FACULTY SHOULD SHOW CAUSE.
Yesterday morning the CRIMSON took its stand against abolition of winter sports and stated the reasons that have been repeated so often throughout the long one-sided discussion. The unfair discrimination that would follow the passing of this pending vote is further dealt with in communications this morning, and it is useless to dwell longer on that phase of the question.
At the outset it must be generally conceded that but for the Faculty recommendations the Committee would never have contemplated legislation against winter sports, nor to any extent against any of the existing schedules. As the CRIMSON pointed out back in January,--when accused of failing to distinguish between Faculty and athletic authorities, and when assured that the Faculty action was but a passing whim,--any recommendation from the Faculty of Harvard University is bound to carry enormous weight. The statement was justified, for the Athletic Committee now feels compelled to take some definite action. Much as many members of the Committee may hesitate over the wisdom of the move, they cannot disregard entirely the Faculty's will. And so they adopt the least damaging concession.
To the Faculty, therefore, we must frame our arguments, in an effort to maintain the present status of our major sports and at the same time to preserve the minor ones. As a last resort it is necessary to show that the proper move is against real athletic abuses, and not against the extent of participation.
Thus far the only statement given out by the Faculty is to the effect that "the present frequency of intercollegiate games is injurious to the scholarly interests of which it has charge." In order to show that curtailment of athletics will not improve the scholarly interests, that athletic idleness will not be conducive to more study, we must know in just what respect the interests are now affected. Is the standard of scholarship lower than before athletics became so general? Are the athletes failing to comply with the requirements of the Office? Are their records below the general average? Is attendance at lectures, both by competitors and spectators, affected by athletics? Are marks lower during football and baseball season than during the winter months? Are the athletes falling behind in the pursuit of graduate studies their fourth year? These are a few of the questions we should like to have answered. Then and only then, will it be possible to take up more than general arguments in our efforts to show that athletic curtailment is not the proper remedy.