Egg in Your Beer
Harvard Football: A Yale Man's View
Before Provost Buck spoke at the football writer's luncheon on Monday, numerous "inside sources" were predicting the end of intercollegiate football in Cambridge. In fact, many sportswriters suggested that Robert Hall, Yale's athletic director had hurried up to Dinty Moore's restaurant (scene of the weekly pow-wow) to hear Buck deliver the Crimson gridiron obituary.
But in a telephone interview Tuesday, Hall denied he had attended the luncheon "expecting such a bombshell." He did admit that "after hearing all the rumors around town I was frankly worried--worried lest Harvard authorities might feel that, to bring about winning teams, they would either have to compromise traditional amateur policy or get out of the game. I certainly knew they would never make such a compromise, and now Buck has reassured us Harvard will never take the latter step."
An Alumni Problem
Hall continued to discourse for half an hour, both on and off the record, on the mutual problems of Harvard and Yale football. He was emphatic in his belief that Harvard's football crisis was neither unique nor insoluble. Yale's athletic policy-maker conceded that the Crimson has recently suffered "some family problems," but he insisted that winning football could return to Cambridge without any radical policy change.
"The Harvard problem is basically similar to the one we have at New Haven--it's all a matter of receiving active alumni support in encouraging, not recruiting, scholar-athletes."
In pointing up alumni support as the basis of representative teams, Hall cited Princeton, now fielding the nation's seventh best team, as an example of what can be achieved within the scope of a "sane athletic policy."
"I am convinced Princeton now has a crack team because her alumni are interested and aggressive in seeking out scholar-athletes and selling Princeton to them."
Hall was quite frank in admitting that Harvard and Yale alumni were operating nowhere near so efficiently as Princeton's. "Why there are countless boys who wouldn't dream of going to Harvard or Yale--boys who are exactly what the two colleges seek in the way of student-athletes. All the more power to Princeton for attracting these lads."
Principles Are There
He commented that Yale, Harvard, Princeton and "other members of the Ivy group" are in full agreement regarding the principles of athletic policy. Any of these colleges should be able to schedule the other without football or moral embarrassment."
Hall, however, foresaw trouble for any "Ivy group" college which tries to "maintain relations with institutions whose athletic policies and standards are far apart. These differences only provoke ill will and create unnecessary problems."
In conclusion, Hall remarked that he had great respect for this year's Harvard team and coaches.
"I have admiration for a Harvard which refuses to cry about her troubles," he remarked.