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The statement of President Lowell of Harvard, issued yesterday to the press, marked a notable and praiseworthy advance on the part of America's oldest educational institution to decrease emphasis on a most undesirable side of American athletic policy: namely, that side involving concentrated and spectacular participation in sports by the few, and its consequent neglect by the many.
The step he suggests to arrive at a correction of this one-sided development is the substitution of one intercollegiate contest in each sport for the multiplicity which now exists. The necessary result, to be inferred from this move, would be a decreased emphasis on frequent gladiatorial combats, supported by huge gate receipts, and a corresponding transfer of attention to individual physical, training.
President Lowell's suggestion, if serious effort should be made to apply it at Harvard or any other university, would call forth, we feel sure, overwhelming expressions of protest from the vested interests of the firmly entrenched athletic machines which dominate so largely the life of American colleges. Whether such protests would have reason on their side remains open to doubt. That they would have the might power of conservatism on their side is certain.
Liberals, of whom there are few, will welcome President Lowell's proposal. Reactionaries, of whom there are many, will condemn it. Its principle, however, and its immediate object appear to us to deserve the credit due all progressive moves. --The Daily Princetonian.
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