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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

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It affords us a melancholy satisfaction to learn that we were right in attaching so large an influence to Dr. Crosby's violent utterances against college sports. The press are already beginning to take the question up. A correspondent of the Boston Advertiser, who signs himself "A Victim," waxes very wroth over the subject. His letter is interesting as showing what is the probable temper of many outsiders in the matter. "For one," he cries, "I am rejoiced that at last a man of Dr. Crosby's standing has raised his voice to protest against an abuse which, as I believe, many have long wished to denounce. The plain language he uses about the mismanagement of our colleges is refreshing, and I hope it may have a wholesome effect. It is, as he says, an abomination and an outrage to allow young men to travel all over the country to play and witness matches, incurring expenses which in many cases their friends cannot afford, wasting time to the neglect of their real work, and exposed to various demoralizing influences. It is the clear duty of college governments to prohibit it absolutely, under penalty of expulsion. To allow and encourage it is a fraud upon parents, the majority of whom send their sons to college to obtain an education in something more valuable than athletics, though these have their proper places and their value. Harvard College is one of the chief, if not the chief, offenders in this respect, and I am only one of many who believe that its course in this, as in other matters, is as wrong as it can well be." It is appaling to contemplate the flood of denunciation and vilification to which we are now likely to be subjected as a result of these one-sided accusations. We listen in patience for more.

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