Mr. Wendell's article on athletics in the current number of the Monthly seeks to prove that the faculty's position in regard to "professionalism" is a wrong one; and further, that betting tends to lower the tone of athletic sports.
In regard to the first proposition, our stand was taken some years ago, and is well known throuhout the college. We have not seen the advantages reaped which were predicted by the action of the faculty in forbidding the base-ball men to practice with professional teams, and there is little indicatian that we ever shall see them. Under the present prohibition, we lose the manifest good which would result from contesting with our superiors, and gain nothing in return. We defeat the duffers at Marblehead twenty runs to two, and find in our games with Yale that there is danger of a similar score-only reversed. Agitation may effect something in this matter; silence surely cannot.
Betting is put in a new light to many of us by Mr. Wendell's article, and without fear of becoming prudish, we can join with him and say that our sports would be conducted more honorably if we could eradicate the betting factor. The "sporting element" here no doubt does our athletics and our moral tone serious evil and it is right that an outcry should be made against it. Men will make wagers until doomsday, it may be urged, but still when we appreciate that the custom is injuring our athletic career we are culpable if we do not frown upon it. For what consequence is our little excitement in comparison with the cause of an honorable course on the athletic field? We believe with Mr. Wendell on this subject as we did on the former, this a reform by the students, the other a recognition by the faculty, that our best interests can be served by granting us freedom in the choice of our competitions. Which will make the first step?
The College Index and Catalogue have not yet appeared this year, although college has been in session nearly three months. Of course considerable time is necessary for getting these books ready for publication. Nevertheless it seems to us that, considering the time that has passed, the books should have been ready before this, particularly as they contain information which cannot be obtained elsewhere without a good deal of trouble. Knowing the value of the Index and Catalogue to the college men, the editors of these publications should take pains to have them ready for distribution as early in the year as possible.