Yale's refusal to join with the other New England colleges in prohibiting the playing of ball games with professional nines gives an entirely new turn to the aspect of the question. The refusal, we make no doubt, must be generally regarded as an act of discourtesy to all those colleges which have joined in the agreement, and especially a slight upon Harvard, where the movement originated. Of course the Yale faculty has a perfect right to settle its own regulations in regard to athletics in the way it deems wisest; but nevertheless it is undoubtedly an act of rudeness on her part to pay so little heed to the combined requests of so many colleges in a matter where concession would cost so little to herself, comparatively, and would result in so much general satisfaction among her neighbors. Not that we contend that the original movement looking to the abolition of professionalism in athletics was so necessary or altogether wise, but when once determined upon and agreed to so generally, it seems particularly ungracious in Yale not to consent to the measure.
Professionalism is certainly an element that should be carefully barred out from an active influence in college athletics; here, if any where, the line between professional and amateur should be carefully guarded. Opinions will differ as to the present case; whether professionalism had made too great an entry into our college sports, particularly at Harvard, or not, and whether the present measures were called for or not. But, at any rate, students and faculty are so entirely at one in regard to the abstract question of professionalism that no very serious objection will be made on the part of the former to the possibly over-zealous measures of the latter in this matter.
Yale, however, refuses to enter upon the agreement; prompted not, we hope, although it looks very much that way, by jealousy of Harvard as the originator of the movement, but rather by good and sufficient reasons known to herself alone. Of course no particular results will come from this disagreement between Harvard and Yale except that Harvard will get what practice she can in base-ball from neighboring amateur nines, like the Beacons and Hyde Parks, and Yale will continue to struggle after invincibility through practice with professionals; the contests between the two colleges will continue as before.
Freshmen are particularly urged to lend their active support to the management of the Harvard Athletic Association in endeavoring to establish a fall freshman meeting, and to make it this year a success. This they must do by taking an active interest in the meeting and attending it in full force, but more especially by entering all available men for the various contests. '86 is expected to distinguish herself in athletics, and this fall is none too soon for a beginning. Let every man who has the least chance of success enter for some events in his class meeting; and let it not be said of '86 that the first fall freshman athletic meeting inaugurated with '86 was a failure for lack of entries and of good contestants.