JANES: Revisiting the state of Yale sports

A few weeks ago, I expressed concerns about the state and future of Yale athletics in light of self-imposed recruiting restrictions and the administration’s growing dismissal of athletics. These factors are crippling a once-exemplary athletic department that will, in my opinion, soon be fighting for its Division I life.

But I come this week with good news: all is not lost. The solution, as I see it, is simple: First, the university must remove the extra, Yale-specific recruiting restrictions that are both demolishing Yale teams’ numbers and hindering coaches’ abilities to recruit the best of the best. Second, the University must begin to show actual support for the Yale athletics program, and that starts at the top. No, I don’t mean financial support, although that’s always helpful. But I don’t think that’s the problem: instead, I mean support in terms of the attitudes expressed towards athletes and their place in this University.

The way I see it, those two simple steps would help Yale regain its footing on the slippery slope to mediocre athletics. By following these steps, the Yale administration can prevent over a century of athletic tradition from quickly becoming nothing more than history.

But the issue is a treacherously complex one: The prevailing notion in the world of college athletics at schools including (but certainly not limited to) Yale is that full-fledged support of athletics means a denigration of academic standards. But look straight to Harvard, Princeton and, by extension, Stanford, to see that the two are in no way mutually exclusive. Without a change, Yale’s program will demonstrate that such notions of exclusivity are a self-fulfilling prophecy. The belief that athletics preclude academic prestige undercuts the potential for athletic success. Success is necessary to draw the best all-around student-athletes, so if the University harms its potential for success in athletics out of fear of a dropoff in the classroom, it does, indeed, force a choice, rather than a coexistence of both models of success.

Yale’s first step to avoiding this tragic fate is simple: Abort the policy diminishing the number of recruits allotted each team. A mere 13 percent of Yale’s student body is varsity athletes, less than any other school in the Ivy League. It is both pretentious and unnecessary to put our school above the broadly-accepted Ivy League regulations regarding the number of allowed recruited athletes. These regulations already require a degree of creativity from coaches to stay competitive. While the ultimate goal for Yale athletics would be a rise to relative national athletic prominence, which Harvard and Princeton are currently staging, step one is to reestablish a competitive, championship stature across the board in the Ivy League. It is impossible to do this when our coaches and athletic administrators have their hands tied by a policy seeking to reduce the number of recruited athletes coming to New Haven beyond even Ivy League regulations.

If the idea behind the move to reduce the number of recruited athletes comes from the notion that they are somehow diminishing the academic prestige at Yale, that idea is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Recruited athletes in the Ivy League meet those standards to ensure they can excel academically. Predicting what they will do in the classroom once they get there is just as difficult as it is for any other admitted student, or just as hard as predicting how a recruit will do on the field: Create an environment of support and provide the best resources possible, and an institution gives any student the best chance to succeed. Non-athletes at Yale are getting those resources and not being marginalized for the extracurricular endeavors. And all Yale students receive tremendous academic support. If the University would acknowledge athletic achievements as contributions just as important and hard-earned as those in other forums, athletes would find themselves in a much better environment for all-around success — not marginalized.

Speaking of support, that brings me to the second part of my solution. The administration isn’t fooling anyone in showing up to a few athletic events a year and singing the school song with the Yale Precision Marching Band in some semblance of empathetic appreciation for what the players on the field or ice do to be there. The distinction between token displays of support and genuine interest is conspicuous and palpable to athletes, coaches and the athletic administration, especially at a school where the student body’s general consciousness of the athletic scene is not as strong. There must be an understanding from the people at the top that what athletes devote themselves to — with their time, minds and bodies — is just as noble as any other extracurricular activity. The administration has created a stigma against athletes that only fosters a hostile climate for them. Yale has created a divide that not only is unwarranted and ignorant, but neglects the numerous and valuable contributions athletes make off the field. Look at what athletes are doing in labs, with research, and in their coursework, all while being told — in not so many words — that they don’t belong here. Some thanks for the people who, bearing the University’s name across their chests as they sacrifice to earn victories for Yale, are often the University’s most visible representatives.

Notice I haven’t touched even touched the question of monetary support. Admittedly, budget cuts have been crippling to the Athletics Department, but it is one of many departments here dealing with the similar strain. If finances were the only problem facing the athletic department, it would be on a level playing field with nearly the entire country of athletic departments in that way. Create a Yale climate amenable, not hostile, to athletics, and let success, and the accompanying financial support, follow. Financial support is often out of the control of those in administration, subject to outside donors and the economic climate. Other support, as shown by respect for athletes’ efforts and a willingness to give coaches every opportunity to build their programs, is completely within the University’s control.

I’ve heard the arguments: Yale is first and foremost an academic institution, so to use athletic achievement as a major contributing reason for admission or as a noteworthy component of a student’s collegiate achievement loses sight of what the school is about. Why, then, consider any extracurriculars at all? Why music? Why dance? Why drama? Why student government? What do any of those tell you about a student’s academic potential? Why not just look at grades, class selection and standardized tests?

Because they don’t tell the whole story. Yalies are Yalies because they are excellent in the classroom, but Yale is not high school, and success here — whether on stage, in the classroom, or on the field — is the result of a work ethic, organization and passion evident in the kind of commitment to athletics a high school student must make to garner attention from Division I coaches, including Yale’s. As such, to decrease the number of recruited athletes at Yale is a choice to filter a group of applicants who have proven they possess the tools for success in a highly competitive and intense environment like Yale through their commitment of hours upon hours of training, travel and game play to pursuit of their athletic goals. Remedying the challenges facing the Yale Athletics Department, then, would be simple with some measure of respect for the efforts of athletes. If the playing field were leveled for Yale coaches with the same number of spots for recruited athletes, and if those athletes were shown the same support and backing from their University that is evident elsewhere, Yale athletics could reverse the decline that has threatened its proud tradition in recent years.

Comments

  • pamplemousse

    Great, great article. You voiced my thoughts exactly, and then some. I completely agree.

    • GeraldWWeaver2

      It all starts and ends with these two words, Ivy League. Penn, Dartmouth, Brown and the rest matter not because they fall into some designation of academically strong northeastern schools. The Ivy League is an athletic conference, period. That is how important sports are. And the continued pairing of Yale and Harvard at the top of the academic heap has at least something to do with what is called “The Game.”

      For Yale to downgrade its athletics is to say that the mass appeal of sports is irrelevant. That is like a business saying that the internet does not count or a politician saying that votes do not matter.

      • Frashizzle

        I find you point of view laughable. I chose Yale because of its sterling academic reputation. Had I wanted to choose a school for its athletics, I would have chosen: Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, Texas, Kansas State, Florida… but I didn’t.
        Also, notice how MIT and Cal Tech aren’t exactly considered to be irrelevant institutions, even though they absolutely lack competitive athletics.

        • theblueandwhite14

          Umm I can’t speak for the others but I know that Michigan and OSU have very strong academic resources for students, and boast a huge number of students intelligent enough to compete for Ivy League entrance. Stanford also has a “sterling academic reputation” and excel in athletics.

        • yalengineer

          You do realize that MIT has an extremely well regarded athletics program and are very competitive in DIII.

  • bowwow

    It’s simply false to say that “recruited athletes in the Ivy League meet [the same academic] standards.” The very existence of the Academic Index – the system by which coaches are given admissions quotas weighted for academic competence – necessarily implies that a great many do not. Plus, it’s pretty easy to just look around you: the very worst students in my courses over the last four years have very consistently been athletes. You’re not fooling anyone.

    Re: the extracurriculars of other students. Those doing “dance, drama, or student government” 1) do not, in fact, get admission quotas as athletes do, and 2) do not, in fact, benefit from lowered standards that accompany these quotas.

    One might argue, of course, that the A.I. upholds community standards sufficiently – although I would strongly disagree – but let us remember that this article goes quite a bit further than that, proposing to largely dismantle it.

    • Motiv8or

      Let me explain this to you. The reason athletics are given admission tags is so the coaches can “match the commitment” they are requesting from their athletes during the recruiting process. The coaches would never be able to secure a commitment without these endorsements. But to be clear, the academic requirements are not lowered for these athletes. Student athletes must meet Yale’s academic requirements first. Period. Now consider that they turn down athletic scholarships to PAY a hefty fee to come to Yale. In other words they are truly “committed” to Yale, not just interersted. Every single one of the Yale athletes “committed” to Yale months before receiving confirmation that they are actually accepted in return. How many of the other students can say that? Understand that once an athlete commits to a school they are no longer wanted by or recruited by other schools. How many of the students at Yale can say they “exclusively” committed to Yale “months before their acceptance” and actively declined or turned away all other invitations to attend other schools? Most of the pretentious snobs that imply they are academically superior in some way applied to all the notable universities and then choose the one they felt was best out of the few schools that accepted them. I’ll bet many of these students had aspirations for other schools but instead settled for Yale because for whatever reason they weren’t accepted by their preferred school and Yale was the best choice out what was available to them. These students have no loyalty to Yale and no honor in their actions, but then they have the audacity to question and ridicule those who laid it all on the line to represent one school exclusively with their athletic talent, and that school was Yale! Every single one of your Yale athletes chose Yale “up front” over other schools, and they did it because they “value” the quality education everyone is commenting on in this blog. If they didn’t care about the academics they would go where the money is! Think how foolish an athlete would feel if he/she turned down full scholarships to other colleges and “committed” to Yale only to find out later that he/she wasn’t accepted. By the time he/she learned they weren’t accepted the other opportunities would be long gone to other athletes, and they would be left with nothing. It would be a terrible situation. A student’s lifetime of work to have the grades and pedigree to meet Yale’s requirements, and the athletics ability to be recruited by many notable universities to compete, would be left with no college home. So once again, the reason athletics are given admission tags is so the coaches can “match the commitment” they are requesting from their athletes during the recruiting process.

  • GeraldWWeaver2

    Let’s face it, only an idiot would deny the positive impact of a successful athletic program on the entire school. In light of all the “Linsanity” of the last month, that should be even more evident. Chart the number of times the word “Harvard” appeared in a national news report during that time, compared to mentions of “Yale,” and you will find they kicked our butts worse than they did on the football field this year. That is called public relations and all that positive news about that other school was heard by potential students, potential donors, and others who might choose to contribute to life at Yale or Harvard in some way.

    A friend of mine was at an alumni function recently, where a Yale alumnus who is very accomplished in the field of music asked, “So when are we going to accept a few three hundred pound offensive linemen?” He knows it is not about whether or not you value athletics. It is about whether or not you recognize the inescapable public relations value of sports, and of the ineluctable impact that they have on all other aspects of the university. I for one have noticed that for a change the Yale Glee Club seems to be far superior to the Harvard Glee Club. But the world noticed that Harvard beat Yale, 45-7, in football this year. And the world noticed that the newest NBA and cultural sensation is a graduate of Harvard.

