Get a clue, Ned, or just go home

The problem with Ned Fulmer ’09 is that he is not a student-athlete.

We would not dare to call into question the talents or qualifications of drama, music or art students simply because we have faith in Yale admissions standards and admit to knowing nothing about what it takes to be successful in these fields. One thing we have learned in our time at Yale is that sometimes the most important lessons are outside of the classroom. The most unlikely people and the most unexpected circumstances often are the best teachers. Ned, here is your opportunity to learn a lesson.

In Tuesday’s edition of the News (“Either go big, Bulldogs, or just go home,” 4/15), Fulmer made the grossly negligent assumption that Yale does not purport to officially recruit student-athletes. He also claimed athletes gain acceptance to Yale based upon a “substandard” admission profile. The reality, however, is very different. Yale readily admits to recruiting athletes and the process is designed to attract individuals who are remarkable both as students and as athletes. Fulmer ignored the Ivy League’s “Academic Index.” This is the Ancient Eight’s guard against admitting academically unqualified individuals. According to the AI system, recruiting classes are forced to be proportionally representative of the freshman class based on the major factors of SAT/ACT scores and high-school GPA.

Fulmer also insisted that Yale’s student-athletes are more likely to be “apathetic toward collegiate academia.” We have found the opposite to be true. By virtue of our decision to attend Yale, we all made the commitment to balance both school and athletics. Maintaining this balance is more demanding than functioning as an average non-athlete student. Rare is the non-athlete who experiences 6 a.m. conditioning, 8 a.m. meetings, full class schedules crammed in the middle of the day, 3 p.m. weight lifting, 4 p.m. practices, evening sections and a part-time job, as well as other academic, professional and extracurricular responsibilities. Athletes possess unique talents and contribute to this college in ways that others do not. Their ability to be successful student athletes at Yale is what makes them qualified.

Given the current campus climate toward offensive speech, it is surprising that Fulmer ignorantly buys into generalizations about student-athletes. We doubt that administrators at numerous New Haven elementary and middle schools would call us “disrespectful” or “disruptive.” Rather, the hundreds of athlete volunteers at these schools are role models for their students.

While Fulmer considers our non-scholarship status as indicative of mediocrity, the stunning successes of Yale’s athletes and teams presents an entirely different picture. In our four years at Yale, we have seen 12 teams become Ivy League champions. Currently, Bulldog rosters are filled with academic/athletic All-Americans, national champions, Olympic qualifiers and potential professional athletes, as well as many athletes who turned down scholarships to attend Yale on their own dime.

Fulmer’s argument is quick to point to Stanford as a model school. Examining this comparison more closely, we found that during our time here Stanford ranked 52nd in football attendance, while Yale ranked an impressive third in our respective subdivision, surpassing fellow FCS school Appalachian State, recent victors over Michigan at the Big House. This year, the Yale Bowl has been more crowded than Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium.

To call us mediocre is to insult each and every student-athlete who has graduated from Yale. These alumni are leaders in society and continue to foster and uphold the great traditions of this University.

Consider a few dumb jocks who were once “barely surviving gut classes” as student athletes at Yale: Kurt Schmoke ’71, football/lax, former mayor of Baltimore, dean of Howard Law School; former President George Bush ’48, baseball captain; Laurie Mifflin ’73, field hockey, editor for the New York Times; President William Howard Taft 1878, wrestler; Stone Phillips ’77, football, NBC news anchor; Richard P. Cooley ’44, lost an arm in WWI but returned to win a squash national championship, retired CEO of SeaFirst Corp.; Anne F. Keating ’77, field hockey/basketball/lax, managing director of CornFerry International.

In the conclusion of his piece, Fulmer raised the interesting issue of the future of Ivy athletics. On one hand, we stand to represent the values of sportsmanship, true scholarship and amateur sports. We also strive to achieve a level of success worthy of this world-class, academic institution. At this point, Fulmer gets lost in a maze of ignorance, stereotypes and cluelessness. While he was in his suite, wondering where all the athletes were, we were solving his Ivy League sports dilemma.

In order to improve the state of Yale’s athletics and its perception by non-athletes, Yale should approve post-season play for ALL sports, including football, and a conference tournament for basketball; second, it should eliminate the eight-semester rule that forces injured athletes to withdraw from the Yale community to retain their rightful eligibility; thirdly, someone needs to invite Ned Fulmer to a Yale Varsity Parents’ Tailgate, a Student-Athlete Community Outreach Event or an Alumni-Athlete Career Night so he can appreciate the diverse backgrounds of Yale athletes, who hail from every corner of the globe, inhabit every tax bracket, embrace every major and go on to achieve greatness in the name of Yale.

Yale is a place filled with extraordinary people who are characterized by a multitude of talents and skills. Rather than waste time focusing on our differences or divisions, let us unite and channel our energy toward solving the larger issues in society and around the globe. We are all privileged to be Yalies. We should disregard any differences that might exist and celebrate our gifts and achievements together.

