The University basketball team has recently finished one of the most discouraging seasons ever experienced by any Harvard athletic organization. Handicapped at the start by a small squad and a short schedule, the members of the team did the best they knew how, but were defeated in seven of the eight games played. Their competitors came from places where basketball is rated more highly than at Cambridge, as a consequence of which the games were usually one-sided. When they played in the Hemenway Gymnasium, Harvard men turned out in very small numbers and the team undoubtedly felt that to many of the undergraduates it was no great concern whether they won or lost.
We believe that the reason for their lack of interest lies in the game itself. Played on a hard floor in a poorly ventilated hall, it is naturally not as attractive as out-of-door exercise, and the games often more closely resemble free fights than friendly contests between amateur teams. Although the two-period rule may possibly prevent some men from going out, it can not account for the general attitude, and its abolition would be no considerable factor toward the success of the team. At other eastern colleges, notably Yale and Brown, similar disapproval has been expressed, but the teams have nevertheless received better support than here.
Since it is undoubtedly true that a number of men enjoy playing basketball, we do not propose to deprive them of their opportunity. Interclass and scrub series should be continued, but it hardly seems just to have a team representing Harvard in as important a sport as this, when there is so little interest taken by the undergraduates.