Dear Mr. Ibbotson-Sindelar, I would like to thank you on behalf of all varsity athletes at Yale for voicing an opinion we have kept hidden for so long (“End varsity for club sports,” Feb, 5).
For more than a century we have spent long hours in the gym, on the field or at the boathouse training for competitions and building friendships that are insignificant in comparison to Yale’s myriad extracurricular activities.
Truly, sir, you have made clear the hidden dreams of so many athletes who long to participate in other capacities on campus, but lack the willpower to simply quit our teams. We miserable few who remain captives of the varsity athletics model have longed for a leader to liberate us and show us the true desires of our hearts. You sir, are that man.
Why should one come to Yale in order to play a sport? You are correct to point out that sports keep you healthy and in shape while providing the discipline essential for success later in life. But as varsity athletes we seem to be too healthy and in shape, and the discipline we display in balancing academics and sport is too pronounced. After all, why should one train in order to be the best when mediocrity is a much more comfortable option? I am sure that the women’s crew team, which has won two consecutive national championships, would have been much happier regularly attending Master’s Teas instead of giving Yale’s name the prestige that comes with having such dominance in the sport.
Furthermore, as varsity athletes we sympathize deeply with those who played sports in high school but find athletics at Yale oppressively time-consuming. We would like nothing more than to decrease our commitment and level of training so that we can incorporate everyone with even the mildest interest in our sport.
And you have certainly hit the nail on the head when you exhort the benefits of student leadership. I believe that someone who competed on a high school team can lead and train more effectively than one of Yale’s many experienced coaches. The feeling of scheduling one’s own matches is so fulfilling that it truly outweighs the knowledge and expertise of someone who has competed in the Olympics. Indeed, if that poor soul had only been fortunate enough to have read this column in his youth he might today be a piano virtuoso — a truly noble pursuit!
In conclusion, I would like to thank you for making light of the menacing presence varsity athletics have on our campus. I can only hope that the administration of this great university has the good sense to listen to you and abolish all of our NCAA Division I programs in their entirety. Please do not waver in your fight to expand the intellectual horizon of us unhappy few who are so dominated, so utterly crushed by our incomprehensible commitment to our sport, that we cannot enjoy our experience at Yale.
I, for one, am eagerly anticipating our club football team’s debut against Harvard at next year’s game. Our student coaches will certainly be more adept play callers than our current coach. After all, who needs NFL experience anyway?
Patrick Vergara is a sophomore in Silliman College and a member of the heavyweight crew team.