Stephen Schmalhofer and David Silberstein are seniors in Jonathan Edwards and Ezra Stiles colleges, respectively. They are members of the Yale football team.


  • Student-athlete '08

    I think this editorial is a well-written one that responds well to Fulmer's biased, overgeneralized, and at times very offensive editorial. I applaud Schmalhofer and Silberstein for keeping a cool head in responding to Fulmer's inflamatory statements. However, while I agree that Schmalhofer and Silberstein make a number of great points about the contributions that many athletes make to Yale (and the community) both before and after graduation, I also think it is a fallacy to deny or ignore the existence of a strongly anti-academic culture that pervades a number of Yale's varsity teams. This can often lead to being proud of one's 'jock' status (rather than student-athlete) and taking pride in at least acting like one does not care about academics. This is clearly not true of perhaps the majority of athletes, but as someone who runs in both athlete and non-athlete circles, I know it to be definitely more pervasive among athletes. I feel it is simply false to deny that it exists. This is a problem, and something that does not have an easy solution. However, it is something that needs to be addressed and not denied away by pointing to the many athletes who do not feel this way.

  • Anonymous

    You guys make me proud to be a parent of a Yale student-athlete. Well done!

  • Anonymous

    spawn like article

  • non-athlete '10


  • Varsity Blue

    I think Yale’s non-athlete population is confused about the culture of varsity athletics. As was so eloquently stated by Schmalhofer and Silberstein, athletes do not have it easy in college. In an attempt to even the playing field at Yale, we are not offered the academic support systems that are in place at other Division-I institutions. The only way you could ever understand what it’s like to have a full practice, lift, film, and contest schedule on top of Yale’s academic requirements is to have experienced it yourself. Maybe when you hang out with “jocks” in a social setting, we are letting loose because we can; you don’t see members of varsity sports teams out when they have lift or run at 6:30 the next morning or an approaching event. I have actually dealt with professors who have lowered my grades for attendance in language classes because even with a dean’s excuse, you only get to miss five class days. Mine were spent on varsity travel days, not sleeping in, working on a paper, studying for a test, or nursing a hangover. I am sick of regs copping attitude with athletes. We get back from practice in time to get to Commons, exhausted from practice, and are expected to go to section and get our work done before repeating the cycle the next day. Don’t tell me you can even comprehend what it’s like to leave for an event on Thursday and not get back until late Sunday and only have (maybe) an hour or two to get work done when we get back to the hotel at night. That means we’re on campus for three days the week we compete, and we do not get any help from professors or administrators. Also, if your only experience with college athletes is the ones at Yale, then you need to look farther. Check out the athlete culture at your local state school; trust me, we’re not as meaty as you think we are.

  • Flying Bananakt

    You could add Nicole Piasecki '84, President of Boeing Japan and VP Boeing International to your list of athletes. 1982-83 All-Time First Team All-Ivy League Field Hockey. 1984 Women's Lacrosse Bowditch Award (MVP), 3rd all time Assists in a Season 1984 and career and 6th in career points, among other accomplishments.

  • Alum

    On behalf of all Yale student-athletes, THANK YOU for taking the time to present the facts so eloquently.

  • Anonymous

    I am sports photographer. I also work in an "elite" college admissions office. My husband is a highschool coach, teacher of science APs, and dean. Our son is student athlete at Yale. I read Ned's piece. The ignorance he displayed is not unusual. I deal with, see and hear similar ignorant expressions every day. While I am disgusted by these opinions, I hope for positive reaction on the part of student athletes. For those who live a public life [and you better believe playing sports is public!], and particularly, those who are given sought after opportunities, and are successful, the bar is set the highest.
    My son chose Yale, because it was the only college, university, IVY "recruiting" him where he was invited to play two sports. He graduated in the top 10 of his highschool class. He is far from perfect, but appears to be taking advantage of a wide variety of Yale's offerings.
    While I was very dismayed to read Ned's piece, I am very encouraged and happy to read David and Stephen's response. I hope more Yale student athletes will be provoked by Ned's comments toward positive action.

  • Colin Adamo

    The discussions generated by this piece, and Fulmer's yesterday have re-opened my eyes to just how terribly divided we are as a student body at Yale. No set of identities or beliefs that come with them haven't clashed acrimoniously here at Yale over the course of the 07-08 academic year and it's rather sad. We argue over race, gender, class, and as seen here even extra-curricular activity affiliation.

    What I find most interesting is that the one thing the entire undergraduate population came together on as ONE was in opposition to the two new colleges (I don't know maybe I'm wrong about that) and look at the response by the University to the one thing we were united about.

  • 08

    I agree with the first commentator. This is a powerful rebuttal of Ned's piece--well written and well deserved. But there are questions that it doesn't quite address, questions that Ned's inelegantly raised.

