A Misrepresentation

THE MAIL

To the Editors of The Crimson:

After reading Bob Cunha's article lambasting the basketball team for its lack of "class" and for its participation in the scuffle with Princeton, I became extremely upset and felt it warranted a response.

Being co-captain of the basketball team, I take great offense to several comments and facts that were misrepresented in the article. Bob Cunha's use of sarcasm may bring a few chuckles from his readers and spur conversation at the dinner, table, but his clear lack of research, understanding of the game of basketball, and "tunnel vision" approach to journalism are weaknesses that will have to be corrected before he becomes an effective writer.

There are several statements in the article I would like to challenge directly. First, Mr.Cunha claims I abused my captaincy by leading my teammates into battle I find this hard to believe since I never threw a punch during the entire incident, and was attacked by John Smyth in the first place. Second, Mr.Cunha claims that DeMartha players are "booted" from the team for participation in lights. At lunch today, my teammate Pat Smyth (of DeMartha High school) assured me they was not true. Maybe a quick phone call by Mr. Cunha to pat would have cleared up this flagrantly erroneous statement.

Mr. Cunha also felt it necessary to single out Kyle Dodson and Bill Mohler for their roles in the scuffle. Again, I take great offense to this for several reasons. First, Kyle and Bill were only doing their duty as a teammate. There is an unwritten rule in team sports that team members came to the aid of another in a fight, whether to keep others away from the action or to pull entangled combatants away from each other. (Pro hockey and baseball and examples where this often occurs.) Kyle and Bill were doing just this, and I am grateful to them and all my teammates for their support. Kyle and Bill are going to be super players and have worked hard all year to get some playing time. I both respect and support their reactions to what was happening on the floor.

All this aside, I am perhaps most upset and take greatest offense to Bob Cunha's claim that our team lacks "class." If Mr.Cunha took the time to do his homework, he would see that our team has the highest academic index of any varsity team in the Ivy League. We are a quiet and hard working team that has no troubles with the Ad Board or in the classroom. Secondly if Mr.Cunha bothered to take a poll around the University he would se we have one of the most respected and best like bunch of guys on the campus. "Class" is certainly not an adjective that people will forget to use about us. What happened on the court was an unfortunate incident, but our team plays hard and plays to win. We have never embarrassed Harvard in any way before, but there comes a time when an athlete can't back down to his opponents. Respect is foremost in athletics, and must be protected at all times in order to be successful. I don't know whether Mr.Cunha has ever played a team sport before, but if he has, he will understand the concept I am explaining.

I am now near the end of my basketball career at Harvard, and I am very proud of this team. We have turned the tide for basketball at Harvard, brought fans to games both at home and on the road, gained national publicity, and challenged for the Ivy title the last two season. What happence last Saturday needs no further explanation. However I did deem it necessary to enlighten Mr.Cunha on several parts of his "article" I just hope in the future he does his homework before he writes a story. Misrepresentation and slop process are not ways to start a career with The Crimson. Joe Carrabino   Co-Captain Harvard   Men's Basketball Team