Intercollegiate Games Favored.
(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:
It is good to see that the undergraduates are taking an increasing interest in the athletic arrangements for the spring. With this and with the meeting of the athletic heads of Harvard, Princeton and Yale, there appears to be hope for the resumption of intercollegiate athletics--on a modified scale. The opposition to them so far has been based chiefly on the ill effects which they might bring with them. It was feared that if they were resumed, so also would the former extravagant basis be resumed; and that they would so preoccupy the undergraduates that the latter would partially or entirely neglect their military work. These fears seem unnecessary. As the CRIMSON said yesterday, there is no need to make the rowing and baseball seasons periods of expense and advertisement and excitement. The undergraduates have no more desire for such a season than have the Faculty or the graduates. An economical season is perfectly possible, as the undergraduates will show if they are given the chance.
As for the other danger, that military training will be neglected, both Yale and Harvard have proved that it is possible to combine military work with organized athletics. Yale, with much longer hours of drill than ours, carried on a very successful rowing season in the fall. Harvard last year, while drilling five hours a week, managed to spend five days in every week at athletics without any loss of interest in either drill or sport.
It has been said in some newspapers which claimed to be quoting one of our athletic heads, that interest in rowing here was entirely negligible. Judging by numbers, this is doubtless true. But it is obviously hard to get men out during the winter to row on the monotonous machines when there is small prospect of there being any crew worth while making. Everybody says that during war time it is the duty of the colleges to keep the maximum number of men at athletics in order to improve their physical condition. By dropping intercollegiate athletics so suddenly the colleges have gone a long way towards keeping the minimum number interested. It is unfortunately true, especially in rowing, that an informal season with intramural competition will not attract a large number of candidates. If the athletic rulers wish to get the greatest numbers out, they must provide some intercollegiate meetings with our natural rivals no matter how much the season may be modified from the pre-war standards. If they will promise, on their side, to give us competition with other colleges, the undergraduates will promise in turn to conduct a sane and economical season, without neglect of military work, but rather with an increased interest in it. FRANCIS PARKMAN '19.