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The Great Student-Athlete Chase

The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I have gathered from recent news articles that all the powers that be, from Mr. Conant on down to our South Korean alumni, have united in one sublime effort to produce the most ridiculous farce of them all--the scholar-athlete.

The ludicrous aspects of this animal are clearly pointed out in the proposed method of capturing him. The process starts when some bibulous old tribute to Harvard's greatness spots a good high school football player--and he will always spot the scholar-athlete as an athlete, not as a scholar. A check, doubtless a hasty one, with the principal or headmaster of the young man's school, to find out whether he can meet Harvard's academic requirements, represents the entire investigation of the lad as a scholar.

The citadel of American education, however, will not be so lax in examining him as an athlete. An exhaustive perusal of his gridiron pedigree ensues, under the guidance of Lloyd Jordan, who, Mr. Bender notwithstanding, seems to be our new director of admissions. In addition, we have such nauseating stunts as entertaining entire prep school football teams at one of our Saturday afternoon flascos, a device calculated to lure scholar-athletes by evoking their feelings of pity.

But there is an even more unfortunate aspect of the situation. While Harvard is prostituting its standards under the thin veneer of the scholar-athlete hogwash, it is highly unlikely that it will get a good football team. This year's freshman juggernaut is a case in point. For months indignant howls have been raised about Harvard's going "professional." The best refutation of this charge is the fact that the freshman team, composed largely, I have no doubt, of scholar-athletes, has a record that is, if possible below the Harvard norm. Paul S. Aipers '53

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