In his report for 1889-90 President Eliot maintains his attitude of hostility to freshman intercollegiate sports. He says: "The best number of intercollegiate contests is the smallest number which will maintain a keen interest in each sport. A strict application of this principle would exclude intercollegiate matches between freshmen." This is precisely what it would not do. The one reason for organizing freshman teams is that they act as feeders to the university teams. They bring into athletics many men who would feel themselves hopelessly beneath the standard of university teams, but are glad to try for freshman teams. They form the main motive for organizing teams among upperclassmen, who as a rule care little for the class championship, but are willing to help the freshmen.
Without intercollegiate matches freshman teams could not be maintained. The games with Yale and the race with Columbia form the one incentive to practice. It would be impossible to keep alive any interest in the teams by class contests and games with local high schools merely. And with the freshman teams other class teams will disappear. If "the main object of intercollegiate races and competitive contests is to increase the number of students who habitually take part in manly sports," the class teams, including freshman teams, should be strongly encouraged; and freshman intercollegiate contests could not possibly be excluded on the "strict application" of any principle which President Eliot has mentioned.