At its meeting on Wednesday evening the Committee on Athletics took an important and far-reaching step in the method it adopted for reorganization of the baseball coaching system. The need of a supervising authority to coordinate the work of the various squads and coaches was recognized by the appointment of T. J. Campbell '12 as the representative of the Graduate Treasurer's office. Certainly no better way could have been found under existing circumstances to assure the University that baseball will be run under a uniform system and with the corollary purpose of providing for the greatest general benefit of every participant, whether on the 'Varsity, or on a Freshman dormitory squad.
But there is an even deeper significance. The plan is one of centralization--and centralization of the very best kind under the control of the Graduate Treasurer's Office and ultimately of the Athletic Committee and of the University.
In the past few years events in more than one sport have led to serious criticism on the part of graduates and of undergraduates of the way things were being carried on--criticism which has fallen in the last analysis on the shoulders of the Graduate Advisory Committees. It would be irrelevant at this time to defend or attack this criticism and the events which elicited it. But it is certain that the critics--and perhaps also, at times, the committees attacked and the Athletic Committee itself--have forgotten that after all the graduate Advisory Committees are merely representatives of the more powerful and more central University Committee on Athletics.
In the affairs of the nation, as in the affairs of Harvard, great legislative and executive bodies seem at times to be dwarfed by their more active committees. If at times the Student Council has seemed unrelated to its Committees on Scholarship and on Student Advisors or even its Executive Committee; if the Athletic Committee has seemed a thing apart from the great Graduate. Advisory Committees; many a sub-committee of Congress, similarly, has seemed at times to overshadow its parent body. When such a condition is carried too far it becomes dangerous; power and responsibility are no longer in the same hands. But there have been signs recently that the Athletic Committee for one is determined not to allow such a condition to develop, that it realizes that ultimately all responsibility for major decisions rest on its shoulders and that the sub-committees can do nothing of wide importance without its considered study and approval. The latest action is doubly significant--significant first in that, unlike some important decisions of the past, this decision was not announced until after the Athletic Committee had studied and approved it, and secondly in that it brings one of the major sports, more than ever before, under the ultimate control of the central Harvard authority on athletics--the Athletic Committee.