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EDITORS HARVARD HERALD : In the last number of the Crimson I noticed a letter in reference to the negotiations that are at present pending between the boat clubs of Harvard and Yale. The charges made in the letter are grave, certainly, but I think that upon examination it will be found that they are from the pen of one of the graduates who interest themselves in college athletics without sufficiently acquainting themselves with the actions and policy of those who have the direction of these athletics. Of such men, I regret to say, there have been of late altogether too many for the good name of the college. The presumptuous ignorance and the appalling misconceptions displayed by the writer of this letter are truly astonishing, nay, one or two of his statements are absolutely false. He claims to express the views of a large number of loyal Harvard graduates in characterizing as childish the intricate negotiations which have been in progress for several months between Harvard and Yale; and yet he seems to be ignorant of the fact that these negotiations are carried on with the direct supervision and approval of three as "loyal Harvard graduates" as any who exist, and that these three graduates understand more thoroughly the positions of Harvard and Yale than any other graduates can hope to. Then follows the remarkable statement that as last year "the race was started by the sterns and judged by the sterns at the finish, it is difficult to see why any trouble should arise."

The boats were started by the sterns. So far the correspondent's information is correct; but they were judged by the bows at the finish, and it is in this fact that the kernel of the whole matter lies. It was generally understood by the Harvard crew as they drew up to the stake boat that the boats were to start by sterns and finish by sterns, but a remark from Captain Hull before starting undeceived them, and the time was actually taken as the bows crossed the finish. Now, considering the closeness of the race, it is not at all an impossible supposition that a race might be so close that Yale's bow should be ahead of Harvard's bow and yet Harvard's stern ahead of Yale's stern. If this should ever be the case, the hostile state of affairs that would arise between the two colleges can better be imagined than described. The race was rowed under no rules, because no complete set of rules could be agreed upon. I think that the correspondent of the Crimson would admit that this was an undesirable state of affairs. It is this state of affairs, with its possible contingencies, that the University Boat Club and its advisers are now straining every nerve to avoid, and purpose to avoid by settling the conditions of the race before accepting Yale's challenge, in order that there may be no misunderstanding afterwards, and it is to be hoped that they will not be hindered in their efforts by graduates more zealous than discreet.

Quarrels among gentlemen are certainly unfortunate, but unless the correspondent can show how they can be avoided, except by abject submission to the terms of our antagonist, I do not see what is to be done. The writer relieves our minds by informing us "that the majority of graduates, and he believes, undergraduates, desire that the race shall be rowed squarely and fairly." I hope that it is not the Boat Club or the graduate committee that he suspects of any desire to row it in any other way. He wishes "that the arrangements should be settled in private," but that is impossible while Yale persists in publishing the correspondence of the two colleges. And, finally, he casts a most unwarranted slur on the character of a gentleman to whom Harvard boating owes more than Harvard can ever hope to repay; but this is quite in keeping with the character of the whole communication. I cannot close this letter without once more making a protest against the conduct of certain graduates, who, while taking an interest in the welfare of the college, for which we have, indeed, every reason to be grateful, will take no trouble to inquire into the merits or demerits of any dispute in which Harvard is engaged, adopting that view which is the most obvious, or is presented to them first, do more to bring contempt and discredit upon their Alma Mater in one year than undergraduates could do in fifty.


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