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Hugh Walker took over as Commissioner of The League in 1929 following the death of his brother Tobias. He is generally regarded as one of the least popular and effective commissioners in League history. A judge by profession, Walker overhauled The League's rules in an attempt to make play more structured and allow referees to impose penalties, including for unsportsmanlike conduct. The changes angered Walker's partner, Marshall Cooper, who resigned in disgust when he was unable to prevent Judge Walker's rule changes.


Judge Walker's first year as Commissioner came in 1930, and was considered a disaster. Fans were not receptive to the penalty-heavy rules, and players lacked the passion they had under Cooper and Tobias Walker. Radio sportscasters called for Judge Walker to step down, and for Marshall Cooper to return. While Cooper did not return to The League, he did create his own rival league in 1932, with the original rough and tumble rules in place. Following a fight between the New York Shamrocks in Judge Walker's league and the New York Dutchmen in Cooper's league, the two commissioners agreed the teams would play with the winning team representing their league, and ownership of both leagues at stake. Judge Walker's rules were implemented in the first half, which saw the Shamrocks dominate. However, the second half was played under Cooper's rules, under which the Dutchmen roared back and won in convincing fashion. Per the terms of their bet, Hugh Walker sold his interest in The League to Cooper and left football forever, leaving Cooper as the sole commissioner.


Despite Hugh Walker's unpopular legacy and his attempts to drastically alter the game, the Division I League Championship trophy, the highest honor in The League, is ironically named after him.

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