    When millions of people stop watching sports on TV, when there is no ESPN anymore, when 70,000 people cram the Yale Bowl to watch a student theatrical production, then maybe Yale’s stunning negligence regarding on its own sporting tradition will make sense. And maybe then it will also be useful to compare sports to other extracurricular activities. Until then, it makes no sense at all to fail in this crucial aspect of public relations.

    Finally, when did a three hundred and eleven year old institution decide to become so cavalier about its traditions? That Walter Camp Gate, the huge columned structure outside of the Yale Bowl, was not built by Yale or her alumni. It was built with the contributions of over three hundred other universities which recognized Yale’s unique and commanding role in the creation of college football, which in essence is also the creation of all of college sports and of all of football. Looking at it that way, not doing everything possible to maintain a successful college athletic program is like taking down the statue of Nathan Hale or dismantling Connecticut Hall.

    • bowwow

      What absolute nonsense. The “world notices” Harvard and Yale for the institutions’ academics, full stop. Pretending otherwise is naive or anachronistic, or both.

      • GeraldWWeaver2

        What I am saying is indisputable. College athletics is big time public relations, period. And, yes, all of Yale benefits from positive public relations. And, it is our tradition. We invented football and in a sense, college sports. If you think that public relations is irrelevant, that a name is unimportant or that sports in unimportant, then perhaps you should have gone to the University of Chicago or to Swarthmore. They are both known for their academics, full stop. But there are millions of high school students who will have heard of Harvard and who will have never heard of those two schools, because of athletics. And some of those will be potential applicants.

        • morse_14

          No, they’ve never heard of Swarthmore and UChicago because those schools aren’t Yale or Harvard.

          At this point, Yale and Harvard are famous because we’re Yale and Harvard. And people think that we’re famous because of our academics, full stop. The only reason Swarthmore and UChicago aren’t more famous is mostly because they’re not in the much-vaunted “Ivy League,” whatever that title is good for. It’s a classic case of “we were here first.”

      • jamesdakrn

        lol only hipsters who think that people actually care about their 5 dollar musicals think this way.

        Ever notice why Notre Dame, Duke and UNC are one of the most popular schools in the nation? Ever wonder why on the West Coast Stanford, Berkeley and UCLA are still held in high regards against the Ancient Eight?

        • morse_14

          Notre Dame: 80% of undergrads are Catholic — it’s where you go if you’re Catholic and want a seriously Catholic university. (Or, more cynically, if you want a nominally Catholic school and didn’t get into Georgetown).

          Duke: They play games with the USNWR rankings to make themselves look academically better, attracting more applicants. And it works. (Like Tufts/WUSTL).

          UNC: I don’t think this one is as “popular” as the others.

          Berkeley and UCLA: Arguably the two best public universities in the country. Texas and Michigan could enter the mix, though.

          Stanford: Really? Popular for its athletics? It certainly is for some groups of people, but I can tell you that the reasons I — and many other accepted students — were attracted to it didn’t include athletics, and one of the reasons I didn’t go there was because I thought it emphasized athletics too much. I’d argue it’s more popular among the people it’s trying to attract (i.e. accepted/potential students) because of its strength in science and engineering as well as its connections to Silicon Valley.

          • yalengineer

            I’m at Stanford right now. People care a lot about athletics. A LOT!

    • HighStreet2010

      So your argument is that it’s worth having athletes because it gives recognition to the University … for producing good athletes. Is this something we want? How much of our hard-earned reputation for producing scholars, artists and leaders are you willing to sacrifice for the prestige of producing New York Knicks?

      Obviously there are rare, treasured individuals who value academics and also are top notch athletes, and we should be sure that we have slots available to get those people in the University and a program that lets them develop their talents and passions (and if our peers give advance notice of admission, sure lets do that too). But let’s not let athletics be something in and of itself.

      I object to the idea that it’s somehow good or correct to be running a university and a minor league sports franchise at the same time. Even if it is profitable.

      • GeraldWWeaver2

        No one is saying that Yale should run a minor league sports franchise. I am only saying that the more we neglect sports the more negatively we affect our positive exposure, our public relations, our contributions, etc. It is not a question of balancing extracurricular activities or academics. It is merely recognizing the cultural and social and economic significance of athletics, not endorsing it. Have you ever seen the movie “Invictus?” Nelson Mandela was able to use the cultural and social and economic significance of athletics to avoid a world of problems for South Africa. We probably agree on the question of scholars, artists and leaders as opposed to athletes. But I simply recognize the facts. Athletics are a huge cultural and social and economic phenomena, maybe too big, but certainly one we ignore at our peril.

  • HighStreet2010

    “I’ve heard the arguments: Yale is first and foremost an academic institution, so to use athletic achievement as a major contributing reason for admission or as a noteworthy component of a student’s collegiate achievement loses sight of what the school is about. Why, then, consider any extracurriculars at all? Why music? Why dance? Why drama? Why student government? What do any of those tell you about a student’s academic potential? Why not just look at grades, class selection and standardized tests?”

    Music, dance and drama don’t get likely letters, don’t have a quota that needs to be filled, and don’t have a specialized institution (the athletic department/their coaching staff) that influences the admissions process in order to land them at Yale. All most people want is for athletics to be treated the same as other extracurriculars, which it isn’t. How many times does this need to be pointed out to you?

    “But the issue is a treacherously complex one: The prevailing notion in the world of college athletics at schools including (but certainly not limited to) Yale is that full-fledged support of athletics means a denigration of academic standards. But look straight to Harvard, Princeton and, by extension, Stanford, to see that the two are in no way mutually exclusive”

    Obviously “full support” of athletics means a denigration of academic standards. Look no further than your standard basketball/football powerhouse state school for the evidence. There’s clearly a continuum of how low you’re willing to go to get the best athletes. Apparently you think that we should stoop a little lower, I think that we should stoop as minimally as possible.

    • Motiv8or

      Let me explain this to you. The reason athletics and other extracurricular activities are given admission tags is so the coaches can “match the commitment” they are requesting from their athletes during the recruiting process. The coaches would never be able to secure a commitment without these endorsements. But to be clear, the academic requirements are not lowered for these athletes. Student athletes must meet Yale’s academic requirements first. Period. Now consider that they turn down athletic scholarships to PAY a hefty fee to come to Yale. In other words they are truly “committed” to Yale, not just interersted. Every single one of the Yale athletes “committed” to Yale months before receiving confirmation that they are actually accepted in return. How many of the other students can say that? Understand that once an athlete commits to a school they are no longer wanted by or recruited by other schools. How many of the students at Yale can say they “exclusively” committed to Yale “months before their acceptance” and actively declined or turned away all other invitations to attend other schools? Most of the pretentious snobs that imply they are academically superior in some way applied to all the notable universities and then choose the one they felt was best out of the few schools that accepted them. I’ll bet many of these students had aspirations for other schools but instead settled for Yale because for whatever reason they weren’t accepted by their preferred school and Yale was the best choice out what was available to them. These students have no loyalty to Yale and no honor in their actions, but then they have the audacity to question and ridicule those who laid it all on the line to represent one school exclusively with their athletic talent, and that school was Yale! Every single one of your Yale athletes chose Yale “up front” over other schools, and they did it because they “value” the quality education everyone is commenting on in this blog. If they didn’t care about the academics they would go where the money is! Think how foolish an athlete would feel if he/she turned down full scholarships to other colleges and “committed” to Yale only to find out later that he/she wasn’t accepted. By the time he/she learned they weren’t accepted the other opportunities would be long gone to other athletes, and they would be left with nothing. It would be a terrible situation. A student’s lifetime of work to have the grades and pedigree to meet Yale’s requirements, and the athletics ability to be recruited by many notable universities to compete, would be left with no college home. So once again, the reason athletics and other extracurricular activities are given admission tags is so the coaches can “match the commitment” they are requesting from their athletes during the recruiting process.

      • HighStreet2010

        I’ll respond because I like arguing on the internet.

        First, learn2paragraph.

        Second, “meeting the academic requirements” is a bare minimum. The reason we need things like the academic index and that coaches have to tag athletes to get them into the school is because the population in general is less academically qualified than the student body as a whole. You can’t just posit that this isn’t true (well OK, you can and did, but you can’t convince me that way).

        Third, once an athlete commits to another school they end their athletic recruiting process. It’s not like they’re banned for life. The recruiting process is a special privilege that only exists for athletes – if they skipped the entire thing, they would be on the same admissions footing as a regular student. So don’t act like it’s oh so risky to commit to the wrong place or that it somehow makes you honorable to commit to Yale because Yale was your best offer. Other students don’t even get this opportunity.

        Fourth, every student that applies early action is choosing Yale.

        Fifth, not every recruited athlete, necessarily has Yale as a first choice. It’s entirely possible that they wanted a likely letter from Harvard or really wanted a scholarship from Duke, didn’t get it, and committed to Yale. This is an exact analogy to a normal student applying to another school, failing, and taking Yale as their best option. So you’re completely wrong in your main point that athletes are choosing Yale up front whereas other students aren’t.

        Sixth, it’s disgusting that you say any Yalie has no honor or no loyalty. Equally ridiculous that you call others pretentious while holding up the Yale athlete as some paragon of virtue so far above others that they can’t even be questioned. Bad.

        Seventh, Yes, if you turn down all your scholarship offers then don’t get in to the school you want, that sucks. You just lost your status as super-honorable-ultra-athlete. Now you have to just go to school like a regular student whose extracurricular isn’t granted extra institutional privileges. And not even your first choice school. Basically, you’ve become an honorless normie. Fate worse than death.

        Eighth, “other extracurricular activities” don’t get preferential treatment.

        Ninth, the reason we offer likely letters and tags is because other schools do and we feel compelled to compete with them for reasons good and bad. It’s not necessarily a bad system. I just get annoyed when athletes play the victim.

  • Phormio

    To all you people who doubt that Yale can maintain academic excellence and regain its position as an athletic powerhouse- take a look at Stanford. Gaining ground as a top-tier athletic institution, and we all know how good its academics are. I respect people who can spend 10 hours in tech for theater and get their school work done. Why can’t you respect people who wake up at 6 every day for practice and then go to their classes?

    • morse_14

      I do respect them — for that. I don’t respect them when they’re getting Cs in Intro to Micro or Intro to Political Philosophy or Intro to Programming.

