The communication published yesterday echoes our sentiments upon the question of playing with professionals. We cannot agree with the ideas advanced by the correspondent of the Advocate, and we think that such an opinion can only be held by men who at best obtain but a superficial view of college life and practices. It is most undeniably false that our nine, in wishing to practice with professional teams, is influenced by a desire to learn "tricks" and unfair points to be employed against Yale and Princeton, unless learning how to play base-ball in a scientific manner can be called a "trick." The Yale and Princeton nines play with professionals, and their playing shows the result of such training; we are simply influenced by the desire to fight upon an equal basis with our opponents. Public opinion here at Harvard is still too strong to be disregarded; and every man in college knows what Harvard would think of a deliberate attempt to learn "tricks" on the part of the nine. Among other things, Mr. "X" says (in the columns of the Advocate) that playing with professionals "will not make the games a whit more interesting to players or spectators." This shows that either he knows nothing of the gmae, or knowing a little, cares much less.
As we understand it, the views of the faculty upon the subject are these: they object to our playing with professionals, as is well known, on the ground that they fear "contamination" and a "degradation of college spirit of honor and fair play." It is also well known that it is the desire of many of the faculty that intercollegiate sports should be narrowed down to contests between Harvard and Yale. This is the opinion of the conservative element. Having reduced the contests to Harvard and Yale, the faculty feel that they can bring sufficient pressure to bear upon the Yale faculty to induce them to abolish professional practice at that college. Here, it seems to us, the faculty is at fault. Even supposing such an arrangement could be made, which is a matter of great doubt, the faculty would find further obstacles in this path of reform. The gentlemen who compose the faculty at Yale know too well the advantages of athletic victories. President Dwight believes in athletics as a strong element in college life; in other words, he is as much delighted as any undergraduate at Yale when the college wins a victory. And, unless we are very much mistaken, our faculty will find great difficulty in getting President Dwight to own that playing with professionals is degrading to college sport. We believe that college opinion will set its foot upon any spirit of foul play, if such should appear here, and will stamp it out of existence in a far more effectual manner than could be accomplished by the ban of the faculty.