The returning sophomores had to make his way through a mass of building to register in the fall of 1925. The six new buildings planned the year before were on the way up, Mower, Straus, Lebman, McKinlock, Lionel, and Fogg were nearing completion while across the river work was starting on the new Business School. Over the summer the student had learned his grades; for the seven men who made group one Eugene Bleiweiss, Edward Cox, Henry Delan, Carrol Jones, Jerome Lieberman, Harry Lodish, and Israel Stamm, there were rewards, while for the 217 below group six there were restrictions, if college at all. Forty-one others had made group two, 110 made group three, 169 were in group four, 290 in group five, and 90 in group six,
Robert Fisher, who had tried to resign the previous year, had been retained as football coach, while Major Charles Daly, a former Crimson, great and more recently a coach at West Point, was hired as one of his assistants. William Saltonstall and Joseph Crosby were both in the starting lineup as the varsity defeated R.P.I. 18 to 6 in the opener.
And that was the season that they decided to choose cheerleaders in a new way. Complaints about Harvard cheering had been numerous in the past. So the Student Council agreed to have regular tryouts and pick the men on ability, instead of letting the captains of other teams serve, as in the past. Competitors were requested to wear "white flannel trousers and sweaters, preferably white."
The varsity crushed Middlebury 68 to 0, the largest score since 1891. Halfback Crosby was one of the heroes, as he scored four times. But next week, Captain Marion Cheek was out of the lineup and the varsity lost to Holy Cross 7 to 6. Saltonstall, the star end, injured his hip. Early reports had him out for a month, but the three-sport athlete would play no more football that season.
Pratt started the Dartmouth game at right tackle, while other sophomore members were John Barbee, Henry Chauncey, Allen Fordyce, John Nordberg, George Shapiro, Daniel Simonds, Borden Tripp, and Ralph Turner. But the entire class might well have played that day. An undefeated Dartmouth team crushed the Crimson 32 to 9. Crosby scored the varsity's only touchdown, and after the game Indian coach Jesse Hawley said: "Of the Harvard men I think most highly of young Crosby, the sophomore back. He's a crackerjack now and should go far before his football days are over." The CRIMSON broke into its own headlines that Saturday by promising a special extra to hit the streets right after the game was over. The Crimeds were celebrating the tenth anniversary of their new building and a six page extra including a play by play did catch the crowd swarming up Boylston Street.
They opened the first theatre in Harvard Square, while a rival house advertised Douglas Fairbanks: for the first time at popular prices in 'Don Son of Zorro.'"
The varsity edged William and Mary and Crosby again scored an important touchdown. Things were tense before the Princeton game, and there was a big send-off rally. But Princeton won, 34 to 0, and the next week's papers announced the shift of Henry Chauncey to fullback. Chauncey hadn't played at all that season, but he was the hero at the Crimson upset a heavily favored Brown team. He played the entire game and it was his dropkick in the second period which provided the only score. "Chauncey covered himself with glory," said the paper.
The varsity, with Crosby starting in the backfield and Chauncey also seeing a lot of action, tied a powerful Yale team with a succession of goal line stands. "Harvard beats Yale, 0 to 0," shouted the newsboys after the game.
After the season a tremendous controversy started over de-emphasis. The Debate Council scheduled a giant meeting where Captain Cheek was to attack football emphasis. But when the debate was opened to include outsiders--Bill Cunningham of the Boston Post and Frank "Iron Man" Cavanaugh, Boston College coach--Cheek withdrew. The CRIMSON ran an editorial calling for deemphasis, and at the debate Cavanaugh bitterly attacked the Crimeds, adding that anyone at Dartmouth who suggested that football was overemphasized would be shot at dawn. Cunningham added that "strangely enough, you seldom hear the attack launched by football men. The rabid reformers and ultra-busy reshapers are almost always little flat-chested half pints who did the heavy watching and accused the team of quitting cold when it happened to lose." The New York Herald Tribune wondered why the CRIMSON didn't get the idea when Harvard still had Brickley, Casey, and Mahan, while other graduates and football coaches sympathized with the idea, but termed it impractical.
Just when the furor had died down, the University appointed former track captain and coach William J. Bingham '16 as the first athlete director "His will be a general supervision of University athletics. The job is impossible to describe, since there is no precedent for comparison," the CRIMSON claimed, and then they raised the price of student tickets to the Yale and Princeton to $2.00. There were few complaints, and then Bingham announced his "athletics for all" program, stressing greater cooperation among various coaches.
About that time, they arrested the first bootlegger in the Yard, and fined him $20. "We are trying to get this situation under control, something we have been trying to do since prohibition. It is unfortunate, but we are watching suspicious individuals," an angry Judge John Connolly said in court. But what Connolly wanted was not what the College wanted. A poll of undergraduates on the Volstead Act showed that 1159 men were for modifi- cation--light wines and beer--781 were for complete repeal, while only 768 were for enforcement.
President Lowell announced plans for the erection of a memorial chapel to Harvard's war dead, and the mathematics department released plans for a tutorial set up. Mental telepathy threatened to make math a useless field, however. It was the national craze, and all over the College people boasted of their prowess. But the University, eager to expose a fraud, persuaded several instructors to sign up for seances and thus expose the self-styled spiritualists. The craze ended quickly at Harvard after that.