      All these posts ignore the reality that most athletes just aren’t as smart as your average Yalie (or at the very minimum, just don’t do as well in class). I’m sorry, and I recognize that there are exceptions, but it’s true. And, as for Stanford, it seems like most of the ones who really are qualified in every way choose to go there. (That, by the way, seems to me like a vicious, self-propagating cycle — at this point, I don’t think Yale will ever really be able to convince athletes with that choice to turn down Palo Alto.)

      • RexMottram08

        Most of my non-athlete Yale classmates were pot-smoking laggards. They took the same classes as me, gaming their GPA in the same way.

        A Yale athlete with a full practice/game schedule while majoring in a traditional subject like poli-sci, history or econ is far more impressive than a generic Women’s Studies major.

      • chandlerpv

        Lets be honest here. Yale’s grading system is not a very good way of judging someones academic achievement. Grades are inflated, curved, changed, and not comparable across departments. Ultimately, athletes do about the same as other students on the GPA scale.

        Speaking to the Stanford/Yale debate.. Stanford has no academic index requirements. They can take whoever they want. Their athletes have much lower academic performance. Which is why many student athletes (myself included) chose to come to Yale instead. But I understand.. it’s difficult to argue about something you don’t know anything about.

    • HighStreet2010

      Stanford and Duke give out athletic scholarships which allow them to entice top athletes. Yale doesn’t give out scholarships. Changing that policy on the basis of wanting a better football team seems unlikely, and without change we’re going to be at a disadvantage against schools that are willing to pay.

      Also, if you doubt that Yale can maintain academic excellence and be an athletic powerhouse – take a look at our hockey team. Why all the complaints and demands for change?

  • Goldie08

    Phormio says:

    “I respect people who can spend 10 hours in tech for theater and get their school work done. Why can’t you respect people who wake up at 6 every day for practice and then go to their classes?”

    ‘lil Bowwow says:

    “Plus, it’s pretty easy to just look around you: the very worst students in my courses over the last four years have very consistently been athletes.”

    I think someone needs to show just a little respect to their **fellow classmates**. That’s what athletes are – your fellow classmates. And enough with the overly generalized, unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence.

    • morse_14

      All due respect, but if its just anecdotal, why don’t I ever hear anyone saying “Athletes are the smartest people in my lecture?”

      • JE15

        I think people are always less likely to realize that someone is an athlete if that student doesn’t fit the athlete stereotype. I am friends with athletes who are among the smartest people I know at Yale, but they compete in sports like track and field and don’t wear their athletic clothes to class.

      • RexMottram08

        I’ve been to Class Day/Commencement for the last 7 years. There are always athletes receiving the top GPA for their college.

      • LtwLimulus90

        Also, there is something to be said for the disadvantage athletes have in class when they are known as an athlete. Oftentimes, the labeling as an athlete can mean people will take their ideas and work less seriously, despite their merit. Many of my athlete friends who were recruited and who absolutely qualify as just as smart, if not smarter than the average Yalie, will deliberately hide the fact that they are athletes for the first few meetings of a class so that they aren’t unfairly associated with a negative stigma.

  • jamesdakrn

    And to all those who don’t think that sports and academics cannot mix, go take a look at how Stanford and Duke have done.

    Best Prospect since Peyton Manning and Dan Marino
    3 Bowl appearances in the last 5 years
    NBA starters like Brook Lopez and Landry Fields
    MLB Legend Mike Mussina

    Duke:
    4 NCAA championships (5th all time)
    10 NCAA Finals appearances (T-2nd all time)
    Coach K-the best coach in college surpassed only by John Wooden
    Grant Hill, Luol Deng, Elton Brand, Carlos Boozer, Christian Laettner, JJ Redick, Jay Williams (Wouldve been AMAZING if it werent for that motorcycle accident)
    All with the reputation that Duke players don’t do well in the NBA.

    What does Yale have in comparison? Chris Dudley. The guy who had this happened to him by Shaq

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GofeqRfHAS4

    • ldffly

      I agree with the point of your post, but I cringe when I see Duke and Yale spoken of in the same breath. Duke is a climber, much like Washington University in St. Louis. Duke does a good job in handling its basketball program.

      • jamesdakrn

        Lol precisely why people see us as huge douchebags.

        I do agree though that Duke isn’t at our caliber in terms of academic reputation. Nonetheless their academic reputation is still among the top in the nation, and it is better than our athletic reputation.

        • ldffly

          A small thank you for recognizing a little sarcasm.

    • Nhoopster13H

      Duke and Stanford are not in the Ivy League, which doesn’t allow for scholarships and has much stricter academic relations. If Yale were to drop out of the Ivy League athletic conference, it could probably have some really good teams too because it wouldn’t have to abide by the Ivy League rules.

      Comparing Yale to Stanford/Duke is pointless unless you’re implying that we should drop the Ivy League. We can’t stop following the Ivy League conference’s recruiting requirements unless we drop out of the conference, which obviously isn’t going to happen.

  • jamesdakrn

    Oh and if you think athletes getting into yale “easily” is wrong, then with the same standards most affirmative action students have no place at yale.

    Face it. We all contribute to this institution, whether it be athletics, our diverse backgrounds, academics, other circumstances/achievements that let us stand out in our applications.

    • Nhoopster13H

      This comment is an absolute joke. Comparing athletes to affirmative action students? Are you serious? There’s a difference between allowing the influence of race/culture to come into play, as this is something that people are born with, something that can negatively impact a student’s grades/opportunities in high school.

      Sure, being really active in sports can negatively impact a student’s performance when it comes to admissions too. But other heavy extracurricular commitments do the exact same. Extracurriculars are something you choose to do, whereas race is something you were born with, something that can negatively impact you, and something you cannot change. My primary extracurriculars were all sports related and I’ve never done art/theater/music in my life, but why should somebody who spent three or four hours playing sports be let in easier than somebody who spent the same time doing theater?

  • OMG_GEORGEHARRISisAWESOME

    If you don’t think athletics plays an important role in how Yale is viewed, you have become detached from reality. I don’t think anyone is arguing that Yale needs to scrap its standards to become the next USC or Cincinnati (which boasts a lower than 50% graduation rate on its football team), but the number of student athletes who have gone on to help build Yale’s reputation as an institution of higher learning is remarkable. There is zero evidence, and by zero, I mean absolutely none, which supports the notion that supporting athletics as well as academics makes the University a place for unlearned meat-head athletes who are going to ruin the reputation. You are stupid to believe otherwise.

  • Jess

    So, Yale should care about being successful in sports because that means Yale will be more successful in sports.

    I know quite a few athletes who are very smart, and they all know what a circular argument is.

    • jamesdakrn

      No, because it is a good rep for us.

      And partly yes on that we should care about sports to get better at sports, because some of us actually care about that.

  • The Anti-Yale

    From a Freudian perspective, most sports are a rehearsal of the reproductive act : Attempting to accurately aim and insert a projectile into a cave-like structure.

    This is a vitally important choreography to master if the species is to be perpetuated.

    Ergo, intercollegiate athletics is ipso facto, f—-ing important to the survival of the species.

    PK

    M. Div. ’80, etc.

    • Goldie08

      This is idiotic. Swimming? Running? You’ve got phalluses on the mind 24/7, man.

      • The Anti-Yale

        RUNNING? (A flesh projectile PENETRATES the water.)

        RUNNING? A flesh projectile seeks to beat out fellow projectiles in PENETRATING a finish-line)

        Not idiotic—just Freudian.

        Try reading (for a sport) .

        PK

        • LtwLimulus90

          What happened to the “cave-like structure” caveat? And SWIMMING isn’t about PENETRATING the water, that would be DIVING. You clearly don’t understand. Sports aren’t entirely about winning…

      • The Anti-Yale

        SWIMMING? (A flesh projectile PENETRATES the water.)

    • River_Ham

      you must have really loved wrestling then i’m guessing? One man trying to get on top of another man in a show of strength.

      On another level, then how would you even possibly turn track and field and swimming into a Freudian rehearsal of the reproductive act! Think it through. Your argument is so limited.

  • morse_14

    Your argument would be excellent — if admissions weren’t be a zero-sum game. Unlike state schools, we don’t have 20,000-50,000 spots for undergrads. We’ve got 5,000, and for every athlete we admit, an otherwise-qualified candidate doesn’t make the cut. If we could admit all academically outstanding candidates, then I don’t think anyone would have a problem (and for people mentioning Stanford, I don’t think there’s a large enough base of people who are both academically and athletically qualified to attend an HPYS school for us to say “Let’s just do what they do.”)

    Students at Yale don’t have anything against athletes per se. In fact, I admire athletes — they work incredibly hard, and often excel at something that we can’t. That being said, we have something against the fact that athletics somehow get this special admissions status with recruiting quotas and the like.

    And, for all this talk about the AI, the fact of the matter is that the AI doesn’t mean anything. An athlete ranked 200th in a graduating class of 1,000 with an SAT score of 1800 meets the minimum AI for recruitment. I don’t think I have to say anything else to show how ridiculous that is.

    Evaluate athletics like any other extracurricular. There’s no reason for it to be any more or less important than student government, debate, art, music, volunteering, and the like.

    • Goldie08

      Affirmative action?

    • Motiv8or

      Let me explain this to you. The reason athletics and other extracurricular activities are given admission tags is so the coaches can “match the commitment” they are requesting from their athletes during the recruiting process. The coaches would never be able to secure a commitment without these endorsements. But to be clear, the academic requirements are not lowered for these athletes. Student athletes must meet Yale’s academic requirements first. Period. Now consider that they turn down athletic scholarships to PAY a hefty fee to come to Yale. In other words they are truly “committed” to Yale, not just interersted. Every single one of the Yale athletes “committed” to Yale months before receiving confirmation that they are actually accepted in return. How many of the other students can say that? Understand that once an athlete commits to a school they are no longer wanted by or recruited by other schools. How many of the students at Yale can say they “exclusively” committed to Yale “months before their acceptance” and actively declined or turned away all other invitations to attend other schools? Most of the pretentious snobs that imply they are academically superior in some way applied to all the notable universities and then choose the one they felt was best out of the few schools that accepted them. I’ll bet many of these students had aspirations for other schools but instead settled for Yale because for whatever reason they weren’t accepted by their preferred school and Yale was the best choice out what was available to them. These students have no loyalty to Yale and no honor in their actions, but then they have the audacity to question and ridicule those who laid it all on the line to represent one school exclusively with their athletic talent, and that school was Yale! Every single one of your Yale athletes chose Yale “up front” over other schools, and they did it because they “value” the quality education everyone is commenting on in this blog. If they didn’t care about the academics they would go where the money is! Think how foolish an athlete would feel if he/she turned down full scholarships to other colleges and “committed” to Yale only to find out later that he/she wasn’t accepted. By the time he/she learned they weren’t accepted the other opportunities would be long gone to other athletes, and they would be left with nothing. It would be a terrible situation. A student’s lifetime of work to have the grades and pedigree to meet Yale’s requirements, and the athletics ability to be recruited by many notable universities to compete, would be left with no college home. So once again, the reason athletics and other extracurricular activities are given admission tags is so the coaches can “match the commitment” they are requesting from their athletes during the recruiting process.