    1. The comparison between athletics and other extracurricular virtues--drama, music, art--is tricky. The institutional weight placed upon these "hooks" is obviously not comparable to that placed on athletic ability--look at the number of recruited varsity athletes vs. the number of recruited classical musicians, or account for the process the admissions office uses to track coaches' comments about athletic applicants. Is this fair? Why or why not?

    2. Is there, as the first commentator suggests and the fifth implies (he's "sick of regs copping attitude with athletes"), a culture gap between the varsity athletes and the non-athletes, whether in the classroom or in the common room? We can all point to individual examples and counterexamples--but broadly speaking, is it? Why?

    3. Is the core of Ned's argument more valid for certain teams than for others? This is an assumption implied, but not made explicit, by a lot of commentators on yesterday's article; if he ignores the national success and academic credentials of certain teams (including women's crew, squash, etc.), and paints with an overly broad brush, does that mean his problem is just that he's not being specific enough? What accounts for any inter-team differences that exist?

    Finally, I'd really reject the contentions of the fifth commentator that athletes are underappreciated or misunderstood. Participating in varsity athletics is a choice, not a requirement--a choice similar to those made by Yale Daily News editors, for example, whose lives are also decimated by extracurriculars. If you don't perceive it as a choice you've made but as a fundamental characteristic of your Yale career, does that underscore or defeat Ned's observations? Do we see participation in varsity athletics as some sort of contractual condition for admission to Yale? Is that fair to athletes?

  • Agreed

    Well done, Dave and Steve.

    It was on point in every aspect.

  • A.C.

    There's a lot fantastic, dedicated, hard-working student-athletes.

    There's also a lot of "dumb jocks", so to speak, who don't take their academics seriously.

    What's the problem? In the words of Woody Allen: "It's like anything else"

  • Anonymous

    The first line of this article, "Get a clue, Ned, or just go home," is: "The problem with Ned Fulmer ’09 is that he is not a student-athlete." What does this say? That the "problem" with Y is he isn't a X, one of us? That a "problem" is the natural consequence of not being an X, a "student-athlete?" That the Xs are class somehow functionally separate from the not-Xs? If the answers are "yes" then from this sort of closed-minded thinking, anti-intellectualism can easily result, just what Ned may have been grasping at in his comments on self-selection.
    This editorial might therefore be seen as making Ned's own arguments -- not as a credit to the clear thinking of "student-athletes" (a rather clumsy classification as it encompasses perhaps too diverse a group to be functional and ill-defined -- are, for example, intramural playing students in the category?)

  • Anonymous

    Bravo Colin Adamo for a very perceptive note on the status of (lack of) dialog on campus. No amount of self-congratulation can remedy it, it only underscores the issue.

  • Anonymous

    This article is fine in some ways, but bad in others. Most prominently, the authors totally overstate how good Yale sports teams are. Let's be honest here -- our teams just aren't very good. Ok ok, maybe we have decent teams in women's lax, crew, squash, and other stereotypical Ivy League sports. But by and large, we pale in comparison to other D-I schools, and even other Ivies. This may be because Yale doesn't give out scholarships. The point of yesterday's article, however, was to suggest that Yale should either ramp up its recruiting efforts (so it could compete with the likes of Stanford in most sports) or drop recruiting entirely. Sorry writers, football is our worst sport, whether or not you want to admit it. While you may have been ranked in a poll higher than App State, their schedule was far easier. Football is by far our weakest sport on a national scale, yet it receives by far the most recruits. This is not a criticism of you personally--maybe it's the coach who's the problem--but you lose credibility when you suggest that Yale has a good football team, ESPECIALLY having lost to Harvard in 6 of the past 7 years, including getting absolutely blown out in November of 2007.

    Now that I've put forth that our sports teams just aren't very good, I should respond to the overall thrust of the first article: Are Yale athletes less academic than other Yale students? While I realize that Yale athletes have insane extracurricular demands placed on them, and the authors do a good job of pointing this out, the fact is that most athletes at least SEEM less academic. When I was at Yale, I took a couple classes with Mary Habeck. Both were FILLED with athletes, and both were insanely easy (that's not to criticize Habeck, though, who is an outstanding lecturer and teacher). While every single "gut" class I took had a substantial athlete contingent, I took a bunch of harder classes with a far smaller percentage. What's the point of this? At the very least, there are reasons why people PERCEIVE the average Yale athlete as non-academically oriented. Do I think Yale athletes 'don't care' about academics? No, I think most of them do care. Do I think they're less smart? I'm not sure, but I have heard that the vast majority (all but one or 2) of (at least men's) sports teams have average GPAs below Yale's mean. Take from that what you will.

  • Athlete

    Thanks Guys, well said. Truly, those that are not student athletes can never understand what it's like.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you to the person who posted #10…i think we have to frame the debate before we even start attacking people for their views or criticizing athletes. this is an important discussion where there is a divide, and we should act appropriately.

