FISHER MINIMIZES FOOTBALL CHANGES
Enthusiastic Over Large Turn-Out and Regular Attendance--Sorry Scarcity of Coaches Necessitated Cut
After praising the work of the squad during spring football practice, which closed last week, Coach R. T. Fisher '12, perhaps the most outstanding figure in college football today, said to a CRIMSON reporter yesterday that he believed there would be little change in the game because of the new rulings under consideration by the Football Rules Committee.
"The rule that allows the ball to be put in play from the three yard line after a touchdown instead of from the five will probably not accomplish its purpose of encouraging line plays unless premium is placed on scores made in this fashion," he said. "It is extremely difficult to make three yards through the line at any time, and when opposed by a stiff, goal-line defense, it is next to impossible.
Opposes Strain on Quarterback
"As regards the premium," Coach Fisher continued, "I am strongly against any such measure, and most of the coaches feel as I do. It is true that it might add to the interest and excitement from the point of view of the spectators. There is already too great a strain on the quarterback, however, and such a rule would add to his worries a thousand-fold. Whatever decision he makes, the chances are ten to one he will be wrong in the eyes of the college, particularly if the play happens to fail.
"For example, suppose in the Harvard-Yale game, Yale was ahead, 7 to 0, and there was only two minutes left to play. We score a touchdown, and the question is, what shall the quarterback do? If he choses to rush, and the plays fails; he has lost the game. If he kicks, the best he can hope for is a tie game. Failure or success will be wrongly attributed to him alone, and his reputation at College will be effected accordingly."
"Do you think the regulation that for bids the use of tees on the kick-off and provides that play will be started from the middle of the field instead of the 40-yard line will encourage kicking the ball over the goal lines?" Coach Fisher was asked.
Premium Placed on Good Kicker
"Yes, that may be what will happen," he replied. "But because the ball cannot be kicked quite so high in order to give the team time to get down the field, teams will be more liable to run the ball back from behind the goal line. But of course the main result of this ruling will be to place a premium on a good kicker. Almost anybody can get off a good kick when the ball is placed on the top of a mound."
Coach Fisher was enthusiastic over the work of the squad during spring practice. "Their willingness to learn and their regular attendance was an incalculable assistance to me," he said. "This year a larger squad turned out than ever before and I was very sorry to be forced to cut down the numbers to 30. Ordinarily we don't make any cuts in the spring, and it may never happen again. But this year, on account of the few coaches and the special nature of the work. I felt it was absolutely necessary.