    • theblueandwhite14

      What defines “worthy to get into Yale” in your book? Simply the grades? If so, most of us wouldn’t be here right now because there are plenty of “cookie cutter” applicants dying for a spot here. Yale could easily fill its spots up with 5000 students who didn’t lose a single point on their SAT. What do you think got you in? Probably high school extra-curriculars, volunteering, awards, etc.

      Athletes commit so much of their time to pure physical exertion- I wouldn’t be able to handle myself. In fact, it’s easier for me to sit and study for 5 hours than to do one hour of training. So I admire them for their dedication and commitment to their sports. They’ve proven to be hardworking, committed, and determined to win for Yale. So who gives a crap about whether you always get better grades than them? Dedicate 10+ hours a week to a sport and then let’s see the results. In addition, there are plenty of students who decide once entering Yale that they will not to stress themselves out about grades. They want to enjoy their Yale experience, whatever that experience may be.

  • JayHold

    The assumption in the entire argument is that athletes are given a “golden ticket” as opposed to other candidates at Yale and the other Ivies. There are other “golden tickets” given:

    1 – UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES AND LOW INCOME STUDENTS WITH PELL GRANTS – Diversity is the buzz word of Admissions. In a recent article, the Yale Admissions Director was quoted: “Mr. Brenzel made the case that low-income students represented an increasing size of Yale’s undergraduate class, even though they had less of a track record of success at the university. About 14 percent of the incoming class is supported by Pell Grant students, he said, saying that with respect to preferences, “the trend is down for legacy and up for underrepresented minorities.” http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/legacy-2/

    2 – LEGACIES – This makes up 10% of Yale admits according to this article in which Yale is quoted. http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/29/legacy-2/ And there are different categories of desirable legacies to boot noted in this article.

    “Harvard actually has different levels of legacy preference, systematically and in some ways elaborately distorting its standards on behalf of a certain group. While children of middle-class alumni enjoy a modest edge, which may be heightened somewhat if the parents volunteer to interview applicants or organize reunions, the offspring of major donors receive in effect double preference – both as legacies and “development cases,” whose admission is considered vital to fundraising. They fly first-class through Harvard admissions, often enjoying personal interviews with Fitzsimmons and slots on the exclusive “Z” list, which ushers in, via a one-year deferment, well-connected but often academically borderline applicants.”

    Now, sum it up:

    Low Income/Minority/Underrepresented: 14%
    Legacies: 10%
    Athletes: 10%

    Where does the conversation start? Where does it end with virtually ONE THIRD of the Yalies in each classroom getting a “Golden Ticket?” Yes 1 out of 3 got in because of some exception to the rule.

    Bigotry and labeling a group be it based on income, race, family privilege or athletic ability. Where does the conversation start? Where does it end?

  • The Anti-Yale

    Look at all the time and energy we devote to the issue of sports just in this posting thread.

    Newspapers around the world have “sports sections” yet they have no “dance sections” or “art sections” or “music sections”, although they may devote a column here or there to reviews of such.

    Does it take a genius to figure out that we love to watch the human body in competition with other human bodies?

    Homoeroticism and voyeurism masquerading as competition with some mathematics thrown in for seasoning.

    Little more; little less.

    PK

    • JayHold

      Follow the money…
      Globally, we have the Olympics with millions watching and millions of dollars made…
      Any similar spectator popularity or millons made on that scale for dance, art or music?

      • The Anti-Yale

        You got it.

        Money.

        Paterno’s Penn State.

        The NFL’s Bounty-hunters.

        Clemens, Bonds, et al.

        Our gods have clay brains.

        PK

        • JayHold

          Corruption. Evil. Greed. Immorality. Debauchery. A human predicament not unique to sports but found in common men and leaders in politics, religion, business, education, etc. … where temptation exists, men fall.

      • Goldie08

        I’m willing to bet that global spending on popular music and film is pretty similar. Probably higher.

    • jamesdakrn

      its simple. Sports is more fun.

    • Goldie08

      I feel like most newspapers do have an art section daily. Also, again, what is homoerotic about sports like swimming? I mean, aside from the speedos (but that’s a tired joke).

  • The Anti-Yale

    The homoeroticism also occurs among spectators. And Arts sections are a trifle compared with the space devoted to sports.

    • Goldie08

      I love my male friends. Is that homoerotic? I would just call it friendship.

      • The Anti-Yale

        This conversation withered in 1970.

  • JayHold

    Easy. Follow the money man. More hundreds of millions of $$$ are made with March Madness as well as college football broadcasting rights and memorabilia. Mind boggling. The stranglehold the NCAA has on college sports is stupefying where football and baskeball coaches at the big schools have salaries in the multi-millions – where colleges make millions of $$$ off these sports programs and where the NCAA laughs all the way to the bank. All about supply and demand – free market system. Let it ride!

    Oh, and yes, the scholarships the athletes get for their four years of hard labor pales in comparison. Might I add the Ivies do not even offer athletes NCAA athletic scholarships for the 20 or more hours per week they are mandated to put into practice, conditioning and games both on and off season. Cheers to coming out with boatloads of student loans to pay back for years.

    But, yes, for the privelege of attending an Ivy where they are treated like amoeba, squished by subpar coaches, hazed and intimidated in the lockerroom and on and off the field or court, while the coaches punch a timecard and look the other way. Add the self-righteous snubbing of the professors in the classroom and by fellow students who look down at their classmates firm and tight bodies with albeit tiny minds.

  • eli1

    Chelsea, thanks so much for continuing to hammer this topic. I would love if there would be some way to get Dick Levin to respond to these articles, however, I am not holding my breath.

  • Nighttime

    Chelsea, you have written a fabulous article again! Thanks for your insight and for your commitment to keeping this topic in the public domain at Yale. It needs further debate, further investigation and then a decisive action plan which is supported by the University. Your detractors in the posted comments are missing an important element when they insist that other extra curricular activities do not have quotas and get special treatment. First, all cherished activities at Yale have a quota of sorts. The admissions department makes sure that there are enough musicians to fill a concert band, that there are matriculants that are committed to the arts; this is how they fill a diversified and talented student body in each class. In EACH category, Yale is committed to EXCELLENCE!! The difference in athletics is that to be committed to EXCELLENCE, you have to be able to compete against your peer group of schools (who also understand that scholar athletes are scholars first) which in our case is the Ivy League. To ask athletes to attend Yale without a level playing field against their conference peers is to ask them to subscribe to mediocrity or failure and is not what we should be teaching our students or supporting visibly through our entire community. The teams can absolutely be filled with athletes who can compete on the fields and in the classroom. Ask the admissions officers how many unbelievably talented candidates are turned down each year that can absolutely do the work and excel at it!! The issue is to admit enough talented athletes who are also talented students to enable the various teams to have a chance to compete. These athletes aren’t “taking some other worthy candidate’s place”, they ARE the worthy student candidate who also demonstrates a love and a commitment to an extracurricular activity which enhances the overall university. Yale should not have a mediocre music department, physics department, math department, philosophy department, arts program, or ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT!! I am proud of my alma mater because it has strived for excellence in all that it does. It has just gone astray on the athletic front and needs to find its way again as soon as possible. Thanks again, Chelsea, for doing what you can to help.

  • Motiv8or

    Chelsie, The timing of your article is impeccable. My son plays baseball for Yale and 3 days ago I sent a letter to President Levin that addressed the very issues you raise in your article. I would be glad to send you a copy of my letter if you would like to read it. In the letter I address the embarrassing lack of resources committed to the team, (my son has to purchase much of the equipment he needs to participate in his Division I varsity sport. Unbelievable.), the complete disregard for the players and their families, how Yale has the smallest baseball roster in all of college baseball (and how that dramatically decreases our ability to compete), how the only way parents can monitor the games is through the coverage and technology provided by the opposing team’s website, and most surprisingly, the unforgiveable decay and horrendous conditions of Historic Yale Field. Some of the greatest players of all time played on Yale’s baseball field and today it is literally falling apart before our eyes. In the letter I explain that it is not only an eyesore, it is potentially dangerous, and today, (03/22/12), just 3 days after my letter to Mr. Levin, one of our Yale baseball players received a season ending injury during practice after stepping in a rut while chasing down a fly ball in the outfield.

    • ldffly

      Good luck hearing anything from Levin. Pony up more money for those new colleges and maybe you’ll have some luck.

  • Motiv8or

    For the record, my son did NOT receive a “Golden Ticket” into Yale because of his athletic ability as some of your readers are suggesting. His grades, GPA, and class ranking qualified him for all the best schools in the country, including all the Ivies. But he also had athletic opportunities and like most, (if not all) of the other athletes, he turned down athletic scholarships to PAY a hefty fee to come to Yale. In other words, like all of the other athletes, he’s truly “committed” to Yale, not just interersted. Every single one of the Yale athletes “committed” to Yale months before receiving confirmation that they are actually accepted in return. How many of the other students can say that? Understand that once an athlete commits to a school they are no longer wanted by or recruited by other schools. How many of the students at Yale can say they “exclusively” committed to Yale “months before their acceptance” and actively declined or turned away all other invitations to attend other schools? Most of these pretentious snobs that imply they are academically superior applied to all the notable universities and then choose the one they felt was best out of the few schools that accepted them. I’ll bet many of these students had aspirations for other schools but instead settled for Yale because for whatever reason they weren’t accepted by their preferred school and Yale was the best choice out what was available to them. These students have no loyalty to Yale and no honor in their actions, but then they have the audacity to question and ridicule those who laid it all on the line to represent one school exclusively with their athletic talent, and that school is Yale! Every single one of your Yale athletes chose Yale “up front” over other schools, and they did it because they “value” the quality education everyone is commenting on in this blog. If they didn’t care about the academics they would go where the money is! Think how foolish an athlete would feel if he/she turned down full scholarships to other colleges and “committed” to Yale only to find out later that he/she wasn’t accepted. By the time he/she learned they weren’t accepted the other opportunities would be long gone to other athletes, and they would be left with nothing. It would be a terrible situation. A student’s lifetime of work to have the grades and pedigree to meet Yale’s requirements, and the athletics ability to be recruited by many notable universities to compete, would be left with no college home. The reason athletics and other extracurricular activities are given admission tags is so the coaches can “match the commitment” they are requesting from their athletes during the recruiting process. The coaches would never be able to secure a commitment without these endorsements. But to be clear, the academic requirements are not lowered for these athletes.

