room, but the other coxswain passes out. Ronald jumps into the boat and causes it to sink, and they get another boat. He puts on a rudder to steer, and they win. All the crew have girls except Ronald.
Mary calls Ronald and says that Jeff has locked her in her room. Ronald runs through a crowd and leaps over hazards. He grabs a pole and vaults into her second-story window. He throws things at Jeff, who runs away. Dean Edwards and a matron catch Ronald in Mary's room, and Mary says it means they will be married.
This farce satirizes the importance sports has gained
in the colleges and the implication that being athletic adds to
one's sex appeal.