PRESIDENT BOK'S appointment of John P. Reardon Jr. '60 as Harvard's director of athletics has settled one of the University's more embarrassing controversies, but the problems in the Athletic Department are not over. The inexcusable delay and non-stop politicking that preceded Reardon's selection demonstrate that the department still faces conflicting demands for its limited resources, from both adherents of a strong intercollegiate program and those who favor more intramural and recreational facilities for undergraduates and graduate students alike. This conflict, which in part forced the University's first choice as athletic director to withdraw from consideration for the post last spring, will dog Reardon in his new position.
In taking office last week, Reardon made an admirable pledge to support both intramural and intercollegiate sports, as well as a firm commitment to back women's athletics at Harvard-Radcliffe. The real test, however, will come when the new director tries to carry out those big promises at a time when financial troubles already threaten the proposed athletic complex. Reardon's credentials as a fundraiser, which helped carry him into his new job, are impressive. However, it remains to be seen whether he can carry on to raise money for these badly-needed new facilities and still remain as devoted to women's athletics and intramural sports as he appeared to be last week. The temptation to put those priorities on the back burner while trying to raise money from older alumni, whose primary interest is in a big-name intercollegiate program, will be great. We hope Reardon will be able to live up to the high expectations he has set for himself, and remember next year the importance of the commitments he has already made. The dubious circumstances that have already clouded Reardon's selection for his present post--a series of high-handed political maneuvers that we hope will never again enter into the appointment of a high-level Harvard official-- make it all the more imperative that Reardon remove all doubts by living up to his word. If he does not, Harvard's athletic program can only suffer.