Passing the Buck
It's getting so you can't pick up a sports page without seeing that some college announces a new and revised football schedule, or that practice is progressing somewhere else. Such stories have come from just about every institution of higher learning in the East, and only the size of the page is keeping out similar news from the rest of the country.
And from all this, the question naturally arises, what is Harvard going to do? The only positive answer to this in the public press appeared in the Tufts schedule released yesterday morning, which included the phrase, "November 13, at Harvard."
Aside from this rather roundabout statement of Crimson football plans, the last announcement on the subject came last May when people were shocked to hear that Harvard was abandoning football--formal football, that is.
That brought up the problem of what informal football meant. Did it just mean that the schedule was wiped out and the H. A. A. started from scratch, arranging games with teams within a reasonable radius, or did it mean that anything out of the ten-cent range was verboten? Are informal games played in the Stadium? Do Informal teams have uniforms?
There were other questions, and nobody knew what the answers would he People still aren't sure, although the picture is clearing. And it's probably just as well that no clarifying statements were made in May, because it's possible that minds have changed on meaning of formality.
In the spring, the prevailing opinion was that all the colleges which are planning to play football were just being optimistic and the ODT or some other set of initials would ban it. Now it's beginning to look as if every member of the Ivy League except Harvard will have a "formal" team this year, although all are our-tailing their schedules to avoid long trips. But they're all keeping some semblance of a schedule, and not limiting themselves to subway travel, on the theory that if the Government wants them to stop football it will say so; and in the meantime any drastic moves are unnecessary.
In fact, the value of football as a conditioner and a morale builder are making some institutions expand their schedules to include even more games than usual, although with less travel.
At Harvard, the final decision on fail sports policy is in the process of formulation now. A preliminary meeting of all men interested in any sort of football is planned for next week, and the number of men showing up will have some effect on the decision, for nobody knows at the moment just what sort of a squad Harvard could field, and a meeting of this sort is the only way to find out.
Before this meeting, it appears that there is about as much material here as there has been for the past few years. Captain-elect Cleo O'Donnell is at Parris Island, but the war has brought some good-looking prospects to the banks of the Charles, including two whispered-about heroes from Minnesota. And Swede Anderson, George Hibbard, Paul Perkins, and a few others are still around from last year's squad.
And then, of course, there are all the other V-12ers that nobody knows about and who will be eligible for football, except for the Freshmen. Equally Important, they and all the other servicemen there will be able to go to the Stadium on Saturday afternoons and cheer as Harvard men.