    • HighStreet2010

      Yes, your son really showed his special dedication to Yale by “committing” early, something that other students can’t even do because they aren’t part of a special system that only athletes have access to. And you have the audacity to say that Yalies who don’t enjoy the special privilege of athletic recruiting have “no honor”. Disgusting.

      If an athlete commits to a school and doesn’t get in, and misses the recruiting process because of it … it’s like he’s a normal student that participated in any other extracurricular. What a terrible situation! Oh, the humanity! To have to go through the normal admissions process like some sort of pleb! A life destroyed! Woe upon us all!

      • Motiv8or

        Once again, your comments imply all athletes are inferior in the classroom, and that simply isn’t the case. I know you wish it were because the world would be a much easier place if we could simply stereotype people. The world is full of great athletes that also have great minds. Generalizing all athletes into one category isn’t only unfair, it shows a lack of intellect, empathy, and common courtesy. Being an educated person, I’m guessing you would be the first to defend a negative label placed a specific race or religion or even more secular grouping like a profession. It is ridiculous to say all Hispanic people are this, all Jews are that, all engineers are a certain way…. or all doctors, or all lawyers. Why do you insist on grouping the athletes this way? The point is a coach’s athletic endorsement is not an automatic admission. If you think so, get your facts straight. Go talk to the admissions department and they will quickly and clearly confirm that they do NOT let the coaches run their department. In fact, they take great pride in making sure the coaches know it. The athletic tag only insures that the athlete’s application will be personally reviewed instead of getting lost in the maze of applications. Admissions makes it VERY CLEAR to all coaches that the student athletes they recruit must meet certain standards. The coaches have to scour the country to find these athletes as they are few and far between, and therefore all the best schools are after the same players. So you’re dead wrong in your earlier post when you say that some are settling for Yale. Athletes with grades and resumes worthy of Yale have MANY other options, which is probably at the heart of what is driving so much resentment towards them. Since these “academic athletes” have proven themselves in the classroom as well as on the field, when the coaches ask them to “choose” Yale over the other schools, the coaches return their commitment by making sure their application is hand delivered to an admissions person that will verify their qualifications and that they are indeed worthy. That’s it. [Continued]

        • HighStreet2010

          “Athletes with grades and resumes worthy of Yale have MANY other options, which is probably at the heart of what is driving so much resentment towards them”

          Ah, so we just hate them because they’re better than us? So pretentious it hurts.

          “So you’re dead wrong in your earlier post when you say that some are settling for Yale”

          Are you really saying that every single varsity athlete had Yale as their first choice? That absolutely none of them were hoping to be recruited somewhere else? That we are just so lucky and blessed that every one of them deigned to grace us with their magnificent presence? Please.

          • Motiv8or

            You said it, not me. But apparently, they are better. They’re both smart and athletic. And they don’t find their courage on the internet. If you have an issue with athletes, get off the keyboard and go out in the real world and say it it to an athlete’s face, little man.

      • Motiv8or

        .

      • yalengineer

        I showed special dedication to Yale by applying early. Works the same way right?

    • Motiv8or

      There is no question, this is a benefit in the admissions process. This is the primary (at Yale, some would argue “ONLY”), benefit these athletes received for dedicating their life to their sport and then seeing it through. It’s no different than a person getting a good paying job after college. It’s the reward for all their hard work. Hard work that others wouldn’t do. Sacrifices that others would pay. The same holds true for a highly paid entertainers, doctors, computer programmers, etc. There is usually a pay-off for their commitments and sacrifices. It may be money or it may be something else, like the perfect work environment or the freedom to pursue personal interests. Whatever their return, there is still a reward and the primary reward these athletes receive for the years of commitment is their application is put on the top of the stack during admissions. That’s it. They still have to meet Yale’s standards for admissions. Something you refuse to acknowledge. They still have to do the work in school. They still have to take the same tests as every other student. The only difference is, they do the same school work with a half or a third the amount of time because of morning lifting and conditioning and afternoon practices. I would love to see some of the other students follow the athlete’s schedule for just one week. Lifting, team meetings, practices, treatment for injuries, etc. It would be a real eye opener. Finally, as I said before, these athletes value the Yale education. If they didn’t, they would go to schools with much easier academic curriculum or that were offering financial scholarships. At those schools they would have less academic work during the college years, they would graduate with little or no financial debt and they would enjoy a student body that supported their efforts on the field instead of unfairly stereotyping them as Neanderthals or in some way undeserving of the same respect every other Yale student enjoys.

      • HighStreet2010

        I think I laid out my points pretty coherently in another post. I would like to see you actually respond to them rather than writing another sprawling narrative.

        This post summarizes the attitude that I see a lot: entitlement. Athletes worked hard therefore they should get a benefit over and above everyone else. This is what I object to. You think that just because someone played a sport rather than cello, that they are entitled to preferential admissions treatment. I think that’s BS. Other people work hard too and are not rewarded in the same way. A better analogy would like someone in finance who, though certainly a hard worker, gains significantly more benefit than someone else who puts in the same tough hours because the system is skewed in his favor. Nobody else gets put on the top of the stack, no matter how dedicated they are or what sacrifices they make. Just athletes.

        And since when is playing sports a huge sacrifice? When I played 22(+) hours of sports every week, I had a great time with awesome friends. I socialized, I was well connected at the school. Sure it was a time commitment, but playing a damn instrument four hours every day would have taken 1000x the sacrifice. What else do you do as a kid anyway? Where’s the rewards for the computer programmer that spends his days learning valuable skills and building things, in isolation? Does his app get hand picked and placed at the top of the pile?

        You completely lionize what athletics is to the detriment of everyone else – its nonsense to say that only athletes do the hard work or make the sacrifice. Ridiculous.

        Nobody hates athletes or thinks they’re neanderthals. They’re respected for what they do, and Yalies as a whole love sports just as much as the next group. The fact that athletes work hard and have time consuming schedules is well recognized. Everyone here has a friend that’s an athlete, they’re amazing members of the community and add a large dimension to the school. It’s an important tradition and sets us apart from other schools that don’t have sports. Everyone at Yale is a top student, we have many more qualified applicants than slots.

        Having said that, the original point of this article was that we should want more students to be recruited on the basis of their athletic performance. I am saying that athletics is already prioritized in a way that nothing else is, and I don’t agree that we should want to recruit more people on that basis. I’m still missing why I should want to reserve more spots for athletes at the expense of potentially more qualified applicants.

        • Motiv8or

          You make great points and we’ll probably never agree because it’s pretty apparent we have different philosophies and beliefs. The answer to your final question however, is simple. In the way the world currently works, (like it or not) if Yale wants to compete in athletics, they can’t simply wait and see who gets accepted and then hope they have enough players (and talent) to field a competitive team. The conference won’t let you stay involved if some years you field athletic teams and some years you don’t. So either you’re in or you’re out, and if you’re in, there must be wide range of commitments including facilities, resources, and yes, even tools to recruit the best possible talent you can attract. Further, if Yale incorporated the casual approach your message implies, and instead of actively recruiting their athletes simply held try-outs each year, thereby “hoping” Yale has the enough people to field a team, Yale would seldom, if ever win a game in any sport and athletics in general would become the running joke of the campus, and the Ivy League as a whole. In turn, it wouldn’t take long for athletics to be eliminated altogether. So, in order to compete, “one” of the things you have to do is empower the coaches with the ability to “recruit”. The only way they can proactively recruit talent in a conference that doesn’t offer financial scholarships, like the Ivy conference, is empower the coaching staffs with a process that doesn’t violate the schools admission standards but does insure their players applications will get a thorough review. A COACHES ENDORSEMENT TO ADMISSIONS IS NOT A GUARANTEE THE STUDENT ATHLETE WILL BE ACCEPTED. Admissions makes is very clear to anyone that asks that no one tells them who is admitted and who isn’t. Granted, if the athlete meets the admissions standards then the “tagged” student athlete is usually accepted, but clearly these athletes take the opportunity to attend Yale seriously. If they didn’t they would go to easier academic schools that are offering more lucrative financial arrangements. And they are clearly able to do the work because they still must go to the same classes, do the same work, and pass the same test … and do it all in a third of the time other students have to commit to their academics. Athletics are an organized entity in the Ivy conference and sports as we know them today literally began in this conference. So back to your question about why Yale should reserve spots for athletics – If Yale wants to compete favorably in athletics and represent the school well, they must at least match the number of athletes the other Ivy schools provide their coaching staffs. Otherwise, you might as well eliminate sports all together because they will eventually become such an embarrassment that they don’t foster any excitement, unity, and school spirit.

          • grumpyalum

            Deal. I don’t think athletics foster any school spirit or excitement anyway, except for The Game, but that has much less to do with football as with traditional rivalry.

            Ned Fulmer was right, according to you, apparently: we either go big or go home. If going big means increasing athlete representation on Yale’s campus, well, that’s a no no and I’ll gladly give my money if they don’t do that!

  • The Anti-Yale

    “smallest baseball roster in all of college baseball (and how that dramatically decreases our ability to compete”

    What a tragedy We must DO something about this. We wouldn’t want great big important Ivy League YALE no to be able to “compete”, the sine qua non of the American economic engine, the cancer which ate Willy Loman’s guts out and which eats at every American in the distorted, materialistic world Arthur Miller has been warning us about through his art for six decades: The Anonymity of Modern Man.

    I’m with the late Commissioner of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti (incidentally a former President of Yale): “WINNING IS’T EVERYTHING.”

    I’ll go further. Winning is a sick, male obsession, from Gettysburg to Afghanistan.

    PK

    PS. The turned ankle, however, is important. Fix that field !

  • spectator

    It is sad to see the self righteous statements from the Yale students about their own classmates. It is even sadder to see how this institutional approach is confining the team and hurting the student athletes. It is not just about the hole in the field.

    My son is ranked first in his IB program in one of the top high schools in the country and a top 10 national level athlete. I don’t have to tell you how he puts in 22+ hours a week of hard work in practice in addition to his academics to be where he is. I would advise him to leave this great institution to those who think student athletes add little value to the school. It is bigger than a hole in the field.

