Predicting a stadium sellout is not so simple a process as H.A.A. critics suppose, William J. Bingham '16, director of Athletics, asserted yesterday in answer to the storm of protests that have flooded his office since Tuesday's announcement that undergraduates and graduates alike would be limited to two tickets per application.
Perhaps, he conceded, the Athletic Association should have been more explicit last week when they revealed that the Yale game had been oversubscribed. Had the implications of that statement been made known, disappointment, he ventured, would not now be so wide spread.
"Hindsight is always easier than foresight, however," he said, adding that he felt it was unreasonable to suppose the H.A.A. should have known in September and early October that Saturday's contest would bring out the demand it has.
No Sellout in Decade
Not since 1931, Bingham pointed out, has a Harvard-Yale contest overflowed stadium capacity. In those days, applications were never accepted for more than a pair of ducats, and applicants were required to agree to use one of the admissions for themselves.
Stressing the indefiniteness of a long range forecast, the Weather Station at Boston Airport volunteered the guess last night that there would be "precipitation, starting Friday and probably lasting through Saturday."
The H.A.A., he said, has been called "lacking in intelligence in not realizing that every major collegiate football game since the beginning of the fall has been a near or a complete sellout."
Answering these attacks, the head of the football rules committee asked whether the Harvard-Princeton, Harvard-Holy Cross, and Harvard - Dartmouth games did not rank as "major" contests. Palmer Stadium was less than half filled, he declared, and there were 23,000 vacant seats when the Crimson met Holy Cross.
Football fans are a fickle lot, Bingham observed. Had Harlow's eleven lost to Brown last Saturday, as well they might, he predicted that getting Yale tickets would now be no problem.
Thinking the Dartmouth game would be a sellout, the H.A.A. turned down alumni applications for more than two seats. When Rutgers turned in its upset victory at the Charles River stadium. Bingham received so many irate cancellations that on the Wednesday before the game his office returned 1,500 seats to Hanover, or 10 percent of capacity.
Another loss before the Eli invasion, at the hands of either Dartmouth or Brown would have music the present H.A.A. embarrassment an empty pipe dream. "This is not an opinion," he added, "but is based on experience of a single lost game this season and losses before the Yale game in previous years."
Next year, Bingham disclosed, all applications will state plainly that only two seats will be guaranteed. In addition, H.A.A. publicity through ticket office posters and employees will make students aware, as this year they evidently were not that submitting a request for tickets meant no assurance that that request would be filled.