This is the fourth in the series of Crimson subsidization features.
Harvard is struggling to keep its head above water in the modern football whirl and quite sensibly refuses to grab a life-preserver called subsidization. But there must be a showdown soon because Harvard wants to find a way to reconcile big-time and amateur football.
With only three more weeks of work under its belt, Dick Harlow's eleven will be little more than a fancy punching bag when it tackles Cornell and Pennsylvania, one-two, next fall. Just one long round with each of these big berthas is apt to leave the Crimson squad punchdrunk the rest of the season.
Ivy League Needed
Harvard's present position right in the middle of no-man's land is untenable, and there must be some sort of a move. The promised land is an Ivy League with real teeth, including at least eight colleges dedicated to the principle that bigtime football is not a contradiction in terms. In other words, they hope to have their cake and eat it too.
Harvard has long been a reactionary on the subject of an Ivy League. Traditional Athletic Association policy has been to exploit our strong position and write our own football ticket for the less powerful colleges (weaker in finances and prestige). The H. A. A. cracked the whip and schools like Dartmouth had to get in line or face possible exclusion from our schedule.
An Ivy League composed of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, Army, Navy, and Columbia would be a tremendous boom to football. It would be a last remaining stronghold of amateurism and would inject new life blood into all the member institutions.
It is no secret that Dartmouth is almost glad to see a few reverses go her way and take the pressure off her athletic policy. When the Indians were riding along a victory streak a few years ago, they spent so much time defending their team from pot shots of sports writers that there wasn't much time left to enjoy the wins. When the cycle (we are still speaking of a Bingham tricycle and not a Big Red motorcycle) happens to swing Harvard's way, it will be nice to have a few friends.
The seven other schools suggested here are in practically the same athletic boat as Harvard, facing isolation in a subsidization conscious grid world. Most of these Ivy institutions have respectable endowments and do not have to worry about a new library or the next salaries for professors so they do not need to tap the college football racket for profits and national prominence. What is right for the Ivy colleges is amatour football.
Not even gate receipts would suffer under such an arrangement. In fact, they might even perk up with a recognized championship at stake. Second and third place battles, and even games to stay out of the cellar would add to the spectator appeal of a routine Harvard-Columbia clash.
Strict Code Acceptable
The League requirements would have to be modeled after the much neglected Tri-Presidents' agreement, and here for the last time Harvard could write her own ticket-thereafter, she would be one of a group of equals. The strict code would find willing acceptance among enthusiastic colleges; even Pennsylvania and Cornell might agree to do an about face and become suitable Ivy bedfellows.
If Harvard were converted to the idea of an Ivy League, its success would be assured. Harvard opposition would quash the plan.