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In President Eliot's annual report, the remarks on the conduct of intercollegiate sports, though brief, are full of valuable suggestions. After pointing out "the evils of overtraining and excessive exertion" and the defects in the management of sports and their remedies, the President says: "It must be perceived and admitted that training which goes beyond pleasurable exercise is worse than useless, and that so-called sports which require a dull and dreaded routine of hardships and suffering in preparation for a few exciting crises, are not worth what they cost. They pervert even courage and self-sacrifice, because these high qualities are exercised for no adequate end." With the last sentence perhaps many of us will disagree; and no doubt with the present sharp intercollegiate rivalry and the strong desire to win, many would dislike to see the suggestions in the Report carried out to the full unless all our college rivals should, at the same time, act upon similar suggestions. Yet if all colleges could be induced to look upon athletics with more of the English university spirit of "sport for sport's sake," guided by which training is much less strict and severe and the coach and members of one university crew watch the daily practice of another without the least thought of unfairness, then we believe all would be satisfied with the change. Yet this condition is about what the President's Report suggests as desirable in Harvard athletics.
The trouble is that for fear of lessening our chances of winning, we do not want to change until our rivals do,- we of Harvard, which has so often been first in reforms, fear to take the initiative.
There is one suggestion in the report, however, that all should favor. That is "the subordination of coaches to an expert in training or to a medical advisor." Mr. Lathrop should be officially appointed trainer for the athletic teams, particularly the eleven, with full and final powers to regulate the length and character of daily practice and all matters relating purely to the physical welfare of the men training. There would need to be no conflict between the coach and trainer. Each would have his own duties distinct from those of the other.
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