Ivy League and Rhodes Scholars

Rhodes Scholarship, Rhodes Scholar, Ivy Rhodes Scholar

The Rhodes Scholarship selection committee needs to reverse course on a recent decision or risk becoming irrelevant.

The Ivy League has churned out numerous Rhodes Scholars over the years. But current Yale quarterback Patrick Witt will not be among them and we’d like to point out to our readers why he won’t be studying at Oxford next year. Witt, dubbed by some to be “the most prolific passer in Yale history” also happens to boast a 3.91 GPA. This year, he was named a Finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship, the most prestigious postgraduate academic honor one can receive. But because Witt could not interview this past Saturday for the Rhodes Scholarship, he was eliminated from contention. And why couldn’t he interview? Because he was busy quarterbacking Yale against Harvard in a game known by many to be “The Game.”

According to a “Philly Burbs” article on the Ivy League QB and the Rhodes Scholarship, “By choosing his team over his interview, Witt exemplified the criteria set forth by Cecil Rhodes for the scholarship: high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and (this is where the comparison becomes almost funny in its perfection) physical vigor.” If the Rhodes Scholarship committee actually valued each and every point that they claim to value, Patrick Witt would not have been eliminated from contention for not being able to make his interview. As Witt said, he made a commitment to his team long before he applied for the scholarship.

Shame on the Rhodes Scholarship selection committee for saying one thing and doing another. In fact, we implore the members of the committee to reconsider Patrick Witt’s candidacy. So many Rhodes Scholars are exemplary athletes. And exemplary athletes make commitments to their teams. We urge you to reconsider Witt’s candidacy not only because it’s the right thing to do but because if you don’t, your scholarship will in the years to come risk becoming irrelevant.

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