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In yesterday's issue we expressed our fear that, because some of President Eliot's recommendations are untimely, the students would regard all the recommendations with hostility. Such action would result in much loss. There are valuable suggestions in what the President has to say, and these ought to be given full consideration. Not only does he put himself in line with the best thought of the time by favoring revised rules in football, but he brings forward two recommendations which have not already established themselves in popular favor but which we think are, in a revised form perhaps, likely to do so.
The first is that a student should not be on two 'varsity teams in the same year. This would bring two good results. It certainly would tend to reduce undue exactions of athletics upon the time and energy of individuals, and it would increase the general utility of athletics. The more men who can be induced to train for athletic contest, the better will be the University. Now if the chances of making 'varsity teams were increased, the number of candidates would increase in much the same proportion. Moreover, this regulation would have no small results if the past is to be taken as an indication of the future. In the last three years, from the thirty-five men who have met Yale in football, seventeen have been on 'varsity teams in the spring. In regard to this regulation it must, however, be borne in mind that Harvard could not afford to adopt it single-handed. The statement of President Eliot that the adoption of these regulations would not decrease the chances for victory over other 'varsity teams is, it seems to us, probably erroneous. None the less, if Harvard can propose good reforms, we believe that they will be put into practice not only here but elsewhere.
The President further suggests that college games should be played on college grounds. The place does not seem to us so very important; the crews must row away from the colleges and one of the best features of the football matches would be lost if the support was onesided. It certainly would be well, however, to have college games before college assemblages. The athletic games which are largely attended by the outside public tend alike to give the public a wrong estimate of the function of universities, to give the students a wrong impression of what the outside world thinks important, and it also draws to the unversities a wholly undesirable class of notoriety-seeking, half-professional athletes. These, if no more, of the President's suggestions promise much practical benefit, and will repay thorough attention.
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