To the Editor:

It would be a grave mistake for Yale to abandon its current admissions procedures for student-athletes, as Jacob Remes ’02 has suggested (“Yale should revoke special admissions for athletes,” 1/30). The legacy of successful athletics at Yale extends back more than 150 years. In order to maintain the competitiveness of our varsity teams without the aid of athletic scholarships, coaches must actively recruit exceptional student-athletes to choose Yale over rival universities.

It is clear that without these recruits, our varsity squads would suffer a severe disadvantage, rendering them unable to pursue the excellence that epitomizes this institution.

Remes has not considered the degradation in quality of both academic life and university reputation that would ensue his proposed alteration of policy. Athletes bring leadership skills, a hunger for excellence and humble can-do attitudes into Yale’s classrooms.

How unfortunate is it that student-athletes must suffer under the stigma of inferiority in the academic environment? Victory on the playing field and success in the classroom are not mutually exclusive, except in the minds of those still ignorant to the value of a well-rounded education.

Remes suggests that “athletes should be required to meet the same standards as all other applicants and students”; we argue that our standards are higher.

In order to earn consideration for a coveted spot on a coach’s “wish list,” recruits must demonstrate high quality of character and meet the same academic and extracurricular requirements that every other Yale applicant must meet. The resultant loss of such a dynamic sector of the student body, as an unavoidable consequence of policy alteration, would depreciate the identity and prestige of the University.

Kate Wetmore ’02 and Megan Leitch ’02

January 30, 2002

The writers are members of the women’s crew team.