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Athletic Director Bingham's annual report to President Conant again emphasizes the necessity for drastic economics in the athletic program. Although the budget was balanced this year without dropping any sport from intercollegiate competition, Mr. Bingham declares that such action will be necessary in some sports as expense reduction must continue even though it is at a minimum under the present scale of operations. For every reason it would be unfortunate to lower the minor sports to an intramural status, so the funds must in some way be procured.
Physical education has come to be as important as it was in former years considered superfluous and effete. Statistics show, moreover, that a large percentage of Harvard undergraduates are dependent for their exercise on the minor sports which are liable to demotion. The desultory interest shown in House athletics shows that the step from intercollegiate to intramural status is a big one, and that many students find the spur of scheduled outside matches necessary to make them appear at all in the gymnasium or on the field. To abolish this competition would be to start a rapid decline in some of the most worthwhile of Harvard athletic pursuits.
The task of making provision for these compelling needs is a hard one. Still, its appeal must be universal, and cooperation, if sought, may perhaps be obtained in this problem. As far as long term athletic financing is concerned, endowment is the logical and satisfactory answer for the future, combined, of course, with a continuation of a policy of keeping costs down as much as is humanly possible. The training of the mind is liberally provided for, but is comparatively futile without a corresponding care for that of the body. In due course farsighted graduates may fill this vital need. In the meantime, however, a stop-gap method must be applied.
A levy of ten dollars for the Freshman participation ticket is one type of temporary measure which should deal satisfactorily with the problem. A scaling down of the price for men on scholarships would be a fair provision, by way of softening the blow of an unexpected expense to these men. These extra funds would solve the H.A.A.'s minor sports question for the present, and should not be opposed by Freshmen of immediately approaching years. These men use the athletic facilities free only because of the compulsory character of yearling athletics. Yet if they did not exercise on a regular schedule the ten dollar difference might easily be taken up in larger Stillman Infirmary fecs.
This arrangement could be modified greatly in the event of an increase in gate receipts which would alleviate the necessity for it. Until such an occurrence the ten dollar levy on first year men would allocate the expense in a highly unburden-some fashion.
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