The expense of sending a crew to New London to meet Yale and Columbia is undoubtedly large, but that it is due to recklessness of management, or needless expenditures cannot for a moment be maintained. I think I am right when I say that more money is spent yearly on the Yale crew than on the Harvard crew, and that, too, notwithstanding the fact that, owing to the race with Columbia, our crew is obliged to go much earlier to New London, where the expenses are heavy.
A return to the Spartan-like simplicity of early rowing days sounds well in theory, but if put into practice I fear it would be disastrous to future success on our part. In order to meet our rivals on an equal footing, we must be denied none of the advantages which they have. Were it impossible to meet them on equal terms, it would be better not to meet them at all.
Nearly all, if not all, the expenditures of the Boat Club are made by, or authorized by, the captain of the crew. To those who are acquainted with captain Storrow, no guarantee is necessary that the Boat Club will be run this year as prudently, wisely, and economically as is possible. As to the question of blazers for the crew, which apparently gave rise to the discussion of this subject, I think that all Harvard men ought to have some little pride in the appearance of their representative crew. There is every bit as much reason in the crew having a costume peculiar to itself, as in the nine, or foot-ball team, or lacrosse team, having such a uniform. It has been customary for years to provide such a uniform here, as it has been in all colleges where rowing is to be found. Besides enabling the captain of the crew to provide for changes in the atmosphere for all alike, these uniforms tend to maintain an esprit de corps which materially aids in the successful pursuit of the end aimed at.
It would be easy to name many other benefits which flow from this uniforming of the crew, but they must be apparent to all who give the subject any attention; so I shall cut short this letter, which, I fear, has already overstepped the limits of the space which can be spared it in your columns.
The interest which I take in the success of our crew this year, and the desire that that success may not be endangered by any misunderstandings or undue rivalry on the part of the other athletic organizations of the college, must be my apology for trespassing on your space to such an extent.
LAWRENCE E. SEXTON.