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Fair Play

THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The Crimson:

I hardly know where to begin in criticizing your recent news analysis of the controversy over the athletic directorship and, specifically, the resignation of Robert Peck. As I was one of the undergraduate signers of the letter endorsing Jack Reardon and Baaron Pittenger, and as that was the most arrogant and offensive part of the article in my view, I shall begin there. The author was kind enough to first point out why we thought we wrote the letter, i.e., to prevent the appointment of "an outsider who would de-emphasize the intercollegiate athletic program." Fair enough. He then, however, in a paragraph conveniently following the above description, told us and the readership of The Crimson why we really wrote the letter. He implied that we were merely the pawns of our high-powered, overzealous coaches who were fearful of Peck's affect on the recruiting of high school athletes. This is very convenient indeed for those who smell conspiracies behind any positive action contrary to The Crimson's liberal viewpoint, but unfortunately it is simply untrue. The group of forty athletes who signed the letter represent all intercollegiate athletes at Harvard, a larger group that strives for excellence and self-expression in a setting of competitiveness that intercollegiate athletics provides. It was in the interest of ourselves and that larger group that the letter was written, not the interests of our coaches.

Secondly, the article implies that the alumni and the "old boys" network won out over the better interests of the University through a letter campaign that was a political power play. This is the second conspiracy the author implies, and it too is a false one. If alumni who have worn Harvard's colors as undergraduate athletics, and have supported Harvard by their attendance at athletic contests and by their financial backing cannot write the administration and express their support of Reardon and Pittenger, as well as their dissatisfaction with the possibility of the choice of Peck, without it being misrepresented as a conspiracy, then it is a sad day indeed for Harvard and its athletic department.

Finally, I would just like to say that in Jack Reardon and Baaron Pittenger, we have two of the finest possible candidates for the athletic director's position. My personal opposition to Peck is strong in that, by reputation, he is a man who would favor intramural athletics over intercollegiate athletics, and has also been involved in several disturbing incidents. Reardon and Pittenger on the other hand have served Harvard well, support intercollegiate and intramural athletics, are well established in the Harvard community and would each fill the position very capably. Your article did a great disservice to both, and implied a huge network of alumni and coaches conspiring to oust a better man. You are quite wrong on both counts. Lyman G. Bullard, Jr.'77

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