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Letter: Brown is Better Off for President Paxson's Athletics Initiative

To the Editor:

It is highly ironic that contributor Peter Mackie ’59 extolled former President Ruth Simmons when it was her abject decade-long failure to support Brown athletics that has led to President Christina Paxson P’19’s necessary and reasoned initiative. Simmons slashed admissions slots for student-athletes, underfunded the smallest athletics’ budget in the League and increased Academic Index standards beyond those established for Brown by the Ivy League Council. Ever the politician, she decided to reject her own committee’s recommended reduction in sports teams despite Brown having a low endowment and budget relative to the League, as well as inferior facilities. Finally, Brown now enjoys a President who is guided by realities and solid rationales in reviewing and acting upon Brown’s abysmal competitive record within its Ivy cohort. There would have never been a good time to reduce its unsustainable sponsorship of the third highest number of teams in college athletics. President Paxson is willing to make the hard/unpopular decisions when the application of contextual rationales warrant them. And Brown is better off for it!

— Kevin A. Seaman ’69

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