Rebecca Aman’s (‘20) column argued that Brown and the other Ivy League schools should end athletic recruitment in their admissions processes. This proposal is unrealistic and would only serve to make Brown less dimensional than it should be. Brown already has regimens in place to assure that students enjoying and flourishing in athletics are representative of the student body at large. The Admission Office needs to create a community that comprises all the cohorts of students that Brown deems appropriate and “representative”: the progeny of faculty and staff; diversity candidates; qualified children of alumni; musicians; STEM-oriented applicants; international applicants; and even journalists to write opinions for The Herald.
In light of Brown’s over-all last place record in sports since the Ivy League’s inception, there can be no accusation that we have focused inordinately on athletics — take that contention to Princeton (which pasted 65 points on us on the football scoreboard Saturday and religiously garners League/National titles annually). When Harvard, Yale and Princeton adopt Aman’s premise that athletic preferences are undemocratic or inequitable — and they never will — only then should Brown reconsider whether students recommended by our coaches should merit admission to Brown. Otherwise let us consider it a healthy and warranted practice to identify, out of some 43,000 applicants, those who will contribute to a diverse community that embraces all sorts of histories, backgrounds, interests and achievements — including athletics.