    • ldffly

      I hope the comments above about student athletes are exceptional. If they aren’t, I’m as distressed as you are. I just don’t remember this attitude from the 70s–for whatever my experience is worth.

      I’ll say it again. I think sport, involving physical labor among many other things, is significant to the development of good character. Yes, it’s a cliche but a sound mind in a sound body is essential to a good human life. Pres. Levin should change the current climate. Of course, he won’t.

  • spectator

    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2012/3/21/ODonnell-Gives-30M-Donation/
    From a former Harvard baseball player to his school. I know money is not everything but I am sure it will benefit all of H’s students, athletes or not.

  • RexMottram08

    Paul Keane,

    Let’s talk about the bigger admissions problem: the backdoor to a Yale degree that swings wide-open at the Yale Divinity School.

  • The Anti-Yale

    Are you referring to Senators John Danforth and Gary Hart who some say used their Yale Divinity School to gain entrance to the Law School? You certainly couldn’t be referring to me since I have never used my YDS degree for anything other than career-defeatinf, unpaid activism and personal intellectual satisfaction.

    I make less money as a public school teacher than some custodians do at Yale.

    PK

    • Motiv8or

      To theantiyale – You aren’t even trying to have an intelligent conversation or transfer meaningful insights in your posts. It’s pretty clear you’re just an insecure little person that feels brave on the internet and likes to stir up trouble. It’s not a coincidence that you are low paid, by the way. It’s a function of the value you are providing. Being of low financial means doesn’t make you’re a martyr, nor does it mean that your priorities are in order. It just says that you don’t have the courage to do something the rest of the world is willing to pay you handsomely for. Being a school teacher is certainly admirable but it has never been a high paying job so don’t complain about if that’s the choice you made. For the record, however, I have family members who are public school teachers and all of them are not only respected for their service to the community, they have found ways to increase or supplement their income to very competitive levels. It’s all about mindset and perspective..

      Your posts will not garner another moment of my time.

      • The Anti-Yale

        Motiv8or:

        It was you, not I , who suggested a Yale degree was somehow worthy of obtaining in itself, even through a “back door.”

        My comment about teaching was simply to disabuse you of the impression that a yale degree was a magic key to anything.

        In my case, it has been a nuisance in the world of careers, but an invaluable treasure in the world of ideas.

        As for public school teaching, it is the highest form of devotion —and its rewards are intangible, like the smiles on 3000 faces in the small town where I have taught for 25 years.

        Priceless.

        Sorry you seem unhappy. Hope you too find fulfillment.

        Best wishes,

        PK

  • Goldsmith11

    I struggle to comprehend how athletics have become such a divisive topic at Yale. I didn’t realize how much disdain my fellow Yalies felt towards me, my teammates and all the athletes that proudly represent them.

    • Motiv8or

      Well said.

  • Motiv8or

    The challenges around this topic are linked to the dynamics of organzied sports. Like it or nott, if Yale wants to compete in athletics, they can’t simply wait and see who gets accepted to Yale, hold open try-outs for various sports, and then hope they have enough players (and talent) to field a competitive team. The conference won’t let you stay involved if some years you field athletic teams and some years you don’t. So either you’re in or you’re out. And if you’re in, there must be wide range of commitments including facilities, resources, and yes, even tools to recruit the best possible talent you can attract.

    Further, if Yale incorporated the casual approach described earlier and instead of actively recruiting their athletes simply held try-outs each year, thereby “hoping” Yale has the enough people to field a team, Yale would seldom, if ever win a game in any sport and athletics in general would become the running joke of the campus, and the Ivy League as a whole. In turn, it wouldn’t take long for athletics to be eliminated altogether. So, in order to compete, “one” of the things you have to do is empower the coaches with the ability to “recruit”. The only way they can proactively recruit talent in a conference that doesn’t offer financial scholarships, like the Ivy conference, is empower the coaching staffs with a process that doesn’t violate the schools admission standards but does insure their players applications will get a thorough review.

    A COACHES ENDORSEMENT TO ADMISSIONS IS NOT A GUARANTEE THE STUDENT ATHLETE WILL BE ACCEPTED. Admissions makes is very clear to anyone that asks that no one tells them who is admitted and who isn’t. Granted, if the athlete meets the admissions standards then the “tagged” student athlete is usually accepted, but clearly these athletes take the opportunity to attend Yale seriously. If they didn’t they would go to easier academic schools that are offering more lucrative financial arrangements. And they are clearly able to do the work because they still must go to the same classes, do the same work, and pass the same test … and do it all in a third of the time other students have to commit to their academics.

    Athletics are an organized entity in the Ivy conference and sports as we know them today literally began in this conference. So back to the questions around why Yale should reserve spots for athletics – If Yale wants to compete favorably in athletics and represent the school well, they must at least match the number of athletes the other Ivy schools provide their coaching staffs. Otherwise, you might as well eliminate sports all together because they will eventually become such an embarrassment that they don’t foster any excitement, unity, and school spirit.

  • The Anti-Yale

    “embarrassment that they don’t foster any excitement, unity, and school spirit”

    Sounds like high school jingoistic rah rah language. Puerile phony baloney.

    PK

  • JayHold

    The Yale (and I would assume Ivy in general) athletic teams have been relegated to a “social belonging” group similar to joining any extracurricular group – like a fraternity, sorority, acapella group, theatre group, cultural/ethnic group, etc. It gives the athletes a peer group or social outlet which means more in this environment than playing time. The social belonging makes them feel normal even if they do not see playing time, the athlete will stay on the team to belong. Still, the student athlete faces a hostile environment on most though not all of the teams:

    Hazing and intimidation from teammates (us against them within the team) in some part due to the mediocrity of the level of most players who resort to hazing and bullying to gain power since status is not based on athletic excellence

    Apathetic and marginally competent coaching staff that foster a hostile environment resulting in low morale while turning a blind eye to hazing and bullying in the locker room and on and off the field or court in practice and in games

    Athletes are forced to dedicate at least 20 hours a week to training, conditioning, games and manditory “social events” etc. that take away from ability to study with many teams requiring practice at peak studying times (not all teams require 6 am practices before classes start)

    Give up on competitive Division 1 NCAA scholarship offers to play at a higher level because the student athletes were accepted to a less athletically competitive Ivy team where the student then has to take out loans for the “privilege”

    Face prejudice and condemnation from a group (though not all) of pompous and self-righteous professors, administration and “academic only” students who don’t respect the discipline required to keep physically fit and the mental power requred to compete athletically

    Yes, the student athlete made a choice to be at Yale but there is little “excitement, unity and school spirit.” It’s a sad state of affairs and no one is held accountable. BUYER BEWARE.

  • The Anti-Yale

    “Hazing and intimidation from teammates (us against them within the team) in some part due to the mediocrity of the level of most players who resort to hazing and bullying to gain power since status is not based on athletic excellence

    Apathetic and marginally competent coaching staff that foster a hostile environment resulting in low morale while turning a blind eye to hazing and bullying in the locker room and on and off the field or court in practice and in games”

    **Let’s not be naive. This is how males establish themselves in the pecking order of life. It is based on sexism of themost heinous kind: “How many did ya plug this weekend Joe? Are ya a real MAN. Or a pussy?”
    The root of this insecurity and the insecurity that leads young men to voluntarily join choreographed murder societies (AKA as the “ARMED Services”) is penis insecurity.
    Shocking to say, it is this simple, 60 years after Freud’s death and forty years after society’s rejection of his insights in favor of pharamceutical therapy.
    All males who are capable of being honest with themselves know the truth of this assertion. Unfortunately, there aren’t many willing to say so.
    Competetive athletics and armed military service turns American males into monsters.**

    **PK**

  • ldffly

    Writing? An ink laden projectile (a phallic image, perhaps?) attacks a piece of paper.

    And “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” can be interpreted as a piece of gnostic poetry.

    If indeed, the activity in sports is at base an expression of the male sex act, my response is why is this insight normative in any way, shape, or form? If the male sex act is morally problematic, then it should not be performed even in sublimated fashion. However, in the first place somebody has to make the case that the male sex act is morally problematic before the interpretation can stand as a moral critique of what goes on in sports.

    Of course, there remains the issue as to Freud’s authority in anything. A good deal of what Freud had to say about mental illness has been undone by modern psychopharmaceutical work. As to whether Freud’s pscyhoanalysis has a scientific content, I believe the issue was settled decades ago by Prof. Gruenbaum’s work. (A Yale grad by the way.) I would say the invocation of Freud settles nothing.

    I stand with those comment writers who criticize Pres. Levin’s downgrading of Yale’s sports programs. The athletes qua athletes have done nothing wrong, they deserve support.

    Off to the church house.

  • The Anti-Yale

    “If indeed, the activity in sports is at base an expression of the male sex act, my response is why is this insight normative in any way, shape, or form?”

    I believe I said penis insecurity was at the base of military rituals and competitive athletics, a fact which I whimsically alluded to by the further fact that most sports involve the
    penetration of a womb like cavity and that most weapons in warfare over the centuries have involved similar penetrations, which can be seen as a rehearsal of the reproductive act.

    As to that church house, its steeple is penetrating the sky.

    • apostolis

      First, it amazes me that someone with so many advanced degrees has not yet learned to appropriately qualify his or her own statements. “Most” sports, in fact, do not involve the symbolic act you so frequently seem to enjoy describing. Even a cursory review of Yale’s athletic website would reveal 12 sports that do not involve any perceivable act of penetration (baseball, crew, cross country, fencing, gymnastics, sailing, squash, swimming, diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball), 6 sports that arguably do involve such activities (basketball, field hockey, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse and soccer), and then there is football which could fall into either category depending on how you weigh the “symbolism” of field goals vs. touchdowns. I might mention that of the 6 sports mentioned above, each has a women’s team except for lacrosse, and I hear that they somehow manage to derive value out of these activities without such base motivations. I fear that you are falling victim to stereotyping, since “most” of the sports with broader appeal fall into one of the latter categories. Suffice it to say, sports are about far more than you have cared to venture in your pop psychoanalysis.

      Second, I know you take pride in venturing far off topic, so allow me to oblige you. Leaving aside arguments on the morality and causes of warfare, how exactly would you propose that a combatant injures an adversary without using a weapon that penetrates and damages vital organs (or causes blunt force to the extent that an external object is acting upon internal objects)? Could it be that things serve a purpose or function beyond their supposed symbolism? I’d hate to hear your views on such simple things as Legos… (what a coincidence! it’s mostly boys who play with them!).

