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The dispute over the recent Harvard-Yale boxing match was due to an honest difference of opinion. A distinct ambiguity in the rules resulted in a difficult decision of the pivotal Huffman-Olney bout. The final judgement on this question must be placed before a competent authority, and its decision accepted in a spirit of common sense and mutual regard for the opposite point of view.
The bone of contention was the method of judging. Harvard has for some years adhered to the NCAA Rules, which Yale adopted this year for the first time. These regulations provide for decision by two judges, on a point basis, the referee having the power, by Rule Seven, "to cast the deciding vote when the Judges disagree". Harvard has in the past gone on the assumption that these rules implied the casting of each vote as an entity, giving the winner a vote of either 2-0 or 2-1. By this application of the rules, the judges need not reveal how many points they have awarded each contestant. Last week, however, Yale adopted a method of adding the points given to each fighter by the two judges and referee, and awarding the bout to the man amassing the most points. Because of this difference of opinion, Huffman of Yale won his bout with Olney by 1 1/2 points, although the Harvard interpretation would have made Olney the winner by a 2-1 count, as one judge and the referee voted for him.
No protest or hard feeling has arisen on either side as a result of this dispute; it is simply a question of which method is the correct one. Only a high tribunal can settle issues involving a direct difference of opinion as to the interpretation of existing laws. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is the supreme court of boxing, and must therefore be consulted in this matter. Harvard and Yale must agree to accept the opinion of this body and allow it to stand as a precedent for future boxing decisions.
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