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To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
I read with much interest your editorial "Blue Laws in Athletics." The last part of it was most interesting to me as I suppose I am one of the graduates who would "Prevent a transferred student from playing on a Harvard team any time during his entire stay here."
Transferring of college and school athletes has become very pronounced during the past few years. It is quite possible that some of these transfers were made "unsolicitated"; but unfortunately the great majority were made at the instigation of some person interested in seeing a star come to his university or school to build up the university team. I know of no way that the latter phase of the situation can be stopped except by barring the athlete from university teams. If the CRIMSON can suggest a better way, no doubt the graduates who are opposed to transferring for athletics would be very glad to hear of it. No one wants to keep the student who comes to Harvard for better educational advantages from competing on Harvard University teams; but all should want to stop the athlete who is transferring just for his own personal athletic reputation or because some graduate, undergraduate, coach or friend has "solicitated" him.
You say why discriminate against the transfer and give him none of the benefits of Soldiers Field? No one proposes that he be denied the benefits of Soldiers Field. If he is transferring for education al advantages and is a good athlete, I am sure that he will be welcomed at Soldiers Field to play on the scrubs, practice with University or Freshman candidates and take part in practice games, the same way as did R. W. Fitts in football in the fall of 1919, the Thomson brothers at Princeton, etc.
But granting that you deny him the right to get benefits from Soldiers Field because he has transferred and not been a Harvard student from the start, do you realize that when you are allowing a transferred athlete to compete on a Harvard University team, you are keeping off a student who has been at Harvard from the very start and would have had the benefits of Soldiers Field and the honor of winning his University letter had he not been prevented from making the team because you permitted a transferred student to win his place away from him?
Please do not think that those who advocate keeping off transferred athletes from school and college teams are doing this in order to injure the student who transfers for that is not the case. If some way could be found by which the student who transferred for educational purposes could be sifted from the one who transfers for athletic purposes, justice could be done to all without the debarment for all time; but until such can be done, it would certainly be better to debar all, including the extremely few who have changed for educational purposes, than to have the present system continue, especially as it is becoming commoner every year. It is very certain that if a check is not put on it in the near future, it will be a worse evil than semi-professionalism and will eventually ruin intercollegiate sports. GEORGE M. R. HOLMES '98. March 14, 1921.
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