“It was a bizarre, magical request that apparently even cash-strapped Harvard University couldn’t refuse. The university, which recently cut hundreds of jobs and such perks as hot breakfast at dining halls in the wake of a 30 percent drop in its endowment, has given $600 to undergraduates Stacy Rush and Alana Biden, niece of U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, to start a Quidditch team. ‘It’s a combination of dodge ball, soccer and track,’ Rush said about the once-fictitious game, introduced to the world through J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ novels. ‘And then there’s the fantasy aspect,’ Rush continued about the sport whose players wear capes. ‘At its core, it is a wizard sport.’ The first real-life Quidditch team debuted at Middlebury College in 2005. Today, Harvard is among 200 schools with club-level teams.”
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