April 26, 1977
Dear Search Committee,
So you're in a fix, huh? Looking for a new athletic director but unable to come up with one, is that it? Well, look no further. I think I've found an answer to your dilemma.
You see, it occurred to me in the shower the other morning that I was probably as qualified--if not more so--than any of the other candidates you're considering.
I'm quite familiar with the Harvard/Radcliffe athletic scene, I've already met all of my General Education requirements, and my SAT scores were in double figures. Barely.
As for past experience, I worked four summers at a camp on Cape Cod, so this job should be a piece of cherry-covered cheese cake by comparison.
At first, I was hesitant to write you, but events of the last 24 hours made up my mind. Particularly one-the towing of my car yesterday morning by Pat's.
Now let's get one thing straight, and I think most people around here--with the exception of those feudal lords in the Population Center who ordered my car towed in the first place--would agree: Pat's Towing Service is a disgrace to mankind.
Anyway, it was $15 down the drain, which, added to the five I had to shell out to get my picture in the yearbook, puts me in the red. So I need the money, and I'm coming to you.
To tell you the truth, though, I really can't understand why you're taking so long to fill this position. Mr. Watson, it seems, announced his decision to step down well-nigh six months ago, presumably to give his successor plenty of time to get acclimated.
Yet you've displayed such speed in finding a replacement for Mr. Watson that a race between two crippled turtles would have taken less time.
If given this opportunity, I would keep things pretty much status quo, with a handful of minor changes thrown in for good measure.
For one thing, I'd probably fire at least four current coaches of major sports teams, all of whom have about as much conception of how to run varsity athletic programs at Harvard as the Philadelphia 76er's have of playing as a team.
Secondly, I'd try-new athletic complex or no new athletic complex--to give the majority of the student body (i.e.undergraduates who don't play at the intercollegiate level) a better shake. For instance, have you ever tried to get some court time at the IAB without being told that you're not on the varsity, so go home?
As for the swimming pool, it's not that easy to swim for a few laps in bumper-to-bumper traffic. You practically need a helicopter overhead to tell you what lanes are safe, which have tie-ups and which have breakdown lanes. Next year had better be different.
And then I'd get together with the various Radcliffe athletic teams and inform them that with varsity status, recruits and intensive media coverage come criticisms, second guesses and everything else that's accorded the men's teams. Life's not all pats on the back up here in the bigs.
Finally, I'd raise a great many questions about a search committee that stalls, ices the puck and takes an indeterminate number of walks to the pitcher's mound before nominating a new athletic director. It seems to me that if you were in a crew race, they'd say you had caught a crab--an expression, incidentally, that I finally mastered this weekend. I used to think that only crews in Maryland could catch crabs.
Thus, for all of the above reasons, I believe that I would be a strong candidate for the athletic directorship, and I hope that you consider me seriously. Looking forward to hearing from you in the near future. Sincerely yours,