  • The Anti-Yale

    ” Even a cursory review of Yale’s athletic website would reveal 12 sports that do not involve any perceivable act of penetration (baseball, crew, cross country, fencing, gymnastics, sailing, squash, swimming, diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball)”

    **Baseball** a small spermatazoic sphere-like projectile penetrates the grandstands.
    **Crew**: the oars penetrate the water, the skull does likewise, albeit horizontally
    **Cross country**; the runners penetrate a finish line
    **Fencing**: (too obvious) the foil penetrates the opponent (symbolically)
    **Gymnastics** ? (I’m buffering.)
    **Sailing**: the boat penetrates the water; the sail the sky
    **Squash**: a small sphere again aimed toward a cave-like structure and thrust as a projectile
    **Swimming**: a flesh projectile penetrates the water
    **Diving** (ditto)
    **Tennis**: that small sphere again penetrating the opponents court
    **Track and Field**(are you kidding?) Polevaulting; discus. Even the runners penetrate a finish line.
    **Volleyball**: (there’s that sphere projectile and cave again.**

    I never said the motivations were “base”. I said ( implied ) that testosterone, sports, and military service create monsters of males.

    I”m a pacifist. I refuse to have weapons on my property. I would not go to war. I was named after a man who championed the right to selective conscientious objection in a famous [Supreme Court case][1] http://dcmcentennial.blogspot.com/2011/01/william-h-harbaugh.htmlh

    [1]: http://dcmcentennial.blogspot.com/2011/01/william-h-harbaugh.htmlh

    • apostolis

      Perhaps I misinterpreted your exact quote from earlier today. In your own words: “I believe I said penis insecurity was at the base of military rituals and competitive athletics.”

      I somehow knew that you would stretch your theory to fit those sports as well. If you can define any given area as a receptacle, all objects being acted upon within that area are now somehow penetrating that larger area? Grandstands and finish lines? Seriously?

      Also, I was not commenting on your use (or lack thereof) of weapons. I was merely pointing out that they serve a purpose (moral or not) beyond their symbolic value, and one would be hard pressed to find a logical alternative to meet those same ends without somehow falling under your overgeneralized theory.

      But, if you are right, then I suppose I should stop typing and apologize to my keyboard. “She’s” getting a workout.

      • Motiv8or

        Don’t waste your time with theantiyale. This person is not really interested in solving a problems, sharing a useful insight, or contributing to society. He/She is clearly a bitter, unhappy, insecure, little recluse that never found his/her way, and finds great courage on the internet. Probably couldn’t make eye contact with you in public but would send an anonymous e-mail shortly after that is sure to include words that the average person would have to look up to understand. This makes him/her feel superior, and is another example that really “communication” is not really to goal.

        • ldffly

          I’ve been with you Motiv8or, but I’m not with you on this one. Play the ball, not the man. Besides, there’s really no character flaw revealed by using language not understood by the average man. So far, though, Mr. Keane’s vocabulary hasn’t gone beyond my limited comprehension.

    • The Anti-Yale
  • The Anti-Yale

    Yankee stadium is one big womb.
    Seriously.
    PK

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS

    I suppose America’s competitive athletics is one step up from disemboweling your peers on top of an Incan ziggurat.

    • Motiv8or

      Don’t waste your time with theantiyale. This person is not really interested in solving a problems, sharing a useful insight, or contributing to society. He/She is clearly a bitter, unhappy, insecure, little recluse that never found his/her way, and finds great courage on the internet. Probably couldn’t make eye contact with you in public but would send an anonymous e-mail shortly after that is sure to include words that the average person would have to look up to understand. This makes him/her feel superior, and is another example that “communication” is not really to goal. Some people aren’t happy unless they are “unhappy”, and they are expecially happy when they spread their virus of unhappiness around the world. When they do this, they like to call it “intellect”. Too funny.

  • The Anti-Yale

    Hardly a recluse, working with hundreds of persons every work day, I am the least bitter person I know. My life is full of gratitude for a fulfilling career and good health and a life in the beautiful Green Mountains.

    As for anonymity, I am one of two or thee persons on YDN posting board who signs his name and I have consistently done so for three years.

    I am totally opposed to the cowardice of anonymous posting. Anonymity turns the YDN posting board into a digital bathroom wall, as your last post certifies.

    Paul D. Keane

    M. Div. ’8o

    M.A., M.Ed.

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS:

    I am interested in larger issues than scores and statistics, scholarships and championships, e.g.,: what forces in cultures cause human beings to slaughter each other; what forces cause men to abuse the bodies and souls of women; what forces cause men and women to sell their souls to the gods of fame and money.

    If these issues bore you, skip my posts. However, calling them irrelevant is a bit myopic.

    Paul D. Keane

    M. Div. ’80, blah blah

    • Motiv8or

      Life is so wonderful. But you’re missing it. Music, Art, Theater, and yes, even sports are all part of this incredible experience. In reality, nothing on earth is really “good” or “bad”. We make it so with our thoughts. Even death is celebrated in some cultures. Saying you “work with hundreds every day”, doesn’t communicate anything. I noticed you didn’t say you inspire hundreds every day; or make hundreds of people smile every day. No, you consider just showing up for work and being “amongst” the people worthy of acknowledgement. Your own language speaks about your heart and your mindset. I have never seen you post a kind or positive comment. It’s always critical with an air of pretentiousness. What normal person links crew, volleyball, track and field, and all the other sports to “slaughtering each other” and “abuse of bodies and souls”. You could just as easily find good things in sports, but you choose to be negative, angry, and hurtful to an entire group of people by minimizing their contributions. It’s a choice. I hope one day you’ll choose to find the good in things. How about today?

  • The Anti-Yale

    Motiv8or (or Motive Hater)

    I would never be presumptuous enough to suggest that I have inspired anyone. But three thousand smiling students over the last 25 years have inspired ME.

    I’m sorry I do not meet your “positive thinking benchmark’ , a classic irony since my parents were both followers of religions which are subsumed by the title New Thought, a philosophy which rejects negative thinking.

    I don’t know whether to be flattered or frightened that you seem unable to pry yourself free from a hypnotic fascination with my mental state.

    I can assure you, my outrage is at what fools these mortals be, not at you, or Yale, or anyone one in particular. There comes a time in life when you just tell it like it is. That’s my time.

    Now, I suggest you cut me loose from your mental chains. It can only drag you down to drag me around with you t like Marley’s ghost .

    PK

    • Goldie08

      When you say things like “I suppose America’s competitive athletics is one step up from disemboweling your peers on top of an Incan ziggurat,” it speaks to some underlying negativity, not to mention insults something to which I’ve devoted over 20 years of my life. Are you unfamiliar with the concept of “sportsmanship,” which college athletics certainly fosters? I motion that other aspects of life could use a little more “sportsmanship.”

      I really don’t like replying to your posts and feeding the fire (yes, yes, I know – delightfully off topic for 87 years and counting), but I can’t let your hyperbole persist unchecked.

    • Motiv8or

      To TheAntiYale – I feel so bad for you. I’m sure you are as much an outcast in real life as you are on this blog. Just to be clear, no one is impressed after reading your posts and no one thinks you make a good argument or a valid point. We just shake our heads in complete confusion how anyone could be so completely off base. You’re a nut job, dude. Get back on your medication before you hurt someone. People don’t stop responding to you because your ramblings swayed their way of thinking. We simply disengage because it becomes clear that your posts have no value and are a complete waste of our time. Most of us try to make our points one time and move on because we actually have important things to do in the evening, like be involved in our family’s lives, or prepare for something important the next day that will make a difference in the world, but sometimes we get sucked in to the dark side by people like you. This is my first week to respond to these blogs but I did some checking and it’s clear you literally live for the evenings when you get on your computer and be hurtful, illogical, mean spirited, and controversial. It’s your whole life… how sad is that? What did you do for interaction before the internet? Here’s an idea – How about in the future you make your point and move on. Or, if you are really interested in stretching your mind, as you imply everyone else should do, how about one evening a week committing yourself to posts that aren’t mean spiritied and that don’t cause others to lash out in anger. It’s actually possible to disagree without being disagreeable, but it takes maturity, intellect, and effort. It takes a far greater mind to bring people together than to tear them apart. Grow up!

  • The Anti-Yale

    Sportsmanship?

    Like Paterno’s ethically dubious dynasty?

    Like Roger Clemens?

    Like Barry Bonds?

    Like Pete Rose?

    Like the blood money paid to injure opponent football players with violent hits, so they would have to bow out of the game.

    My criticism is a flea-like-David on the Grotesque Goliath of national sports organizations and professional teams.

    The monstrosity of college and professional sports hardly needs anonymous, cowardly YOU to defend it from obscure, fragile, antique me birthcertificated ME.

    It sounds as if the meathead mentality has listened to its own rhetoric for so long that it considers ANY opposing opinion a threat to its phallocentric self-intoxication. (God forbid anyone not bow in obeisance to college and professional sports.)

    PK

  • JayHold

    Violations of morality, ethics and the law are not unique to sports. Politicians, Entrenched Executives of Corporations and Educational Institutions and others drunk with power and prestige in diverse industries are corrupt. They believe they are above the law. It’s called being an imperfect human being.

    Just as you list these disgraced athletes, there is a mighty list of former college athletes who have gone on to be significant leaders in industry and government. Then there are the millions who have gone on to contribute to their community without fame and fortune for less than 1% of college athletes go on to play professional sports.

  • The Anti-Yale

    The question for ME is, What do we RAISE male children to believe is valorous. It aint politcs, it corporations, it aint educational institutions: IT’s the ritualized violence of competitive sports —even violence against oneself in the form of training. .

    While I have been posting on this thread over the last four days, the New York Times has sent ME A DOZEN “ALERT” notices on the victory or defeat of teams in Kansas and elsewhere and the sale of players to other TEAMS. Politics, corporations and educational institutions during that time have received one tenth the number of “ALERTS”.

    Our culture is unbalanced.

    It’s as if we are nation of lunkheads, drooling for the next dose of rah rah excitement where we can watch human bodies try to outdo other human bodies,either dressed as Knights, or sweating half naked.

    I realize I am an exception, but in my entire 67 years I haven’t spent a dozen hours paying attention to such competitive feats.

    I speak ONLY for myself —but i find sports and the memorization of scores and player statistics, a profoundly mindless banality.

    Am I snob? Not at all. Am I too delicate or too old to compete? I’m 6’2″, 220 lbs, and
    work 60 hours a week at age 67. Not a wilting lily at all. More a stoney cactus,

    I find mowing my own 2 acres by hand (4 hrs.) and by riding mower (3 hrs.) satisfyingly therapeutic.

