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The defeat in one day of seven out of eight teams representing the University is an almost unprecedented event in the athletic history of Harvard. Although in no way explaining this occurrence the speeches made at the Varsity Club dinner on Friday throw a certain amount of light on the subject.
The most pregnant speech of the evening was given by Percy Haughton, who discussed the lapse of athletic discipline at the University this spring.
Mr. Haughton emphasized the most common offense--the breaking of training, physical and mental. There have been serious breaks in both these respects here this spring, especially in the latter, as nearly every team is suffering from the loss of men who are on probation.
The average undergraduate of the present day is liable to treat too lightly infractions of athletic discipline, and there is no substantial public opinion against the offenders. The principal cause of this is the lapse in the athletic tradition of Harvard caused by the hiatus of the war.
To most undergraduates the Varsity Club seems like a club without a purpose substantially beneficial to the college. If every man in the college could have heard the stories of the former victories on the diamond, track and river, and the opinion of the graduates concerning the present situation, he would realize the seriousness of the lax state of affairs here now. By establishing a closer connection between the graduate and the undergraduate athlete, the Varsity Club could make itself of more real use to the college by helping revive the tradition which the war has interrupted.
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