Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #41
    Quote Originally Posted by jc203 View Post
    The reality of preference for athletes is more immoral in my view, though it has been in place for at least a century so it is tough to define as a "scandal", more like a long, non-sensical tradition that should have never begun but is now written in stone.
    I'm not sure that having somewhat relaxed admission standards for athletes is immoral. If it is morally legitimate for colleges and universities to have sports teams, why is it wrong to give those teams the students they need to compete? If the track team has no pole vaulter, is it wrong for the coach to recruit one and is it wrong for the coach's recommendation to be considered by admissions (assuming that the recommendation is not bought, of course)? If the school has a student orchestra, would it be immoral or nonsensical to give special consideration to a cellist? Some extra-curricular activities do need people with experience, and if those activities are legitimate (and I hope we here would all agree that a track team is legitimate), then isn't it reasonable to seek applicants with that experience providing, of course, that they are qualified to do the academic work? At many schools, including most if not all of the elite schools, there are far more applicants who meet the academic standards (grades & test scores) than the schools can possibly accommodate. In those circumstances, one could argue that there is nothing immoral or nonsensical about giving a preference to athletes, again assuming that athletic teams are themselves legitimate activities of the school.
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    #42
    I was on the Duke Med School admissions committee for 2 different periods, one of which was 1983-84, my junior/senior years in med school. They always had some med students on the committee. We interviewed in teams so I always had the same 2 MDs with me while interviewing. After one set of interviews we were talking and Eric Heiden's name came up. One of the other MDs said he would accept him, almost sight unseen, if his grades were any good at all. His reasoning was that anyone who could excel at that level would have no problem with medical school, and I tend to agree with him.

    I also remember talking to a guy named Taymon Domzalski about this. Taymon was a Duke basketball player, good player, but never a star. He was planning on going to med school and was worried that all the other applicants had all these volunteer things and such. Since I had played golf at a pretty high level, our conversation was that athletes don't have options with their time. The volunteers can always say, "I can't make it today - I have to study for an exam, or I don't feel well." Nothing against the volunteers, which is laudable and important, but let's see Taymon telling that to Coach K about not showing up to practice?

    So I do think there are reasons to cut athletes some breaks, the operative word being "some".
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    #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    Oh dear is right. The standards are at 14' - hardly elite - and the technique is far from elite.
    not bad, considering he's using a steel pole :-)
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    #44
    Is this sort of thing even conceivable in western European universities?
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    #45
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    Britain has some fine universities....but other than Cambridge or Oxford where a few rowers get some help and not much since post graduate students can also row, being an athlete means nothing.

    The over emphasis on sports in American universities is absurd these days....
    Last edited by Conor Dary; 03-13-2019 at 05:04 PM.
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    #46
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    RE: Admissions interviews and vetting applications.

    I know that some high end colleges require an interview. The only one I was ever privy to involved an outstanding student and runner I had helped coach who was interviewed (coincidentally) by a world class miler and recent grad of the target school. She was admitted but she was also an exceptional intellect who went on to grad school at MIT.

    I'm only familiar with the state university where I read applications. Each November the school receives over 100,000 applications from all over the world. Maybe 30-40,000 kids will receive admission notices and of that the school projects that only @8,000 will actually follow through with registering and attending school.

    Point being, with only about a 10 week period to make admission decisions on students from all 50 states, Europe and (a lot) from China, rigorous vetting and interviewing is not possible. It's an honor system... if people are not honorable, we get the current results.
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    #47
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    What irks me about the way the media is handling this story is the almost complete focus on the two actresses. Simply because they're famous, or simply because they're famous women? From reading more deeply the husbands were just as deeply involved just not in the communication via smart phone. Why charge the wife and not the husband just because the "evidence" is in the communications? I also feel sorry for the kids involved, who seem for the most part to be unaware of what was going on. Nothing like the media making you look like a moron who needed help.
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    #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyp
    I also feel sorry for the kids involved, who seem for the most part to be unaware of what was going on.
    I am not so sure about this. When my son applied for med school some quarter of century ago, a dean of admissions was a good friend of mine. My son declared something along the line "if you call him, I'll get sore, I want to get in on my own."
    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
    by Thomas Henry Huxley
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    #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyp View Post
    What irks me about the way the media is handling this story is the almost complete focus on the two actresses. Simply because they're famous, or simply because they're famous women? From reading more deeply the husbands were just as deeply involved just not in the communication via smart phone. Why charge the wife and not the husband just because the "evidence" is in the communications? I also feel sorry for the kids involved, who seem for the most part to be unaware of what was going on. Nothing like the media making you look like a moron who needed help.
    Admittedly, I haven't read every word on this caper but I did see some compelling evidence that actor William H. Macy (Huffman's husband) was as involved as one could get but he has not been charged to my knowledge.

    The focus on the actresses is also, in part, because of the characters they played which most people are aware of. It's possible that if their public persona or the goody goody characters they played were a bit more crass, the attention would shift away from them and to the overall population of scoundrels.
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    #50
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    At least I now know what an "Influencer" is.
    From Slate:"Some of the teenagers may have been a little more clued in to their parents’ involvement, though, at least based on their apathy when dealing with the application process. Lori Laughlin’s younger daughter did not complete all of her college applications, according to the filing. CW-1 responded by telling an employee at the fraudulent business to submit the applications on her behalf."
    Last edited by jeremyp; 03-13-2019 at 07:42 PM.
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