EDITORS HARVARD HERALD : Gentlemen - On Thursday evening a number of the men most interested in Harvard athletics had an interview with the "committee on athletics" appointed by the faculty. As the steps taken by the committee in regard to certain matters have a very important bearing upon the athletic interests of the college, I deem it my duty to explain fully to all members of the Athletic Association both what these steps taken by the committee are and their reasons for taking them.
Up to last spring the faculty had taken no notice at all of athletics; but, at that time, it seemed best to them to appoint a committee of three to look into the matter and to take such action in any direction as they might deem fit. The members of this committee were all very strongly of the opinion that athletics are essential to the highest welfare of the students; but, at the same time, they saw tendencies growing in the manner of conducting athletics which, unless checked, would be likely to more than offset all the advantages which are to be gained from athletics. They felt that the tendency of athletics, during the past few years, had been to efface that clearly defined line which separates amateur from professional athletics. They felt, also, that the strict observance of this line was essential to the furtherance of that high style of athletics which it is their desire to promote.
The first point which attracted the attention of the committee was in regard to the base-ball nine, and does not, therefore, concern the Athletic Association. Suffice it to say that President Eliot has written to the faculties of all the colleges with which our nine plays matches, asking them if they will forbid the nines of their respective colleges to play games with professional clubs, in case Harvard takes the initiative in that direction. Affirmative answers have been received from all the colleges addressed, except Yale, and she has not been heard from at all. A favorable answer is expected, however, from her also, in which case the nine will not be allowed to play any games with professional clubs. The second matter taken up by the committee was the advisability of allowing athletes to have a "professional" trainer. In considering this matter it seemed best to them to remove all sanction from such trainers, and they have therefore forbidden any "professional" trainer to appear on the college grounds. The committee realize that it is necessary for athletes to have some one to look after them and to see that they do not injure themselves in any way. For this reason the committee have sent a request to the corporation that some man may be appointed, with a fixed salary, to have a place in the gymnasium and to look out for the welfare of all athletes. It is the desire of the committee that this man shall be appointed from the ranks of those amateurs who have been heretofore connected with college athletics.
While recognizing the fact that such a man will be very hard to get, and that until he is got Harvard's athletes will be at a great disadvantage at the "intercollegiate athletics games," the committee yet deem it their duty to obtain such a man as a measure which will raise the standard of athletics in the college and in the end prove most advantageous to the success of Harvard athletes. Until such a man is appointed, Dr. Sargent is to take care that no man injures himself in any way by exercise. Under his charge, too, men will be hired to act as "rubbers down," and a scale of prices for "rubbing down" will be drawn up. The committee also intend to issue within a few days a set of rules which are to be observed by all the athletic organizations. As no "professional" trainer is to be allowed, it will be seen that Mr. Robinson can have no cause for complaint on account of his dismissal by the committee. The committee have the welfare of all Harvard athletics thoroughly at heart, and it is to be hoped that their dealings with the various athletic organizations will be the most harmonious possible. Respectfully yours,
G. E. LOWELL,President H. A. A.