(We invite all men in the University to submit communications on subjects of timely interest, but assume no responsibility for sentiments expressed under this head.)
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
The authors of the Article on "Modern Football: Is the Game Worth the Candle?" which appears in the current issue of the Harvard Illustrated Magazine have found--unfortunately too late--that their statement regarding "Scouting Dartmouth's signals" was based upon unreliable and false information, although its trustworthiness seemed obvious enough at the time of writing. The editors of the Illustrated regret exceedingly that they carelessly accepted the point as stated, based upon the authority given; and wish to disclaim any intention of "charging" Coach Haughton or the Harvard football team with the implication of unfairly dealing with the rules of clean sport either in the game with Dartmouth or any other college.
The Illustrated, however, takes issue with the CRIMSON when it states that the authors, and hence the editors, showed not only that they were "unacquainted with the facts, but apparently with the spirit that governs our athletics." The Illustrated believe that they had reasonable grounds for assuming that scouting signals on the field (if such had been the fact) was as much a part of the spirit of modern football as scouting plays throughout the season. Is it not after all an open question whether the spirit that makes a practice of openly sending Harvard coaches to attend Dartmouth's games with other colleges in order to chart her plays and methods of attack (a thing which is regarded by the best athletic authorities in the country as legitimate) differs much from a spirit that would permit scouting Dartmouth's signals from the side-lines during the Harvard game before the eyes of 30,000 spectators? If the scouting of signals at a game is discountenanced as unsportsmanlike and unfair, should not the scouting of plays during an entire season be considered in the same category?
It is therefore not our acquaintance with the spirit of modern athletics that is at question. The question is rather, would not a general acquaintance with this "scouting" spirit carry the average undergraduate logically to the erroneous conclusion that scouting signals is considered a legitimate part of a modern football campaign. If this is so, although regretting that any suspicion of a "charge" against Harvard's teams or coaches has been thought of, the Illustrated believes that some good may yet arise from a consideration of this subject of scouting in college athletics by the authorities of the larger colleges, a question by no means settled in our minds. HOWARD B. GILL, Editor-in-Chief. Harvard Illustrated Magazine.