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To the Sports Editor of the CRIMSON:
The article by John Powers ("Powers of the Press") in the CRIMSON of November 12 deserves some comment in regard to freshman football. The freshman program at Harvard is designed to give all candidates an opportunity to play. The long-range aim is to provide players for the varsity level. Each year Harvard attracts some of the best high school talent in the country, but high school talent is not always adequate for collegiate programs. The coaching staff which numbers seven, not four, has done as competent a job as possible under the circumstances in acquainting these players with the Harvard system and getting them ready to make the jump to the varsity level. Ten winning seasons show the program has produced some results.
When a squad numbers 94, as the freshman team does now, the problem of games and playing opportunities for each individual arises. This year the freshman schedule, as it has in the past, was broken into two parts. 'A' and 'B'. Most other sports would treat it as one. The games totaled eleven, not six, and everyone was given the opportunity to compete on both levels of the schedule. Some have made the adjustments from high school football and will be ready to move on to the varsity next year. Naturally eleven games are still not enough, but the scheduling difficulties in an area like Boston are understandable; with the exception of Boston College, area schools will not or cannot play Harvard. Prep schools and academies, such as Exeter and Milford, make up the bulk of the 'B' schedule.
The shame of Harvard freshman football. if one may call it that, is the lack of the common "cut." No one is cut from the squad at any time. The final decision to continue playing or not rests with the individual player. As a result only those who want to play will remain. In most cases these are the football-players, not the temporary stars.
The freshman football program at Harvard is vastly different than those in some area colleges and in the Big Ten. As much as is possible with the vast numbers sent us each year, all players are given a chance to prove themselves under game conditions. If any aspect of the football program is wrong, it's probably in the recruiting system which consistently sends us this talent and in the Admissions office which accepts it.
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