There’s a great op-ed in “The Columbia Spectator” by first-year student Josh Fram in which he writes about why athletes belong in the Ivy League. In the op-ed, Fram writes about how athletes on Columbia’s campus are often asked, “Oh…so you’re an athlete?” With this question, it’s implied that student-athletes aren’t as good academically as are non-athletes. According to the op-ed, “Objectively, it is clear that these sentiments are based in truth. A 2007 study conducted by sociologists Douglas Massey and Margarita Mooney shows that Ivy League athletes scored on average 93 points lower than non-athletes on the SAT. They reported a similar discrepancy with regard to high school GPAs. And according to James Shulman and William Bowen’s book ‘The Game of Life,’ published in 2002, these same trends persist in college.”
But others argue that student-athletes are more successful after college than their non-athlete peers. They’ve worked as member of teams. They’ve held leadership positions. They understand their role. These are some of the things that are inherently intwined with sport. And shouldn’t a highly selective college seek out students who they think will be successful after college? After all, don’t they want to admit the next President of the United States and CEO of IBM and founder of the next big startup? You bet. As referenced in the op-ed, “But as former Harvard Dean of Admissions William Bender famously proclaimed, ‘If you let in only the brilliant, then you produce bookworms and bench scientists; you end up as socially irrelevant as the University of Chicago.’”
What do you think would happen to a university if they admitted only students with perfect SAT scores and grades? Do you think they’d be more or less likely to pick the next President of the United States? Do you think the college would be stronger or weaker for this decision? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!