After a yearslong decision-making process, Yale’s two new residential colleges, Pauli Murray College and Benjamin Franklin College, have finally been given names. Yet to be decided, however, is the makeup of the students who will reside in them.
Less than a year before the class of 2021 will be admitted — and mere weeks before recruitment for most teams gets into full swing — administrators have yet to decide whether the approximately 15 percent expansion of Yale College will be accompanied by an increase in the number of recruitment slots for student-athletes, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan said last week. Multiple coaches interviewed said they have not changed their recruitment efforts for the class of 2021 in any way because of the new colleges.
“So far, we have heard nothing about how this changed our recruiting,” fencing head coach Henry Harutunian said. “We are hoping that we can add one or two recruiting spots which would be a huge boost to our program.”
Yale is reportedly allowed by the Ivy League to dedicate up to 230 slots in each incoming class to recruited athletes, though Quinlan said in a November interview with the News that no school fills all of its allotted slots.
It is unclear how many slots Yale currently allots to student-athletes each year. Both Quinlan and Director of Athletics Tom Beckett have repeatedly declined to provide a specific number to the News, noting that it is policy not to make this information public.
In an interview with the News earlier this month, Quinlan said conversations between him and other senior administrators were still ongoing regarding the potential makeup of the incoming undergraduate student classes. Though Quinlan was speaking about all aspects of class makeup, not just the number of recruited athletes, all coaches interviewed said they have not notified of any recruitment policy changes.
“Nothing has changed with our recruiting for this year; we still follow the same plan that we have for the past four years,” women’s swimming and diving head coach Jim Henry said. “No changes in approach or timeline from 2016 to 2018. New colleges doesn’t affect our recruiting.”
Women’s lacrosse head coach Erica LaGrow said the same was true for her team.
With the deadline for accepting Yale offers of admission days away on May 1, Beckett said that recruiting efforts for the Yale class of 2020 is ongoing, and that the department has “only just begun” to organize the recruitment process for the class of 2021. Men’s golf head coach Colin Sheehan ’97 said he generally does not begin his recruiting process until the end of an athlete’s junior season, which for the class of 2021 would be in two months.
At Yale, student-athletes made up 13.1 percent — 177 out of 1,351 students — of the class of 2015, the last class for which recruitment statistics were disclosed by Beckett. With that number, an increase in recruited athletes of 15 percent would result in nearly 27 additional athletes annually.
Yale competes in 35 varsity sports, or 33 if indoor and outdoor track and field are counted as a single sport. Thus, even with an increase of 15 percent in recruited athletes each year, the number of potential new slots would be spread thinly across various teams.
Still, multiple coaches have told the News that any additional recruiting slots would help their teams, as a single recruitment slot per year adds up to four roster spots when taken over four years.
Yale teams in sports that require large rosters — excluding football, whose roster size of 120 players over four years is regulated separately by the Ivy League — have faced challenges recently due to lack of depth. At last year’s outdoor track and field Ivy League Heptagonal Championships, the Yale men’s team did not enter an athlete in six of 22 events, as did the women’s team. Both teams finished in last place.
In the most recent Ivy League women’s swimming and diving season, Yale went undefeated in dual meets, which award 51 percent of total points to first-place finishers. But despite winning 11 of 21 events and all five relays at the Ivy League Championship Meet, the Bulldogs lost to Harvard, as just 11 percent of points at the meet go to winners, and the top 24 performers in each individual event score points.
According to Brown’s athletics website, Brown recruits roughly 225–230 student-athletes per year.