Saturday night showed the need for athletes

To the Editor:

As a recent Yale graduate and an avid Bulldog fan, I have followed with interest the recent debate over the recruitment of varsity athletes to New Haven. The side opposing recruitment makes valid points. It’s true that much of collegiate athletics has become farcical in its emphasis on the latter half of the term “student-athlete.”

But opponents of high-level varsity athletics at Yale miss the mark in a number of ways. For starters, Bulldog athletes are hardly the mercenaries that suit up for many other Division I schools. They are achievers both in the classroom and on the court before admission.

Sports have a unique ability to bring a campus together. During the men’s basketball team’s inspired victories over perennial powerhouses Penn and Princeton, a diverse student body that doesn’t agree on much joined together in a common goal. Rarely has there been such a buzz about campus as there is now, with the men’s basketball team in contention for its first trip to the NCAA tournament in 40 years.

The fact that a debate continues to rage about the place of varsity athletics is evidence of Yale’s status as a first-rate collegiate institution. After all, a good political debate is healthy. But so is the Bulldog basketball program.

Matthew Goldenberg MED ’03

February 11, 2002

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