  • Non-athlete alum

    "look at the number of recruited varsity athletes vs. the number of recruited classical musicians,"

    This is not exactly comparable since you are taking all athletes versus a narrow subset of "artists". A more propor comparison would be comparing the number of football players, tennis players, crew team members, etc., on the one hand, versus the number of musicians, drama folks, singers, etc. on the other.

    "I'd really reject the contentions of the fifth commentator that athletes are underappreciated or misunderstood. Participating in varsity athletics is a choice, not a requirement"

    This does not follow. Many people make various choices that cause them to be (or feel) "underappreciated or misunderstood." This doesn't mean that they made the wrong choice.

  • Hickory Slickery

    Well done,in every aspect.Fulmer grow up.

  • dogmom

    I'll bet Ned had a generous deadline to develop his column yet it's clear he took the easy route and skipped doing any research (so editors were lax as well.) Compare that to what two jocks produced in a few hours between classes and athletics. Case closed or game over.

  • trumbull '11

    Both editorials fail to keep balance. This is obviously reactionary to Fulmer's first editorial, but as moving as this one may be, naming several student-athlete alumni who did well after college, the editorial clearly has a biased, exclusive tone to it. Instead of trying to level the playing the field and even trying to welcome Fulmer into your own community (to resolve the issue, in other words), you ostracize him and rant against his opinions. I doubt you did more than polarize his opinion even further.

    The first editorial had its clear biases and clear fallacies, but in the end, I don't see this one being any better than the first.

  • 09

    Silberstein is certainly one of the most intelligent and intellectual people at Yale, not just out of the football players. I have no doubt he is twice as smart, twice as well-liked and will be twice as successful as Ned Fulmer could ever be.

  • Anonymous

    You should have added Kevin Czinger to the list of jocks who did well after Yale.

  • Steve and David > Ned

    as to the points made by #15, who are you to criticize the quality of our athletics. go ahead, participate and help out the teams if you think that they are so bad. #21, the reason why the response was slightly biased and angry was because of the fact that an unprovoked attack was made by Ned on a whole group of people for things that would offend anyone put in that group's shoes. I am still trying to figure out what compelled Ned to write his article. I just don't understand his motivations or what he hoped would result. If I were to write an article about how terrible the Purple Crayon is and how terribly unfunny his "biography" is he might be offended. If I took it further and classified all Purple Crayon members as slackers, detrimental to Yale's mission, and essentially admissions mistakes everyone would be taken aback by my seemingly irrational hatred of a group who had done nothing to directly offend me. The rift exists in that anyone can possibly see Ned's argument as anything less than a jealous rant. If there is some incident of which I am not aware that sparked Ned's "creative" fire, I would like to know what it was. As for the writers of this piece, there is a pretty clear motivation, the defense of their and their friends (as all athletes are apparently friends with only each other) academic and athletic capabilities. I really am embarassed that Ned will someday claim Yale as his alma mater, but I know at least Steven very well and know that he will make Yale proud.

  • Alum

    Take a deep breath, everyone. There are some valid issues to debate here.

    - Yale and the other Ivies use different criteria for admitting recruited athletes. Each team gets some slots from the Admissions Office (never as many as they'd like) and the coach is asked to rank his/her recruits. The recruits need to meet an academic standard but if they do, they are highly likely to be admitted. The non-athlete with comparable academic qualifications faces a far more uncertain admissions process. The advantage of being a recruited athlete is a far greater advantage than the other two most common non-academic 'plus' factors, affirmative action for some minority candidates and legacy benefits. Because of this process, recruited athletes as a group have somewhat lower academic qualifications than the overall class - but all are capable of doing Yale-level work and there is no reason their benefit from and contributions to a Yale education should be less than any other students.

    - These issues aren't new. Yale more or less invented the idea of athletic recruiting over a century ago although then the average athlete was basically no different than the average non-athlete. What has happened over the last 50 years or so is that the average non-athlete has become much more outstanding academically. The average recruited athlete is also more academically qualified than the comparable recruit a generation or two ago - but there is now a delta between athletes and non-athletes that either didn't exist or at least was smaller.

    - Stanford has the most successful athletic program in the nation - not in football and men's basketball, perhaps, but it consistently ranks first in the NCAA in the overall success of its teams. It has a huge advantage over Yale and the other Ivies because of athletic scholarships (although query whether the new financial aid programs announced by Yale and some of the other Ivies won't lessen that advantage). As importantly, I suspect (although I don't know) that the delta between the academic qualification of athletes v. non-athletes is greater at Stanford than at Yale. And any Yalie would have to admit that the weather in Palo Alto is a bit more attractive during the academic year than New Haven's and that no doubt plays a role in Stanford's success (and their swim teams compete in a regulation-sized pool built after the New Deal). From my observation, Yale still provides a richer academic experience for its students and so it isn't surprising that Yale does very well when competing with Stanford for accepted students, but I suspect Stanford will always have advantages in recruiting athletes.

