The changes in the University crew, if permanent, cannot be looked upon as anything but desperate. To take out a man who has set the stroke for two solid years, substituting an entirely new man with only ten days of practice before the Yale race, is staring defeat in the face, with only a possible chance of benefiting the crew. There is no comparison between the effect of putting in a new number 2, as last year, and changing the stroke--the one involves a single man's acquiring the rhythm of an already established stroke, the other making over the entire crew to suit a new rhythm. It cannot fail to be a question of "make or break."
The change is said to have been induced by the opinions expressed by certain graduates who witnessed the last time row of the crew before it left Cambridge. The idea appears to have arisen from the manifest lack of life which has been the characteristic fault of the crew throughout the latter part of the season. At the outset, the material and prospects were remarkable; the crew in its early stages seemed to be further advanced than last year's eight. Of late the rowing has fallen off, and the crew in its present stage is probably not as good as last year's--not only that, indications are that it is no better than Yale's. This is certainly a revelation, considering the foundation Yale had to go upon--principally last year's second-rate freshman crew. If the stroke is at fault it may be well to remove him, though the step is daring. We can only hope it will turn out better than experience would have us believe.