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A thoroughly reorganized and more compact Overseers' Visiting Committee on Athletic Sports will soon supplant the 23-man group which resigned secretly the day after the Yale football game, it was reported last week. The new chairman is George Witney '97, president of the Board of Overseers and chairman of the board of directors of J.P. Morgan and Co.
Besides forming the usual policy recommendations for the Overseers, Corporation, Provost, and Athletic Association, the new group will seek to step up alumni interest in Harvard athletics and will also help integrate the several graduate and undergraduate groups that are now striving to interest more all around students in coming to the College.
News of the committee reorganization first appeared December 28 in the New York Herald Tribune, but the University has as yet issued no official confirmation of the shakeup, and Whitney last night called the newspaper stories "garbled." It is likely that the matter awaits final action by next Monday's meeting of the Overseers.
Vice-Chairman of Old Group
Whitney served as vice-chairman of the old group, which was headed by Henry W. Clark '23. Names of the new committee members will not be made public until next week, but chances are that the new body will be more youthful and will contain only about a dozen members.
A spokesman for the new committee, quoted by the Herald Tribune, Characterized the group's stand on football as follows: "We realize that football is important but still don't want a so-called 'big-time' team; but we do want a so-called 'big-time' team; but we do want a team as good as Yale and Princeton." This theme echoes the gist of several football policy statements made recently by Provost Buck.
While news of the committee shakeup after two losing football seasons came as a surprise, the move was termed "just a reorganization" by outgoing chairman Clark yesterday. In fact, the change probably does not represent any policy dispute but simply reflects the University's desire for a much more active alumni group.
Endicott ("Chub") Peabody '41, a member of the old committee, explained, "The situation was just that members of our committee felt they, couldn't do the job they would like to do and wanted to turn the assignment over to some new faces."
It is understood that President Conant had a role in reorganising the committee, and that part of the new group's job will be to help tie together the work of such groups as the Associated Harvard Clube, the Varsity Club, and the Crimson Key, and to improve their programs of spreading information about Harvard to schoolboys throughout the nation.
Resignation Net Sudden
Although the resignation of the old committee did not come until November 26, it was actually in the making for some time before the close of the football season. Whitney was not a member of the committee until very recently, when he replaced Richard C. Floyd '10 as the vice-chairman.
For many years Whitney was a member of the Committee on the Regulation of Athletic Sports, and he was instrumental in securing the appointments of Dick Harlow and Tom Bolles as football and crew coaches. As an undergraduate Whitney was a member of the crew.
Whitney became an Overseer in 1947 and president in 1949. He has also served a chairman of the visiting committed on Physics, Stillman Infirmary, and the Business School. He is a former president of the Harvard Club of New York.
Besides Clark, Whitney, Floyd, and Peabody, the Overseers' old committee on athletic sports included W. Barry Wood, Jr. '22, Alexander H. Bright '19, Victor O. Jones '23, Arnold Horween '21, Sinclair Weeks '14, and 12 others. It is not yet known whether any or these members, besides Whitney, will be retained in the new group
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