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That good athletes are apt to be good students, that Harvard track men as a group, lead all other Crimson athletes in the class-room, and that football players at Harvard are consistently poor scholars, are conclusions to be deduced from the first intensive study of scholastic standings of Harvard athletes, figures of which were made public this morning by H. W. Clark '23, Assistant Athletic Director at Harvard, who under the Bingham regime has been acting as a link between the H. A. A. and University Hall.
In the table of percentages released yesterday, covering the records at the mid-year examinations last year and this year, and the final examinations last year, the records of all the athletes of University squad rank are considered.
Commenting on these figures, Clark made the following statement:
"The comparison of scholastic grades between athletes and non-athletes for the last three examination periods puts the athlete in, an average or better-than-average position as compared to ordinary students at Harvard.
"It is certain that while football is uniformly low, the group is not as low during and after their season as they are in the second half-year which may be called the off-season. These figures give the 'lie' to anyone who contends that football crowds are synonymous with overemphasis and consequently affect the players disastrously.
"As to the reason for football being consistently lower than the other sports, probably the best answer that can be advanced is that in football there are more men who come to college to engage in their chosen activity than in any other major sport in the College. Track men noticeably, and baseball and crew candidates to a lesser extent, are drawn from men who come to college without big reputations in their preparatory schools.
"This does not mean that the good schoolboy athlete is necessarily a poor college student, but it does show that the good schoolboy athlete is under a handicap in college, probably because he has lost the proper perspective between studies and athletics. Experience has shown that the average star athlete in school, is an indifferent or, at best, average school student. When he enters college he become a below-the-average or probation student and consequently is not of much use to his team.
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