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An interesting discussion appears in the current issue of The Week's Sport on the future of intercollegiate athletics so far as Harvard is concerned.
The writer declares that Harvard, who is responsible for having caused the present disorganization of athletic leagues, can alone do anything to mend matters. But nothing could be more improbable than that Harvard will apply for readmission into the old leagues. While it is true that the action of the Harvard mass meeting last year was hasty, angry and ill-considered, it is nevertheless a fact that it never could have taken place but for a long left dissatisfaction with leagues as they stand. The position of Harvard is seen in its true significance when it is remembered that all of her recent athletic leaders have favored this withdrawal from leagues.
Calmly considered, after the lapse of a year, Harvard's contention appears to have been a fair one. It was only her action which stopped all the colleges on the headlong path to professionalism dong which they were plunging. Harvard held that leagues were responsible for half the evils of athletics, because they forced an unreal "championship" upon the competing colleges, which came to be more valued than the game itself. They furnished the basis for mean trading, disreputable contentions and continual bickering which reflected much discredit on college athletics. It is not necessary to cite instances; the history of all college leagues stands as proof of the statements here made.
Harvard men, therefore, feel that their withdrawal from the leagues last year was a blessing in disguise. It has placed them in a position to act with perfect independence, and they appreciate this fact. This fall has shown that a victory over Yale tastes just as sweet whether a "championship" depends upon it or not, and if there are to be contests with Princeton in the future they will doubtless be conducted on the same independent basis.
But Harvard's first interest, and it is not snobbish either, is in all branches of athletics to defeat Yale. This is certain to become still more the fact as time goes on and college athletics increase to such an extent that it will be impossible to arrange leagues large enough to settle definitely the "championship,"- a worthless tide at the best. It is not likely that Harvard will ever figure in intercoll grate leagues again; there seems to be a general sentiment again it among both students and the Faculty. But the writer in The Weeks Sport expects to see the restriction against playing in New York removed, and after that Harvard and Princeton again meeting in friendly contests.
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