Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #31
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    "At elite colleges, athletic recruitment is arguably another form of affirmative action for the wealthy. As my colleague Saahil Desai has written, Harvardís admissions office, for instance, gives a major boost to athletes with middling academic qualifications. Athletes who score a four (out of six) on the academic scale Harvard uses to judge applicants were accepted at a rate of about 70 percent, Desai reported; the admit rate for nonathletes with the same score was 0.076 percent. And research suggests that these athletic recruits tend to come from middle-class white families. Julie J. Park, an education professor at the University of Maryland, concludes in her 2018 book, Race on Campus: Debunking Myths With Data, that as many as 40 percent of Harvardís white students are legacies or recruited athletes."

    https://www.theatlantic.com/educatio...arents/584695/
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    #32
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    Harvard Prof. Alan Dershowitz is calling this the greatest scandal in higher education in the history of the country. We report, you decide.
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    #33
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    Shouldn't be shocking to anyone that athletes get preference at major colleges or that many of those given preference are from white middle-class families. Given the range of NCAA teams (from fencing to beach volleyball to tennis to golf to aquatic sports) the percentage of white, upper class participants would seem to be fairly large. Just not in the money sports!

    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.

    Having been a reader in a major university admissions process I know for a fact that an applicant claiming high level athletic success shoots up toward the top of the class. And that admissions departments generally take claims at face value without vetting the resume items. Not enough time or resources to actually investigate each of the hundred thousand plus applications that flood the big name colleges.
    Last edited by jc203; 03-13-2019 at 04:58 AM.
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    #34
    Quote Originally Posted by jc203 View Post
    Having been a reader in a major university admissions process I know for a fact that an applicant claiming high level athletic success shoots up toward the top of the class. And that admissions departments generally take claims at face value without vetting the resume items.
    I'm a little surprised by that. It had been my impression that the admissions athletes got preferential treatment only at the request of the coaches, who would prioritize those requests based on their knowledge of the athletes' achievements and also their teams' needs. I can't imagine how someone who had never pole vaulted could be considered by admissions to be a pole vaulter. And it boggles to think that a coach would make recommendations based on his/her personally being paid off by a parent. That should be a firing offense.
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    #35
    Quote Originally Posted by tandfman View Post
    I'm a little surprised by that. It had been my impression that the admissions athletes got preferential treatment only at the request of the coaches, who would prioritize those requests based on their knowledge of the athletes' achievements and also their teams' needs. I can't imagine how someone who had never pole vaulted could be considered by admissions to be a pole vaulter. And it boggles to think that a coach would make recommendations based on his/her personally being paid off by a parent. That should be a firing offense.
    I'm pretty sure all these coaches who were on the take will be fired and never heard from again. It doesn't surprise me that the admissions office would take an applicant's athletic achievements at face value since the coach would be in a much better position to vet the legitimacy of those achievements than some administrator, but that assumes that the coach's #1 priority is to field the best team he/she can. That's the rationale behind giving coaches bonuses based on how well their teams perform during the season.
    Last edited by jazzcyclist; 03-13-2019 at 01:57 PM.
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    #36
    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.
    The pole vault picture is on the front page of the Wall Street Journal this morning - above the fold.
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    #37
    Hm-m-m-m. When was the last time a picture of a pole vaulter appeared in the Wall Street Journal?
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    #38
    Based on the standard, I suspect that pole vault photo was taken at the University of Texas.
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    #39
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    The utility of doctored photos is puzzling to me. I'm not familiar with any protocol that calls for pictures of kids performing any element of the admissions process.

    As for coach influence, in my experience coaches apparently could act independently to earmark specific applicants that they wanted to recruit, but that did not mean they were going to receive scholarship $ or be guaranteed a spot on the roster. So that influence did not necessarily affect the team.

    On the other hand, I was among a hundred or so seasonal employees whose job was to assess kids' essays and resumes. We were to evaluate challenges in life that students had either sought or overcome and exceptional personal accomplishments or backgrounds (such as community service, campus leadership, foreign travel/second language mastery, and success in competitive fields... everything from music competitions to speech tourneys to cheerleading contests AND athletic accomplishments).

    We were required to use a complex rubric to rate applicants on a numeric scale from 1 to 9. 1 = No Way and 9 = Over the Top Exceptional. In the scheme of things a student with strong grades (3.5 to 4.0 gpa) and strong but not extraordinary test scores along with active campus and community participation would get a #4 ranking. But the same record with a a district or state sports championship would be at least s #6, and national recognition would earn a probable #7. That was without coaching influence or even the intention to compete at the college level, but was seen as a measure of the student's determination, work ethic and ability to overcome challenges.

    AND, we were to take kids at their word... specifically instructed NOT to google applicants whose resumes seemed over the top. Although I cheated on that at least once with a student who claimed to have taken 16 AP exams (scoring perfect 5's on 12 and 4's on the others)... turned out to be California's outstanding science student for that year.
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    #40
    Very interesting post, jc203. I don't know quite what to make of the fact that applicants were given credit for "exceptional personal accomplishments or backgrounds (such as community service, campus leadership, foreign travel/second language mastery, and success in competitive fields... everything from music competitions to speech tourneys to cheerleading contests AND athletic accomplishments)" without anyone verifying that they actually had those accomplishments or backgrounds. Does every serious applicant get interviewed as part of the process? If so, I suppose the interviewers could form some views about the credibility of the claims. But if not, I'd suggest that the whole process is flawed.
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