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AT the beginning of last year the Advocate published several articles arguing the question whether University men should or should not be allowed to row at the spring and fall races on their class crews. The articles on one side insisted that to permit them would give an unfair advantage to some of the crews; while the other side maintained that it would be gross unfairness to some classes not to permit their best men to row on the crew which represented them.
The arguments on either side seemed irrefutable. Yet to have the University crew row at the class races would certainly improve and add interest to races that are notoriously in need of improvement. Since it has now been decided finally that these men are not to row on their class crews, it would seem that some plan should be proposed that would make provision for them to row together as a crew in the spring and fall. A strong argument in favor of such a plan was suggested at the time of the discussion in the Advocate, - that it is but fair to give men an opportunity of seeing the crew which represents them row a race without obliging them to travel hundreds of miles for the purpose, and that the members of the crew would themselves enjoy rowing a race near home, and under such favorable auspices.
To accomplish this, some crew would have to be found of sufficient strength to press the University hard enough to make the race interesting. Probably no one of the class crews could do this, yet on each there are some especially desirable men; and it seems possible that a crew might be formed of these men that would give the University hard work to leave it behind.
If some such plan could be made practicable, it would certainly improve both the University and the class crews, - the University, because the prospect of rowing at the spring races would serve to develop it early in the season, which is well known to be an advantage; the class crews, inasmuch as it would present to each individual member a higher goal to be worked for. So that the height of ambition for a man that stood no chance for the University would not have been reached when he had succeeded in getting on his class crew; while a lasting advantage would be gained if it increased the number of rowing men, - as it would seem natural that it should, - and provided more and better material from which to select the crews.
There are several ways in which this second University crew might be chosen, - each class-crew might send its best man, and they choose the other two; or, better, the crews might meet and elect a captain who would pick out from them five more men. The men would be already trained, so that it would only be necessary for them to row before the race until they had "fallen together."
It would hardly be possible for this University race to take place on the same day with the class races, but if it were rowed, say, on the next Saturday, the men would be in condition, and the spectators would by no means have lost their interest. The time made by the University in such a race, together with their general appearance, would also furnish a much better criterion from which to form an opinion of what they were going to do at Saratoga than could possibly be obtained from watching them practise alone.
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