The Ivy Coach Daily

March 11, 2017

Athletes at Princeton

There was recently an outstanding editorial on the pages of “The Daily Princetonian.”

And the award for the best college student-written editorial on highly selective college admissions of the year thus far goes to…Beni Snow of Princeton University. In a piece entitled “Princeton Admissions: Recruitment” in “The Daily Princetonian,” the newspaper of Princeton University, Snow makes correct point after correct point that torches Cole Aronson’s snooty piece that derides recruited athletes and athletics in general in “The Yale Daily News.” If you’re not familiar with Aronson’s nonsensical piece which reflects a lack of understanding of the highly selective college admissions process, do check out what we have to say about it. And what Yale’s baseball coach has to say about it too.

Kudos to Beni Snow on a well argued editorial in “The Daily Princetonian” and for defending athletes at Princeton as well as across the college landscape.

But let’s leave it to Snow now to make his case against Aronson’s poorly argued diatribe against Ivy League athletes — since the points he makes are absolutely correct. As Snow writes, “Recruitment is essential to attracting the most talented athletes to become Princetonians. In fact, recruitment should expand to other activities. Not everyone agrees. Some, like the author of a recent Yale Daily News column, believe that some student athletes are less deserving of attending a top school, that they are less intelligent, and that they got in on just the merit of their sport. As our own Luke Gamble points out, that isn’t true. On the 240-point Academic Index used by the Ivy League schools, athletes fall within a hair — just five points — of the rest of our student body. The dumb jock stereotype isn’t true at Princeton, since dumb jocks are not accepted.”

Snow goes on, “Nevertheless, the Yale column argued that recruited athletes are accepted not on their academic merit, but on the merit of their extracurricular activities. As if anyone at top schools isn’t accepted based on factors other than their academic performance. Princeton could easily fill a class with people who got 2400’s on their SATs and 4.0 GPAs. They chose not to do this because there is value in people having skills, talents, and passions outside the classroom. Or, as Gamble wrote, ’Harvard didn’t accept Yo-Yo Ma because of his stellar high school grades, but rather because of so much else that he brought to the university.’”

Amen, Beni Snow. And you bet that schools like Princeton don’t just recruit athletes. They recruit the very best science researchers, the very best writers, musicians, you name it. These singularly talented students together form the basis of a well-rounded Princeton incoming class…which of course is not to be confused with a well-rounded student. Don’t confuse the two.

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