The following statement was issued yesterday by the H. A. A. in reference to the method of distribution of seats to the Harvard-Yale football games in the Stadium:
Every year the Harvard Athletic Association receives scores of complaints from graduates, undergraduates, Faculty members, and others the nature of which complaints are as varied as the number received. This year, however, the problems have been very difficult owing to the fact that the rules established for allotting tickets were made in 1910 by a special committee of which Mr. F. W. Thayer was chairman, and until this year these rules adjusted themselves to the conditions which were encountered. At that time the committee attempted to meet the following desired results:
1. That every Harvard man be assured of seats for himself and at least one companion if desired, at the biennial football game with Yale on Soldiers Field.
2. That every Harvard man shall have a chance to obtain such seats in good location.
3. That the Harvard football management shall have at its disposal a reasonable number of seats at the game to be distributed in the interests of the sport.
4. That the business of handling applications and distributing tickets be placed wholly in the control of recognized experts, be rendered as automatically and as perfectly as possible, and be relieved of all embarrassments which attend the exercise of personal discre- tion.
That the work of handling applications and distributing tickets be so systematized as to eliminate causes for personal complaint on the part of applicants for tickets.
With these problems before them, the Committee recommended that the allotment of tickets should be made as follows:
1. Privileged classes.
a. University, second team, and Freshman team coaches.
b. University squad and managers.
c. Second squad.
d. Freshman football squad.
e. Former University football players.
f. Members of the Varsity Club.
g. Members of the Class of '79, who contributed to the fund for building the Stadium.
2. Group 1. Tickets for personal use; applications for one seat only.
a. College undergraduates.
b. College graduates and University officers.
c. School students. (Students in the graduate or professional schools.)
d. School graduates. (Graduates of graduate or professional schools.)
3. Group 2. Applications for two seats, one to be used personally by the applicant.
a. Seniors and Juniors, or College undergraduates who have attended College not less than two academic years.
b. College graduates and University officers.
c. Freshmen and Sophomores, or men who have attended College less than two academic years.
d. School students.
e. School graduates.
A glance at the problem in 1910 and today is sufficient to see that before another Yale game at the Stadium, a new committee will have to adopt different rulings than those handed down by the 1910 committee. In the first place, every Harvard man cannot now be assured of "seats for himself and at least one companion if desired." Also, the Harvard football management no longer reserves for its disposal a "reasonable number of seats at the game to be distributed in the interests of the sport". In fact, it became necessary this year to cut nearly all of the Sophomore and Freshman applications to one seat and this one seat was on top of the Stadium. It was with a great deal of regret that this was done because, contrary to the opinion of the committee, the Athletic Association feels that no graduate should have preference over an undergraduate. Even when it became evident that these two undergraduate classes had to be cut, the Athletic Association still had hopes that the Yale Athletic Association would return some of the tickets which had been sent to them, and the 247 which were returned were applied to Sophomore and Freshman applications. The H. A. A. will recommend to the new committee that the allotment be changed so that in Group 2, Section "c" shall change place with Section "b".
The complaints, unfortunately, do not stop with the men who were cut to one seat. Most of the fault found, however, by those who receive two seats, is due to the fact that very few of them receive seats on the side of the playing field between the goal lines. Below is a brief outline of the scheme of distribution in accordance with the recommendations of the 1910 committee.
The number of seats available for Harvard men were 29,087, while the applications numbered close to 35,000.
In the first place, applicants for one seat are always put in the middle of the field. These applications have preference over all others and form the cheering section. In the Yale game they numbered 1500, and as there are 611 seats to a section in the stone part of the Stadium, this meant that all of Sections 32 and 33 and several rows in the colonnade were allotted entirely to one-seat men.
The first football squad and coaches are allowed ten seats each; the second squad and coaches are allowed four seats each. These applications required 1220 seats, and they were placed in the stone part of Sections 30 and 31. Graduate Harvard football men are allowed four seats each, and these applications together with the applications of the Class of '79, ex-graduate treasurers, overseers, and members of the Athletic Committee, numbered 1325 seats. These were assigned to Sections 24 and 35, and in addition, 31 were placed in the wooden seats on the track of Section 30.
The Varsity Club men were assigned the track seats of Sections 30, 31, 34, and 35.
Nine hundred and seventy-three Juniors and Seniors applied for two seats each, and these men were assigned all of Section 29, including the first row in the colonnade, all of Section 36, and a part of Section 27.
After these applications had been filled, there were left between the goal lines in the stone part of the Stadium, Section 28, and 381 seats in Section 37. The graduate group had between the goal lines in the stone part of the Stadium less than six hundred seats, and the number of seats applied for in this group was 17,120. These men were allotted the balance of Section 37, all of Sections 18 to 28 inclusive, the last rows and the colonnade of Sections 29, 30, 31, 34, 35, and 36, the colonnade of Sections 32 and 33, and all of Sections 38 to 42 inclusive.
The number of Freshmen and Sophomores who applied for two seats was 1069, only 69 of which were allotted two seats. These men and the 1,000 who received one seat, were assigned to the top rows of Sections 44, and 45, and to seats on top of the Stadium.
The members of the graduate schools, all of whom were cut to one seat, numbered 1691, and these men were given the front seats of Section 54, 760 seats, and 760 standing spaces on top of the Stadium, and 12 portal seats on the Yale side.
The remaining 2465 seats were assigned to the graduates of the professional schools, who likewise were cut to one seat. These men occupied the balance of Sections 42, 43, and 44.
Few people realize that the Stadium proper on the Harvard side, holds less than 5500 people, so that even if there were no preferences at all, where graduate and undergraduate applications total well over 35,000, the chance for a graduate to get in these seats would be only about one to seven. As it is, with the preferences recognized as just by the graduate and undergraduate committee who drew up the rules eleven years ago, a graduate has not more than one chance in thirty of getting any of these seats. The total number of seats distributed on preferences seems large, but almost any graduate will admit that in each individual case these preferences are just and should be granted.
The above statement of allotments as to groups is not absolutely accurate, since the time allowed for filling applications is so short that the allotment to the various groups must proceed simultaneously, and the various blocks of tickets are laid aside for the different groups according to the total number of tickets applied for in each group. There are individual instances where, in order to use up seats that are left after the allotment to one group has been made, some men in lower groups may get in a few cases better seats than men in the higher groups; but this situation is unavoidable in the rush of a distribution on which nearly twenty-five clerks work for several days from nine in the morning to eleven at night.
The distribution is entirely by lot in each group. In fact, the clerks who are doing the work never pay any attention --for that matter do not know the names of one in a thousand of the applicants. They proceed merely on the general scheme without regard to the personality of any applicant.
As above expressed, a new committee will shortly be appointed and the makeup of this committee will be composed of graduates and undergraduates. The Harvard Athletic Association will give its ideas to the committee and it hopes that before another Yale game many of this year's problems will be history