    - Should Yale attempt to go head-to-head with Stanford? I once favored athletic scholarships for certain 'spectator' sports (football, basketball and hockey, being the prime ones) that make a contribution to the college community but I wonder if they're needed with the new financial aid program. There is something undesirable about making a financial distinction between athletes and non-athletes - far better to provide financial support to all who need it, as Yale has attempted for years but will now do more successfully. Yale shouldn't lower its academic standards. As mentioned, Yale's current system already advantages recruited athletes in admissions. The Academic Index system is frustrating in various ways but it does serve to keep the Ivies from racing each other down a slope in recruiting and the Ivies should keep it or something like it. If a change is to be made, I suspect it is Stanford that should be reducing its academic compromises, not Yale and its peers increasing theirs.

    - I was a Yale student athlete a generation ago and am the parent of a Yale student athlete as well. I would observe that there is a larger separation between athletes and non-athletes now than existed 30 years ago. It is entirely to be expected that people seek out like-minded people. One of the geniuses of the residential college system is to put diverse people together and let them learn from each other and perhaps counteract those normal tendencies. What is different now is that fraternities (which seem to have large percentages of athletes) and unofficial team houses play a much larger role than a generation ago and serve to undo much of the benefit of the residential college system. The resultant separation is at least as much of a loss to the non-athletes as the athletes. Perhaps this problem will lessen as Yale builds space to accommodate its juniors and seniors fully but it is disturbing. Athletes would do well to recognize their role in it.

    - Messrs. Schmalhofer and Silberstein note that there have been 12 Ivy champions during their four years at Yale and cite that as an example of 'stunning success.' Actually, it is a depressing continuation of mediocrity at the Ivy level (let alone nationally). Yale fields something like 34 varsity teams and all or almost all are eligible for Ivy championships (the Ivy League awards championships even for sports where there aren't formal league standings, based on championship events). Even a former student athlete like me can figure out that means some 130+ championships over the past four years. Now, this year's spring sports haven't completed their seasons, so the four years aren't complete but then those 12 championships also include a few ties for first. However you figure it, though, those 12 championships (if that's the right number)are far less than Yale's share of Ivy championships and that's been true for at least 15 years.

  • alum

    I am a strong supporter of athletics, but agree with Trumbull'11's point.

  • anonymous

    Can someone explain why we have varsity teams to begin with? I understand that they find it particularly rewarding because they would not participate in them otherwise. But what value do they offer the school above the level of a highly dedicated club team?

  • non-athlete 09

    bravo guys - very well written piece

  • Anonymous

    trumball '11 - you must be joking!
    to quote this editorial:
    "Yale is a place filled with extraordinary people who are characterized by a multitude of talents and skills. Rather than waste time focusing on our differences or divisions, let us unite and channel our energy toward solving the larger issues in society and around the globe. We are all privileged to be Yalies. We should disregard any differences that might exist and celebrate our gifts and achievements together."
    I clearly didn't detect anything even close to that tone in Fulmer's editorial.

  • Recent Alum

    #20: Funniest YDN comment of the day. Kudos.

  • Anonymous

    um #21- Ned's was not researched and had no factual base- and why should athletes welcome Ned into "our community"- he ostracized himself

  • Anonymous

    The typical responses to Ned's piece: "Ned, you are an idiot. As an athlete get up at 5am and don't finish with school and sports until 8pm. I work so much harder than non-athletes."

    The typical response from this column: "BRAVO guys! I completely agree. Ned, YOU are stupid."

    Why don't we get away from regurgitating what 20 other people have JUST said, and bring the discussion somewhere?

    How about we focus on the fact that language classes have ridiculously lowered athletes' grades for missing more than 5 classes for valid reasons (such as travel)? That is something actionable, and something athletes can/should bring up to any administrative board that will listen.

  • non-athlete '09

    Thanks for writing this brilliant argument. Fulmer's argument was a lazy attempt to make a statement that has been made almost every year. Laziness tends to lead to such foolish generalizations. This point cannot not be reiterated enough. Sports have been around long than all of the university in the U.S. Sports contribute to the school by providing students the opportunity to pursue their passion while being a student. Also non-athletes love supporting Yale sports because many of us played sports since we were young.

  • Anonymous

    #24 says: "who are you to criticize the quality of our athletics?"

    Just because I don't play varsity sports, I'm not allowed to say that our teams aren't very good? I root for you guys and I go to games, and I know full well that most of our teams are just mediocre! I mean, this isn't my opinion, per se--just check the standings! I'd come out to cheer even if we were horrendous, but that shouldn't preclude me from saying that we sucked.

