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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Harry Cash

By Gwes Knapp

When observers recently asked why only two Blacks played on the 100 man varsity football squad no one was faster to defend the team than Harry Cash.

Cash, the only Black member of the starting lineup simply shrugs off the thought that minority athletes face disadvantages because of alleged bias or racism on the part of the team's coaching staff.

He jokes "Aside from the fact that they can make me sit back of the team bus- well other than that I can I see any form of racism.

Seriously

Seriously though I haven't experienced any sort of racism on the team," he continues. " I have always concern along with all of the coaches really well, Of Course. I don't know" all of them as well as I do my own coach Dick Corbin, but as far as I can tell, the only thing he discriminates against is bad talent."

The offensive guard also takes exception to the contention that Black members of the team often feel out of place, insisting that he has always felt comfortable among his teammates. So comfortable," in fact, that last spring he decided to extend his undergraduate career a semester in order to get every bit of foot ball experience he had coming to him.

Cash lost his sophomore season to a knee injury that threatened to end his career. Most of the coaches bad doubts, but after a year of intense reliabilitation. Cash returned to the playing field.

"I really didn't believes that it was a reality that I might never play again," Cash says now," I owe the people who work at the Dillon manners" room a lot-they were a lot of help when I was going through rehabilitation. I mean I know they get paid to do it, but they real's seemed to care.

After completing his junior and senior senior and-against all odds-entrenching himself in the starting lineup, Cash decided that two years of college football were not enough.

And so, with a season of eligibility left over from his ill-bated sophomore year, Cash chose to take a leave of absence last spring and return this fall to play an additional year

The Controller

After a spring of traveling in Florida and working crowd-control at Fenway Park, Cash moved into the Eliot House suite he shares with defensive tackle Stan Martin also a "five-year man" --and prepared for his final season and semester at Harvard.

"It coming back this fall worked out well, because the guys on the team didn't treat us like we were different than the other people in their Cash says "They really made me and Stun like we were a part of their group".

It would be difficult for anyone to accuse Cash of overstaying his welcome. Although he was not recruited by many football superpowers as a high schooler-Villanova, Syracuse, and Holy Cross did express interest, though-the Saugus. Mass native has developed into one of the stalwarts of Harvard's highly regarded offensive line.

Was I glad to see him come back for another year? I loved it having a pulling guard like that on our line, says senior running back Scott McCabe.

But as an offensive lineman, particularly one playing alongside All Ivy tackle Greg Brown and All-Ivy guard Mike Corbat, Cash rarely stand out to be an individual on the field.

Rather, it is in the teacher room, with fierce pre-game psych sessions that Cash distinguishes himself.

"If you ever saw Harry-before a game, banging his head against a locker, intensity dripping out his ears, you'd feel sorry for the guy who has to face him is the first quarter," Martin says.

Cash claims that his roommate's description is exaggerated, but he admits. "Sometimes, you start thinking about what you have to do too soon, and the adrenaline just starts flowing and you want to hit things".

As outlandish as some of his locker room antics might seem nothing could rival the time that Cash showed up at training camp with his entire head shaved save for a patch of hair that formed the letter. H "Unless, of course, it was the time he decided to have a Yale bulldog, transfixed by a knife tattooed on his hip.

Those may sound like mere stunts, but according to Cash's teammates they demonstrate the total commitment to Harvard football that has earned him almost universal respect.

"That was a classic Harry Cash move," Martin said of the head shaving maneuver.

That was my sophomore year. I was still young and crazy then," Cash says, " I always used to shave my head in high school-it gets pretty hot underneath that helmet-and so I thought that year I'd put an "H" up there.

For the Game, however. Cash is taking a very practical approach, " We have to put that disaster from last Saturday (Penn's 23-21 win behind us. We came into this season thinking we were champion, and we want to go out like champions,"

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