To the Editor:
I have a few thoughts concerning the column of Jacob Remes ’02 (“Yale should revoke special admissions for athletes,” 1/31). First of all, in the admissions office, athletes are not the only applicants who receive special treatment.
How about legacies? Is there a quota number of legacies capped at 35 each year? I certainly hope not. Like football players, softball players, cross country runners, musicians, and artists, legacies play a vital part in the Yale experience.
Why do applications ask what extra-curricular activities you participated in during high school if it is not important? Admissions officers are not offering an SAT score admittance into Yale. They are admitting a person who they believe will enrich the Yale experience in and out of the classroom. Believe it or not, it is possible to learn a great deal from those who did not hold a 4.0 GPA and give the valedictorian address at their high school graduation.
Furthermore, the whole notion of athletes receiving special treatment in the classroom is absurd. Most of my teachers have no idea I even play football. It is very true that you may not get a dean’s excuse if you are in a play.
I do not recall, however, very many theatrical productions that require a six hour bus ride to Cornell during school hours. If anything, athletes who receive these excuses are at a disadvantage in the classroom because they often have to miss lectures and sections.
Not only do athletes meet the same academic standards that apply to other students, they do so while balancing an amazingly busy athletic schedule at the same time. Still, the football team manages to hold a higher graduation rate than the overall student body.
Furthermore, if “having athletes does improve Yale,” then why should Yale not strive to have an outstanding athletic program, while maintaining and (as the football team’s graduation rate suggests), even boosting the academic life and the Yale experience as a whole?
Surely a lackluster athletic program would “run counter to the ethos” of our prestigious institution which strives to excel in every forum of campus life.
Tate Rich ’04
January 30, 2002
The writer is a member of the football team.