    Regarding other student organizations, I hear people criticizing college newspapers ALL THE TIME. That's what these comments are for. It's not just Ned. Criticizing a play or comedy group happens more behind closed doors, because artists are sensitive and people don't want to hurt their feelings, but it happens nonetheless. In any case, comedy groups aren't COMPETING against anyone. If you don't like them, don't come watch. Yale sports will exist regardless of the number of fans who come out.

    Don't get all up in arms when I say that Yale athletics aren't that good. Winning isn't the point -- the point of Ivy League sports is for the players (and the fans) to have fun. Moreover, playing sports, whether you win or lose, teaches you a lot about yourself, and a lot about discipline and commitment, so in that sense sports are a valuable part of education.

    But let's keep it real here: no one cares if Yale teams lose (the Y-H football game being the only possible exception). We the fans like to see you win, but we'd still come out even if you were the worst team in the world.

  • Recruiter

    Why does Yale recruit athletes and not cello players?

    Because the standard practice in athletics is to actively recruit players- with phone calls and campus visits mostly.

    If the Yale Music School started flying in cello players to view campus, if they called them every week to get them to come to Yale- I bet they would see stunning results, and I bet the rest of the country's music schools would follow suit.

    Ivy athletes all have other options. Some had scholarships, some could have been super stars at DIII schools. But they chose to come here b/c of recruiting. Yale felt they offered a desireable asset to their entrance class and made sure they were a part of it.

    The answer is not LESS recruiting, the answer is MORE recruiting.

    Why isn't the History DUS calling up promising history students in HS to get them to come to Yale?

    Why isn't the head of the repertory theatre doing the same?

  • Anonymous

    I think the most thoughtful and useful commentary, which the great lot of you ignore in your rather sad rush to pat the article's authors on the back, is made by Alum at #25. There the analysis provides a sober view with a good deal of fairness and the perspective of years of careful thought -- read it folks and try to understand what Alum is saying. The observations on the benefits of the residential college system are spot on with my experiences of 25 years ago. Moreover, Alum adds an extremely perceptive gloss on the role of fraternities in the present situation.
    And one more thing. Before you completely play into the hands of the non-athletes, think twice about the overblown praise of the article. There is nothing brilliant about it. For example, a comparison of the first and last sentences: "The problem with Ned Fulmer ’09 is that he is not a student-athlete," which is as pointed out by #13 a thoroughly exclusionary statement, labeling Ned as having a "problem" because he is not a "student athlete" and the directly contradictory inclusive last sentence: "We should disregard any differences that might exist and celebrate our gifts and achievements together," underscores just one of the article's many weaknesses in writing and analysis. Thus, by calling it "brilliant" you are only making it plain just how low your threshold of "brilliance" is -- the very heart of the non-athletes' critique of athletes.
    Rather, the writing and analysis are workmanlike and serviceable for the task, and given the time frame for composition, commendable, but certainly not brilliant. If there is one skill Yale teaches your non-athlete fellow students it is to see precisely that.

  • Admissions Officer

    Yale athletes receive an advantage in admissions PROCESS, not PROFILE.

    Their blue envelopes are to stream line their application process that often begins a full calendar year before non-athletes even have taken SATs.

    Their envelopes are NOT guarantees of admissions, nor are they any kind of SAT/GPA booster.

    This is how athlete recruiting works on a fundamental level:

    A University Employee(coach) is granted the judgment and prerogative to select a number of potential applicants(athletes) for their department(sports teams).

    These University Employees conduct preliminary screenings of the applicants' applications. The University Employees also entice them to come to Yale but noting extracurriculars of interest, the residential college system, the beauty of campus etc.

    The potential applicants are often invited to come visit campus by the university employee(the coach). After which, they commit to attending Yale in the following fall.

    Upon receiving this commitment, the Yale employee, who has already screened their application with the permission of the university, notifies admission that they have judged the applicant acceptable on their part.

    The admissions office then evaluates the applicant based on the traditional set of standards for that particular group and offers either an acceptance or rejection.

    The key is that the regular admissions department does not have the specialized knowledge to evaluate athletic achievement, thereby resorting to coaches to evaluate their worth to the university based upon that skill set in conjunction with their academic profile that falls proportionally within the rest of their freshman class.

    This process is necessary because every other school in the country is able to offer athletes even more specialized treatment in the form of scholarships, expensive visits to bowl games, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Would you care to formally submit your post as a letter to the YDN? Between the 130+ responses to the two op-eds combined, it is easily the most intelligent and thoughtworthy one. Speaking as a senior in his last month at Yale, I can confidently say that every student on this campus should read your post before commenting further on the matter.

