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Alumni and Football



The CRIMSON will reprint letters of less than 200 words in length. All letters must be signed, but the CRIMSON will withhold the writer's name upon request.

To the Editor of the CRIMSON:

In this age of intense competition for the best all-around students, we cannot rest upon the reputation of Harvard. Family tradition is no longer potent. Today men attend the college of their choice rather than the college of their parents. I suggest that it is a proper function of the alumni to influence that choice.

It does not lie in our mouths to criticize the student body at Cambridge. Its character is substantially affected by our inactivity. Our duty is to cooperate with the College authorities in organized, intelligent effort to attract the finest young men whom our country produces . . . The suggestion that the Committee discriminates against football players appears to me incapable of proof, inherently improbable, and entirely at variance with the character and standing of the Committee, composed as it is of wise and able men. It would be more accurate to say that the Committee on Admissions endeavors to apply standards similar to those which govern the award of Rhodes Scholarships: character, scholarship, athletic ability, and promise of future usefulness. If we as almuni were instrumental in submitting to the Committee applicants measuring up to its standards, we need not fear that Harvard may sink to the level of the University of Chicago.

The seniors who contributed illuminating letters to the Alumni Bulletin seemed to think that material for a good football team exists today in Harvard College. Individual instruction in the fundamental technique of the game is apparently required, because the freshman classes do not include any substantial number of finished football players. This means that it is necessary for each class to produce a group of 20 or 30 men who are determined to undergo for four years the grind of modern football. It also connotes the existence of a sufficient staff of competent coaches . . . .

I do not suggest that it is necessary for Harvard to imitate Ohio State in order to achieve her proper place in intercollegiate athletics. I do believe that it is the responsibility of the Alumni to direct towards Harvard the cream of the country, particularly from the South and West. This is the most effective way in which we can support the action of the College authorities, who have chosen Mr. Jordan to head up the renaissance of football at Harvard. I wish the new coach the best of luck in his high undertaking. P. Randolph Harris, LL.B. '15

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