The following statement of Yale's position in the Harvard football controversy appeared yesterday in the Yale News. Coming as it does from the head of the graduate and undergraduate interests, and signed by Manager Foote, the document has a peculiar value to the universities. Yale makes the public statement purely in defence of her position in regard to the Springfield game.
"To the Editors of the Yale Daily News:
"It seems important that graduates and undergraduates alike should be informed of Yale's position with regard to football during the present season. A statement purporting to come from the Harvard Athletic Committee with regard to negotiations between the two universities has been published, and Yale is justified no longer in treating these negotiations as confidential. Throughout the winter and spring the newspapers were filled with charges against the Yale players and against its team and against the Yale spirit in general. From first to last no explanation or disclaimer of these charges came from any Harvard source.
"The attacks were so persistent and long-continued and were so similar to charges which had been made after games in previous years, that it was no longer possible for Yale to ignore them. One of two courses was open. Yale fully believed that she was not to blame for the beginning of whatever roughness occurred in the Springfield game, and she believed that there was overwhelming evidence to this effect. It was impossible for her to have replied in newspapers and, by counter charges, to have created what would undoubtedly have been a lasting breach. But her traditional silence was adhered to, in the belief, persisted in for months, that the charges would die out and that some form of statement would relieve her from the necessity for taking any action. It is an open secret that such a statement as was desired was written by the Harvard captain and that he was dissuaded from sending it by the Harvard officials. The other course was to call the Harvard captain's attention to the charges and insist that Harvard's position with regard to them should be fully and fairly stated before football was played again. The latter course, as being the most courteous, was taken, and Captain Thorne's letter, referred to as "famous" by the Harvard Athletic Committee was written before any challenge was received. So much misapprehension exists with regard to that letter and it has so frequently been called a demand for an apology that it is well to reprint it.
"The following is a copy of the letter which speaks for itself:
"Yale University Football Association.
NEW HAVEN, Conn., May 10, 1895.
" 'Mr. Arthur H. Brewer:
DEAR SIR-I regret that your illness prevented your coming to New Haven as you proposed doing in your letter of April 23. Your visit would have given me the opportunity of informing you of Yale's position with regard to a game with Harvard next fall. During the last four or five months charges have been made against our team, repeated with persistence, the original charge having come from the Harvard coach. We steadily refrained from complicating the situation by any recriminations or statements except by publishing a denial on the part of the officers of the Springfield game of the truth of the charges which reflected not only on the Yale team but the good name of our university. While we do not hold you or your team responsible for these accusations it was in your power to have contradicted them and thus to have neutralized their serious effect not only upon us, but the sport. Under these circumstances we feel that it would not be for the best interests of football, or the universities, to run even a chance of a repetion of Yale's experience since the Harvard game. Unless then such contradictions come from you would it not be wiser to allow the feeling thus engendered to cool with time rather than to enter upon a contest with these recollections fresh in our minds? Should you still be unwilling to do us justice in this way we have concluded to arrange no game with you. Let me assure you, however, that in case a proper contradiction of these charges is made we shall take pleasure in arranging a game with you, and have up to this time reserved a date in the hope that it may be brought about. Other negotiations will not permit us to hold that or any other date open later than May 22.
Very truly yours,
S. B. THORNE.'""Of this the Boston Transcript said, under date of May 21, 1895:
"'It should be stated in justice to Yale, however, that the text of Captain Thorne's letter asking for a retraction does not bristle with threats as the public has been led to suppose by the imaginative stories which have been going the rounds. It is just such a letter as one would expect to receive from a gentleman connected with one of the universities of the country. Captain Thorne said in his letter that while Yale did not hold the Harvard team responsible for the charges which have gone forth from the public press, Yale felt that Harvard men had not contradicted them as they might and thus neutralized the effect upon Yale as a university and upon the sport. No mention of an apology is contained in the letter, all that was called for was a contradiction of the criticism made last fall by Dr. Brooks, and this Harvard has not felt called upon to do.'"
"There the matter subsided and conservative sentiment among college men was rapidly becoming favorable to Yale's position, and to a suspension of the annual football game for one or two years, or until the ill feeling publicly created should have died out. Late in June the matter was reopened. The statements then made in the papers were substantially correct, that Harvard had held out the 'olive branch' by suggesting a dual league. This was not officially done, and it could not be spoken of as the
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