  • relax

    Stop hanging criticism on one line of the incredible article. The way I read it, the line "The problem with Ned Fulmer ’09 is that he is not a student-athlete," has multiple meanings, none of which relate to your interpretation. 1) Ned is clearly bitter that he was not recruited to be a student athlete at Yale. Therefore, this is one of his personal problems-(which he chooses to take out on everyone else.
    2) Ned lacks experience and perspective (particularly of athletes); he is not a collegiate student athlete, and this is what makes his ridiculous claims about them problematic.
    These athletes showed their ability to use creative literary techniques to "brilliantly" expose morons like yourself.

    In addition, the last sentence is not contradictory. Everyone at Yale is different in their own way. The difference between Ned yourself, and Yale's athletes is a level of respect for diversity. Athletes have respect for diversity and are proud of all that is Yale. People like you and Ned on the other hand, are not, and are quick to point at differences, form insulting stereotypes, and contribute to the degradation of society.

    someone get this person #36, a get-a-clue shirt.

  • Anonymous

    #34, the problem is that Ned says that Yale athletes have no talent, see my post on his article circa #109. Until you understand the level of competition, you'll be a child who wanders into the middle of a movie. you have no frame of reference. people criticize newspapers when they put out things like Ned's article, but nobody says that the editors don't belong at Yale. If a football game had announcements at halftime about the mediocrity of the orchestra we might be making a similar comparison. if it were taken further and the mediocrity of the players were extended to personal attacks on their character and academic merits we would be talking about an analogous situation. newspapers are for news and thoughtful editorials, not unprovoked attacks and sweeping generalizations. And to be honest, a lot of the problem with Yale sports is in the coaching and illogical league rules, not the talent. If you don't care if a Yale team loses why do you waste your breath saying that we suck? People do care - men's basketball games on Friday nights in the Ivy league are the most heavily wagered-upon games outside of the NCAA tournament believe it or not. I don't think anybody checks the paper or their cell phones for anything that Ned has done lately.

  • Anonymous

    This topic isn't quite the simple dichotomy that it appears.

    The one thing everyone at Yale has in common is that we are ALL busy. Seriously. It's really rare that you actually see someone who does NOTHING at all. Maybe they lie about how much work they do; maybe they're really smart and they don't have to work for that long. Whatever. But everyone is busy, and comparing the 'amount' of hours spent 'being busy' is a lost cause. Cause we're all sleep deprived, stressed out, and…busy.

    The point is, Yale, as an institution, is in a transitional phase that has been alluded to earlier in these comments. In this phase, we don't know whether we pride ourselves in our 1) well-rounded students who do it all, 2) specialized students who are brilliant at one thing and "mediocre" at others, or 3) the academic…the bookworm who will go on to do great things in academia.

    These are all parts of Yale's history, and from an admissions standpoint, it appears that the current identity is most like '2.' Do we want that to be the case?

    So why is being busy the only thing we have in common?

    This enormous college is becoming SO small with the rifts that are becoming deeper along certain lines: The "Artsy" world, the "Athlete" world, the "24/7 Schoolwork" world, the "Residential College devotees" world, the "Hipster" world, the "Greek" world, and others. Clearly, many of these realms overlap (and need I mention the sweeping generalizations and clumping-into-categories I just did…), but the point is: we're not in high school anymore. We have to be able to accept that what everyone does here makes them happy, and ask no further questions (nor judge them for it).

    Extracurriculars align people into areas of common interest. Is that so bad? Well, only if it's interfering with the intermixing and mingling of the Yale community as a whole.

    Yeah, I'm sure many people are intimidated by all the YALE _____ jackets as they walk into Commons if they don't play a sport. These are physical specimen! (and also, they have team dinners most of the time…they're not trying to look like they own the dining hall. That's a ridiculous stereotype) But it needs to be realized that athletes don't feel welcome in certain domains either. Stereotypically-speaking: an athlete would have much more trouble being taken seriously as an actor than a hard-core Yale actor. Conversely, though, a Yale actor has a lot more trouble being taken seriously at zeta, dke, or a d phi than an athlete.

    What's happening? And should we bother stopping it, or do we accept that things are changing?

    I guess that's up to us. Just remember that some stereotypes are implicit, and others explicit (thanks Marvin Chun)…which means that it's partially up to us to determine how the group we represent is perceived.

  • anon

    Ned is a student-athlete. That's the weird thing. He's on the second club soccer team.

  • Michael

    Ned makes some good points. Just one visit to some of my sections corroborates the stereotype.

  • Anonymous

    To #43, there are plenty of non-athletes who disrupt lectures, are uninterested in their classes, or are generally "too cool for school" - they just don't have a label like "athlete" that can be easily applied to them and remembered, so the generalization people develop is skewed

  • Mirrors…

    For someone using the name "relax", you seem to have an awful lot of anger, anger that seems to get in the way of you "expressing" your "ideas" (and I use these terms with all the respect your skills are due). At least one hopes you had the excuse of anger for what followed.

