To the Editor:

Both ill-informed and inaccurate, Jacobs Remes jumps to hasty conclusions in his piece on revoking “special admissions” for athletes (“Yale should revoke special admissions for athletes,” 1/30). Remes’ article is founded on the false premise that student athletes are the only “special” people in the admissions office. Each and every year admissions officers must chose from an array of applicants who all possess outstanding credentials, accomplishments, and promise. In order to be admitted, something must set a student apart. In some cases, being a talented athlete grants one the extra edge. In other cases, it is a legacy, a famous parent, a special talent, diversity, or something else. Remes’ article leaves us to wonder: if admissions does away with spots for athletes, should they also ignore these other characteristics when making a decision?

Meanwhile, Remes ignores the fact that applying as a recruited athlete by no means guarantees admission. The rigorous admissions standards of Yale College are not ignored for athletes, and coaches do not have the final say in who gets in and who doesn’t. Remes is wrong again in assuming that student athletes obtain Dean’s excuses on a regular basis. Deans are not waiting with pen and paper, ready to hand out excuses like free candy on Halloween. They are given under unusual circumstances, for example, when an athlete cannot be present in class due to a competition, and needs to make up an in-class activity.

Neither the admissions process nor life at Yale is a cakewalk for athletes. It involves a grueling schedule that demands one make sacrifices in every realm of life, whether social, academic, extracurricular, or otherwise, both before and during college. Student athletes make an important contribution to this University, and it is insulting to me and many other varsity athletes that many of our peers, like Remes, are hostile to the endeavors we pour our hearts and time into.

Rory Neuner ’03

January 30, 2002

The writer is a member of the Yale women’s ice hockey team.