President Abbott Lawrence Lowell led the movement for restrictive admissions at Harvard College, supported by a substantial minority of the faculty and a majority of the alumni. The president emeritus became the unofficial rallying point for all the dissident elements within the Harvard family. Even though both men came from similar backgrounds, their temperaments, educational objectives, and social philosophies were in sharp contrast. At Annapolis, Superintendent Rear Admiral Russell Willson offered the Harvard team three choices: First, Navy would bench a player to compensate for the benching of Alexis; second, Navy would forfeit the game; or third, the Harvard administration would be phoned for a decision. The third course was followed. In the era after the Plessyv. Ferguson decision (1896), the two Harvard presidents, like most white Americans, endorsed the "separate but equal" doctrine and accepted Booker T. Washington as the spokesman for American Negroes.