    The next comments will likely be lost on you "relax," but in the spirit of fun:
    "Stop hanging criticism on one line of the incredible article."
    Or what -- You'll start crying? (I assume this sort of "argument" is your normal level of discourse.)
    Dear, dear "relax," you really do fit the stereotype: 1) the post discusses two lines (you know, that number that follows 1? Are you still with me?); 2) "hanging criticism?"; and 3) perhaps you should look up the meanings of "incredible" as you seem to be fascinated by "multiple meanings."

    "The way I read it, the line 'The problem with Ned Fulmer ’09 is that he is not a student-athlete,' has multiple meanings, none of which relate to your interpretation. 1) Ned is clearly bitter that he was not recruited to be a student athlete at Yale. Therefore, this is one of his personal problems-(which he chooses to take out on everyone else."
    If this is what appears to you to be somehow coherent argument, well, then yes, the article should represent to you "incredible" work far beyond your abilities.

    "2) Ned lacks experience and perspective (particularly of athletes); he is not a collegiate student athlete, and this is what makes his ridiculous claims about them problematic."
    According to this "logic" no "collegiate student athlete" (whatever this bizarre formulation is supposed to mean -- I guess we are in "multiple meaning" territory again) including presumably you can say anything about Ned because you "lack experience and perspective" of a non-athlete. But I'll give you points (or maybe you would prefer a cookie) for using "problematic" -- lots of syllables in that word.

    These athletes showed their ability to use creative literary techniques to "brilliantly" expose morons like yourself.
    I'm going to have to agree that you've done an exceptional job of "brilliantly" exposing morons, you just may not quite grasp whom. As for “creative literary techniques,” yes they used punctuation, paragraphs, etc., all of which must seem like “creative literary techniques” to you. I do note, it might be quite amusing to read what techniques among the myriad “multiple meanings” of “creative literary techniques” you would identify as so used.

    In addition, the last sentence is not contradictory. Everyone at Yale is different in their own way. The difference between Ned yourself, and Yale's athletes is a level of respect for diversity.
    Yes, saying Ned has a "problem," calling people morons, etc., all the hallmarks of "a level of respect." By the way, I know it's late, but perhaps you should drop that Intro Philosophy class, now…

    someone get this person #36, a get-a-clue shirt.
    A "get-a-clue shirt?" – I’ll give you points for an “active“ imagination, but why do I keep picture this being bellowed out by a random drunk in front ofToad’s as opposed to being stated by a Professor in a Philosophy Seminar?)
    If you promise to look in the mirror and recite your “argument” , I’ll take the shirt…
    The thing giving me minor solace is that you are the couple of degrees (not the temperature kind “relax”) , including a Yale undergraduate degree, separating us.

    P.S. Please try and read Alum’s bit. That was the point of the original, but I now understand that you are easily distracted. It may be difficult for you as it uses a lot of words and actual reasoning, but try…

  • Non-athlete 08

    I read your response and I was astounded. I generally agreed with the non-athlete contingent who had posted on this page before you. I also thought #25 made excellent points. I think that calling Fulmer a moron and hating on non-athletes by saying 'they just can't understand' is simply not a good way to go about this discussion. Making personal attacks doesn't solve anything and only makes the situation worse.
    That said: Mirrors, you're a douchebag. I've never read something so condescending and just generally mean as your response. For someone who seems to pride him/herself on minute details of writing, your own was second-rate. From your response, I now know that you can pull quotes out of articles and use them to attempt to belittle the writer. You can read a primary source document! Yay!
    However, I also know that you do a poor job of fluidly and coherently connecting quotations and analysis. I figured out what you were trying to say, but I was confused as to why you decided to be such an incoherent jerk while saying it. Why? Seriously - what were you trying to do except be an extraordinarily large asshole to someone else who was an ass?

    If you don't think you were being an asshole to 'relax,' I ask you this. Would you ever show your friends what you have written? Would you send it anywhere with your name on it? I sincerely hope not. If you would, you not only are a jerk, but lack knowledge of interpersonal relations that would tell you it's a bad idea to show everyone you're a nitpicking patronizing ass.

    I'm honestly ashamed that when people read your response, they will lump you into the same 'non-athlete' category that I'm in. Athletes, just as you don't want people to think all athletes are total meat-heads, I really hope you don't think Mirrors' comments represent anywhere close to a majority of non-athlete feeling.

    And you know what the worst of all this is Mirrors? I DO feel that the athlete culture of a handful of sports at Yale DOES support anti-academic sentiment. I just think you're a bad person for writing what you did.

    PS Feel free to use any sentences or fragments or words from my comment. I'm not ashamed of what I've written, nor have I attempted to make it grammatically perfect. Have fun! You clearly need (or at least want) some more practice pulling out quotes? Got a big research paper coming up or something?

  • Leland

    Blah Blah Blah

    Head-to-head, we own all your sports teams!
    and your academic departments!
    and your weather!
    and your campus!
    All you got on us is your law school.

    Go Stanford!