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H. A. A.



TO THE MEMBERS OF THE HARVARD ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION. In accordance with article 9 of the by-laws of the association I present the following report of the proceedings of the association for the past year and recommend such measures as I deem advisable for the welfare of the association.

The year has been an exceedingly successful one, both from an athletic and from a financial stand-point. We began the year with a surplus of $378.32, which with our receipts for the year enabled us to pay down $1000 for the new athletic field, besides meeting all of our expenses. Thus the association begins the new year with a surplus of $108.60.

The Treasurer's report will give you a most accurate account of the financial standing of the association. At the beginning of the past year there was some discussion as to what should be done with the surplus in the treasury of the association. The building in the new field, however, has become an object which will need all the money the association can spare ; for, besides the $1000 which the association owes to the corporation there will be need of more for training quarters, grand stand, etc., unless sufficient is raised by subscription. Besides all this the association should buy new seats for the gymnasium meetings as soon as possible as the wear and tear caused by the bringing of seats in from outside is very injurious to the building. I hope it will be clear to you that for these improvements, outside the regular expenses, the association will be in need of money, and that you will not complain if the price of tickets for the gymnasium meetings is kept as high as it has been in former years. I am aware that complaint was made about this matter at the time of the last winter meetings and I think such complaint was not unnatural as the needs of the association had not at that time been clearly explained. The plan of limiting the number of tickets sold to one person worked very well at the time of the winter meetings last year and I would advise its continuance.

At the beginning of the term of office of the present Executive Committee notice was given by the Athletic Committee of the faculty that no professional trainer would be allowed within the college grounds. The desire of that committee was to make the tone of college athletics higher than they had feared it had been of late years and was not at all to discourage a healthy interest in athletics. The whole ground of this matter has been gone over more fully in the college papers than I can do in this report and it will suffice for me to state what, in my opinion, has been the effect of this regulation of the Faculty. Apparently this regulation had no effect at all so far as the success of our athletics at the Polo grounds were concerned. This was to be expected, however, for all the winners of prizes at New York, with one exception, had already learned to walk alone, so to speak, and no longer needed the helping-hand of a trainer, The practical effect of this regulation, therefore, would not be seen until these trained athletes had left college and new ones must come forward to take their place. Now these new athletes must have teachers and if so one of two things must happen. Either there must be a trainer or the trained athletes must spend their time in giving advice to their successors. The latter plan had to be adopted during the past year and although its results were good, yet these lessons which the older athletes were obliged to give, took more time, than under the regime of a trainer, they would have been obliged to give. If matters were allowed to go on for a number of years as they did for the past year it is my opinion that the athlete would spend far more time on his athletics than he did when there was a trainer and that thus, although the objectionable "professional" element would be taken away, the other objection so often urged "that athletics take too much time" would be greatly increased. Besides this if there is no trainer an athlete can not help worrying more than he otherwise would and thus another objectionable feature is introduced. From all this I conclude that a trainer of some sort or other is indispensable and I believe the Athletic Committee of the faculty agree with me. The trouble now is one of money. The plan of the committee is to have an educated man for trainer. Such a man cannot be found for a salary of much less than $2000 a year and the association can not now afford to pay this. As it seems to me' there are only two ways out of this quandary and either of these is an unlikely one. The first is that a man be hired who can give material aid to the foot ball, base ball, and athletic interests and that these associations divide the expense. The trouble with this way is that such a man is almost impossible to find.

The other way which is almost beyond hoping for is that some graduate will leave money enough to endow a professorship of athletic studies. In my opinion such a professorship would be of more advantage to Harvard than a professorship of Hebrew or Semitic languages but I fear there is no one among the number of those graduates who wish to do something for their Alma Mater who goes with me. If the salary of such a trainer as is wanted could be raised by subscription for a couple of years, I think it very likely that the receipts from the new field would by that time be enough larger than the present receipts to pay for such a trainer's services. When such a result has been obtained I think it will be a great improvement over the old method of each man's paying his own training expenses. Within a few years at most I believe with Dr. Sargent that public opinion will oblige the other colleges to make regulations similar to those passed by the Athletic Committee of the faculty.

I shall speak somewhat briefly of the different meetings of the year past. The fall meeting was very successful and I should by all means advise its continuance as well as the plan of having either handicap or limited races. I doubt if the new ground will be in condition for a meeting this fall, in which case it will have to be omitted unless there is interest enough for a meeting at Beacon Park. If practicable, I should very strongly advise that a freshman class meeting be held in the fall. The one last year was very successful. The plan of sending a printed list of the events to each member of the class aroused interest and should be kept up. One of the hardest things which my successor will find to deal with will be the diffidence of a great many men who might do well in some event. As the success of the meetings is materially increased by a large number of entries this diffidence a great drawback. I have been very much struck with this ever since I have been connected with the association and I believe everything should be done to dispel it. I have no doubt that there are some men in each class who if they were not afraid of "making fools of themselves," as the saying is, would make very creditable records and add to Harvard's prizes at the in tercollegiate games. The practice of sending cards above referred to had some effect I think, last fall and the freshman meeting was very valuable overcoming this diffidence.

[Mr. Lowell here speaks of the winter and spring meetings as well as of the intercollegiate meeting at New York, with the details of which our readers are already familiar, In order to increase the interest in the winter meetings and to avoid having only one entry in any one event, Mr. Lowell suggests that a class championship be instituted and a trophy be offered to the class winning the most events.]

I wish to thank those gentlemen who so kindly offered especial prizes through the association. The gentleman who offered the General Development prizes instituted a custom which was very beneficial, and which I hope will be continued. The gentleman who offered the prize for general excellence in sparring, and the one who offered one for wrestling, did a great deal to embrace the interest in those exercises.

I will not enter here into an account of the plans for the new field but will leave that matter to the committee which was appointed. I will merely state that the amount subscribed so far is much smaller than it should be, and will urge all to subscribe as liberally as possible.

I sincerely wish the association all success, and must apologize for taking up so much of your time.

Respectfully yours, G. E. LOWELL, Pres. H. A. A.

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