Prait and Chase starred as the hockey team won game after game, eventually heating, Dartmouth for the Eastern title. The basketball team also had a successful season and the track team took points in all its meets, including the I.C.4A indoor title. The squash team again took the national championship.
The Student Council filed a report citing a lack of understanding between undergraduates and student waiters. It suggested that if upperclassmen instead of freshmen took the jobs it might remove friction as well as make the jobs more popular. Bliss Perry replaced J. Tucker Murray in English A. Murray had brought lectures to the course, while students in the know predicted that Perry would place far greater emphasis on literature.
National issues were reflected in College action. Kirtley F. Mather, professor of Geology, argued that evolutionary theory should be taught in the schools. And H. L. Mencken, outspoken editor of the American Mercury, continuing his attack on American "Babbitry" blasted the Watch and Ward Society for its censorship.
But there were other controversies. The Student Council issued another report advising the University to split the three undergraduate classes into separate Houses, each holding two to three hundred students, in a plan patterned on the Oxford-Cambridge system.
The baseball team, with a best of sophomores, took two games form Yale, 8 to 7, and 13 to 5. Burns, William Jones, Chauncey, and Ullman all hit well during the season, and Barbee was the star pitcher. Chauncey and Ullman got five his between them in the last game. The CRIMSON predicted a 68 1/2 to 68 1/2 tie in the track meet, but surprise Eli strength in the discus upset the dope, and gave the Bulldogs a 68 2/3 to 68 1/3 victory.
Right before the crew left for Red Top, Coach Edward A. Stevens resigned because of what he called a lack of cooperation on the part of the crew. Captain Winthrop admitted the breach in coach-oarsman relations. Bert Haines was appointed coach and Yale won by two lengths.
Juniors More Worldly
As juniors, '28 men were more worldly. Its members heeded the ads and subscribed to the New York Times ("Sports News Written by College Men") and Vanity Fair ("Published for what is probably the most intelligent group of readers in the world"). The junior might even have bought a raccoon coat for $275, a Dusenberg Roadster for $1750, or one of Langrock's Nassau model sack coats.
In the opening football game, little Geneva College, led by a 230-pound guard named Cal Hubbard, slammed out a 16 to 7 victory over a Harvard team which was minus R. W. Turner and J. P. Crosby, both of whom had been inactivated by the language requirement. The number of one's classmates who were on pro would astonish today's undergraduate--950 entered as freshmen, but only 650 would be around to graduate. Coach Horween had a whole-team of ineligible men which he used to scrimmage the varsity.
The big news throughout the fall was still in athletics. Added to the furor about de-emphasis came the specific problem of the Princeton game. There had been rumors that Harvard wanted to drop the Tigers for a few years so as to play Michigan. But on October 8 Athletic Director Bingham announced that this idea had been abandoned, that the traditional game would be held as usual in 1927, and that "relations between Harvard and Princeton are excellent and I am confident that nothing will arise to disturb the amicability of the relationship."
Strong English Influence
The CRIMSON attempted to build up English-style debating as a counter-attraction to football, though it continued to run news of practices in the lead column each day. Indeed, the English influence was heavy on the College all year: Gilbert Murray was giving the Norton lectures, the Cambridge debaters created a sensation with their winning arguments for government regulation (F. W. Lorentzen was one-third of the Harvard team), the tutorial system was just taking hold, and reading periods patterend on Oxford's were instituted for the first time at any American university.
But debate was no substitute for a winning football team, and enthusiasm soared when the Crimson upset Dartmouth, 16 to 12, on sophomore Art French's last-minute run. Tufts was crushed 69 to 6, and then came the Princeton game, the last Princeton game, in fact, until 1932. The Tigers won, 9 to 0, but the game was lost in a welter of bad feeling over a Lampoon parody which proclaimed the death of the Princeton coach, a regular issue of the 'Poon, which showed two pigs over the caption "Let's all root for Princeton," charges of dirty playing, and Harvard's attempt to schedule Michigan. Behind it all lay Harvard's patronizing attitude toward "those Princeton play-boys" and Princeton's resentment of "those intellectual Harvard snobs"
Class activities went on as usual. The '28 football team defeated the Yale class champions 13 to 0. Hammer, Dearborn, Hemminger, Wilson, Cashing, Turnoy, Fox, Hodges, Adams, Herman, Allen, Lomasnoy, Heard, Barbee, Van Rensseloar, Ellis, Mulliken, and Long were on the winning team. And Phi Beta Kappa's juniors were Ernest T. Berkeley, Edgar M. Hoover, Hyman Sobell, Martin Tall, Bleiweiss, Jones, and Stamm.
A 12 to 7 Yale victory by the margin of two field goals ended the varsity football season, though a Chauncey to Saltonstall pass gave hope for the future. Despite the CRIMSON's editorial about "exotic-idiotic" productions, the Dramatic Club proceeded to stage "The Orange Comedy," with Barry Bingham in the lead part and L. H. Ennis, K. A. Perry