Recommendation that swimming join the ranks of major sports starting with the 1938 team was made by the Student Council last night. Final decision depends upon the action of the Committee on the Regulation of Athletic Sports.
Authored by Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. '38, Charles L. Burwell '39, and F. Austin Harding, Jr. '39, a unanimously endorsed committee report found the pool sport fulfilling four criteria established in evaluation.
In addition to its main recommendation, the Council also urged a plan for the award of letters to swimming as a major.
If the Athletic Committee, of which William J. Bingham '16 is chairman, endorses the Student Council advisory vote, swimming will become the seventh Harvard major sport.
Listed as the four criteria in the report are: number of undergraduates participating; the interest in the sport from the spectator's point of view; i.e., do attendance records compare favorably with those of the other major sports; the training and competitive periods in comparison with other major sports; and the positiin of the sport as a "major" in other colleges and universities of the country.
Excerpts on these criteria are quoted from the report:
"Statistics published each year . . . show that more men take advantage of the pool than any other single athletic facility of the University." "There are approximately 50 men on the Varsity squad."
"These numbers (attendance figures) are about equal to those present at the basketball games. The H. A. A. anticipates an early sale of all tickets for the Harvard-Yale meet of this year, since it could not obtain as many tickets from the Y. A. A. as it had request- ed."
"As to the length of the training season, it, compares favorably with that of the other major sports. It extends from October to March, there being approximately 15 weeks of actual intercollegiate competition."
"In the Big Ten universities, swimming ranks as a major sport, without qualification. In the East, there are only a few universities which give major letters for placing in this sport."
Award of Letters
With regard to the awarding of letters the Connell would suggest the following plan:
"The award of major letters only to those who place in the Yale meet, to other competitors receiving minor "H's" in major colors. However, if the team should place first in the Eastern Intercollegiate League, major letters would be granted to all on the team, i.e., those who swim against Yale. This would provide for the man who had placed second on many occasions throughout the League meets, but who had been in the Yale meet defeated by two Yale swimmers who were champions in his event