    I’m not afraid to use muscles or get my hands dirty. I’m simply bored watching other people try to get a projectile (including their own body) into a specific target (i.e. womb-like structure.)

    BORING. BORING. BORING.

    I would much rather read the 12 million words in the Diary of Samuel Pepys.

    Or mow my lawn.

    Paul D. Keane

    M. Div. ’80 , blah blah

  • The Anti-Yale

    PS:

    Here’s what actually bothers me, in a nutshell.

    It’s as if the CULTURE has decided that if you are born a male you are doomed to be a bit dim witted, and that the greatest opportunity the culture can offer males to experience glory and joy is through the ritualized coordination of muscles called athletics.

    Sports is the egalitarian “Open Sersame” to legions of males who society has decided before birth simply do not have the ability to develop and experience intellectual satisfaction, joy, and glory.

    It’s s stacked deck.

    Arts, science, literature is sissy stuff, for girls and for effeminate males.

    Sports is for real males, who know how to drink hearty and plunder female flesh.

    UGH UGH UGH.

    As Elizabeth Jacobs (MSW, University of Chicago) a New Haven psycho-therapist and Director of Adoption for Hamden The Children’s Center, used to tell me, “Our culture does enormous damage to males.”

    PK

    D.Div. ’80, etc.

    • Goldsmith11

      Yes Paul, it is surely cultural indoctrination/phenomena that result in the base physicality of man. It’s culture that would have us, as you poetically put it, “rehearse the choreography of the reproductive act,” because sexual desire is certainly not innate either.

      Had I not been a swimmer–I mean a human flesh phallus penetrating the obviously womb-like Kiphuth Exhibition Pool–I would be helpless to ensure my posterity.

      I know it’s not impossible for you to reach any reasonable/cordial conclusions with us gutless ANONYMOUS posters on the YDN comment boards, but I think you would agree–organized sports have at least provided a focused, mostly harmless, entertaining, and *GASP* occasionally INSPIRING outlet for our otherwise NATURAL DESIRES for serial-mating, bug-eating and poop-flinging?

      (I’m sure you reject being attributed with any semblance of masculine/basic/evolutionary nature, but for a self-professing freudian….well, good luck with that)

      How’d you like to mow my lawn?

      Sam Goldsmith

      B.A. ’11, A- in Human Societies, etc.

      • eli1

        A little off topic but it’s a relief to see that someone else got an A- in Human Societies…I thought I was the only one.

        • Goldsmith11

          i just couldn’t get through that whopper of a script.

          etc., etc.

    • apostolis

      You still haven’t addressed the fact that there are women’s teams for almost every sport, and how this affects your arguments on masculinity or symbolic acts of reproduction. And, again, in most circumstances you are ignoring the vast majority of sports. Most sports do not involve any physical contact with an opponent, and many fewer involve violent contact. If you object to any form of competition as being violent (I.e. the emotional damage of not being the best at something), then you only need to look at your constant competition with college students on these article blogs.

      PS: dismissing one’s arguments because they are posting anonymously is eerily similar to running a smear campaign in which you focus on a person’s personal faults rather than their arguments. Ignore those comments which would be more appropriately scribbled on bathroom stall walls while recognizing that (as your opinion) an organization which allows participation under monikers may be flawed. However, also recognize that you seem to enjoy participation under the opportunities afforded by that same organization, and using it as a trump card to end every article’s blog does not do much interms of advancing the debate at hand.

      PPS: some employers require that you sign a contract saying that you will not post political commentary on social media sites, and what doesn’t eventually come back to politics? I await your response on how such employers are wrong to do so.

  • The Anti-Yale

    M. not D. Div.

  • basho

    We all read “Lord of the Flies” in middle school. Considering that it’s been beaten far beyond death for over a century, lets put phallic symbolism aside for a bit and stop pretending it’s brilliant original thought.

  • yalengineer

    I’ve been thinking about the discussion a bit more. A good example of schools that appreciates the role of sports is MIT. While their football team is god awful, their other varsity sports have quite a lot of support from the university and their club sports equally so. Yes, it is DIII but the key thing is that they are competitive which is something we can’t claim.

    I know plenty of athletes who were recruited to MIT and they are more than capable students and contributors to the MIT community. There isn’t any reason why Yale cannot maintain a similar atmosphere regarding athletics.

  • The Anti-Yale

    “mostly harmless, entertaining”

    **Harmless?**
    **Traumatic brain injury** (only acknowledged by the football industry because WIVES (i.e. non-MALES) of the brain damaged victims shoved it in front of the media’s face).

    **Worship of the false god, the golden hoop,**(instead of ac quiring an education) as a ticket out of the ghetto.

    **Entertaining?**

    Do you mean as in ancient Greek drama when a great man is brought down by a flaw in his character—like a **Yale football coach,** recently resigned?

    Or do you mean entertaining, as in sado-masochistic cannibalism, in which the public EATS it heroes alive, as in the case of the anonymous reporters of **Mr. Witt’s uncertfiable transgressive chronology?**

    BtW, I feel very comfortable disagreeing with a Sam Goldsmith ’11, as opposed to a Goldsmith11, which could have been simply a moniker.

    Thanks for being civilized —-perhaps a function of a B.A. in Human Societies, but probably more a function of your mother and father’s training.

    :>)

    Paul Keane

    PS

    It was a Yale President as Baseball Commissioner who ended Pete Rose’s career because Rose was dishonest. The same President gave a famous speech **”Winning isn’t Everything”** which brought roars of criticism from the wealthy, lunkhead alumni who thought otherwise. Never make a Dante scholar an administrator. They don’t have the knack of benign neglect and intransigent equivocation necessary to function without friction.

    He also coined the aphorism, **”all sports are about getting home”.** If the womb is the ultimate home of us all, his aphorism certifies my Freudian metaphor for sports.

    • Goldsmith11

      “Worship of the false god, the golden hoop,(instead of ac quiring an education) as a ticket out of the ghetto.”

      This has no place in the discussion, man.

      • The Anti-Yale

        Really?

        The damage done to male children in poverty who choose sports rather than academics as an avenue for upward mobility has NO PLACE iin a discussion abotu the damage our culture does to males?

        We send thousands of mmessages to males from the moment they are born that their brawn is more important than thier brains.

        Unfortunately, they decode those messages and belive them.

        Sorry if you are wearing middle class blinders.

        PK

  • Motiv8or

    To TheAntiYale – I feel so bad for you. I’m sure you are as much an outcast in real life as you are on this blog. Just to be clear, no one is impressed after reading your posts and no one thinks you make a good argument or a valid point. We just shake our heads in complete confusion how anyone could be so completely off base. You’re a nut job, dude. Get back on your medication before you hurt someone. People don’t stop responding to you because your ramblings swayed their way of thinking. We simply disengage because it becomes clear that your posts have no value and are a complete waste of our time. Most of us try to make our points one time and move on because we actually have important things to do in the evening, like be involved in our family’s lives, or prepare for something important the next day that will make a difference in the world, but sometimes we get sucked in to the dark side by people like you. This is my first week to respond to these blogs but I did some checking and it’s clear you literally live for the evenings when you get on your computer and be hurtful, illogical, mean spirited, and controversial. It’s your whole life… how sad is that? What did you do for interaction before the internet? Here’s an idea – How about in the future you make your point and move on. Or, if you are really interested in stretching your mind, as you imply everyone else should do, how about one evening a week committing yourself to posts that aren’t mean spiritied and that don’t cause others to lash out in anger. It’s actually possible to disagree without being disagreeable, but it takes maturity, intellect, and effort. It takes a far greater mind to bring people together than to tear them apart. Come on, man. You’re better than this.

    • River_Tam

      This comment is 100x more dickish than anything PK has ever written.

      • ldffly

        Motiv8or got off the track. As I said, play the ball not the man.

  • The Anti-Yale

    Take your patronizing elsewhere. I’m bored.

    PK

    • xfxjuice

      Finally.

  • JayHold

    I would like to challenge Yale Adminstration, Yale Admissions and Yale Athletics Department to publish the real statistics to show the differences in current GPAs and admissions test scores for the three “golden ticket” categories vis-a-vis all other undergraduates:

    - Athletes
    - Legacies
    - Underrepresented, low income Pell Grant, minorites
    - All-other undergraduates (assumes “academic only”)

    Then I would like to challenge Yale Athletics to publish the success and accomplishments of Yale athletes now (+800) and in the past (000′s) in terms of their awards and accomplishments in civic service/charity, career and donations to the university.

    Would be nice to see Yale Athletics step up and promote their own.

    • ldffly

      About time! I’ll second that one.

  • Motiv8or

    To JayHold – GREAT POINT! Wouldn’t it be nice to get some facts on the table, instead of mindless stereotyping. How do we make it happen?

  • JayHold

    The loudest voice seems to be the Yale Daily News whose reporters are creating a conversation. Do you think a YDN research article could start taking it to the next level? They can interview Yale Athletics Public Relations and Alumni Affairs who should be eager to reveal all of the accomplishments of its current and former athletes at best or at least help to collect this information. In terms of current GPAs, Yale Athletics. The grestest benefit would be to Yale Athletics to “get some facts on the table!” Yale Admissions would have to help on the other “golden ticket” categories.” Guess it comes back to the main man holding the purse strings and total power – President Levin. Hopefully, he and his administrators read this and will do the right thing. Thoughts?

    • Motiv8or

      JayHold – I think you’re on the right track. Comparing facts is certainly the best platform for making the point. I also think leveraging the power of the media (however, not just YDN) as well as the Yale departments / resources that have a “responsibility” to promote Yale is a slam dunk approach. The challenge is finding the time to write editors, call Yale offices, and do all the necessary steps needed to get some serious momentum. Since it has become such a divisive subject, (albeit primarily only on the Yale campus), I think it would be ground breaking research for a thesis. Any doctoral students out there looking for a worthy subject? Anyone willing to take the lead? I’m certainly willing to help.

  • ldffly

    They could definitely do it. However, we’re close to end of year, you know–finals. Is a YDN writer willing to flunk out for the Athletics Department?

    Really, this would be a great topic and probably should include some research going back at least to the Giamatti period. My recollection is that Giamatti scotched post season play in football in the midst of a season when we had a chance to go to a minor bowl. That didn’t sit well with anybody. Frankly, I don’t think the policy advanced the academic state of the campus, or the football team, one iota. It might also have made it tougher to recruit, but that’s just my speculation.

  • JayHold

    Interesting 2006 book by James Karabel: THE CHOSEN: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF ADMISSION AND EXCLUSION AT HARVARD, YALE AND PRINCETON

    http://books.google.com/books?id=zwf-Ofc–toC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false

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