Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More Newss

From July 21, courtesy of Regret the Error:

P.S. A reader points to this from the VNews as well:


Sigh said...

Welcome to the post-parity Upper Valley.

Anonymous said...

yes, where extroidinarily talented athletes like mr. wheating must attend school elsewhere because some admission's weenie is afraid to admit them for fear Dartmouth's AI will slip further behind Harvard's....

Walk-on Weenie said...

Tuition should be higher for recruited athletes. They get more services.

What happened to the days when regular students could play sports?

utm said...

Walk On: Regular student athletes disappeared about the same time as freshman sports, killed because schools cannot afford Title IX coaches for full men and women's teams. Coaches can no longer recruit from within, being their own freshman teams, so they recruit from without. That means athletes need to be varisty material on day one... and thus they get special treatment.

The solution was not to stop with the female teams, but to double the athletics budget, at the expense of other administrative priorities.

Walk-on Weenie said...

utm: Deemphasizing the commercial/image value of sports is another area where Dartmouth could have been a leader instead of a follower.

"Other administrative priorities" is a scary term. "Varsity material" is a relative one. Are we trying to compete with Ohio State?

I bet 80% of the athletic budget is spent on 20% of the students. Most students don't care about the athletic program. Athletics is one of the few things the administration does for alumni. They should have picked something more worthwhile.

utm said...

One solution to the challenge of "too much professionalism" is for Dartmouth to move to Division III (although there is recruiting there as well).

Those opposed:
1. Current coaches, for obvious reasons.
2. Faculty members, who would no longer work for an "Ivy League employer."

The Rink Rat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
alum04 said...

Walk-on: Regular students can and do play sports at Dartmouth. While the opportunities to walk on to a varsity team are incredibly limited (unless the varsity sport in question is crew, which recruits heavily on campus), there are several very vibrant club programs, most notably rugby (with its brand new clubhouse), ultimate frisbee, and figure skating (how many national championships is that in a row now?) Dartmouth also has a very large intramural program, including, at some point in the recent past, more intramural hockey teams than any other school in the country. I doubt that a large number of Dartmouth students are unsatisfied with the athletic opportunities available.

utm: While I'm hardly one to advocate athletic cutbacks, doubling the budget would not have been wise for a school like Dartmouth. Given the size of the student body and the D-plan, maintaining full varsity and freshman teams would not be feasible, even with regular students walking on to the team. I do, however, share your opinion of some of the current administrative priorities.

As for the current role of athletics on campus, I think it's safe to assume that none of the eight Ivy League schools will move without the other seven, and I really don't see why it's necessary.

From my time in Hanover (including the '01s who were seniors when I was a freshman and the '07s who were freshmen when I was senior), there are two players in the NHL, one in the NFL, three Olympic gold medalists, a handful of minor league hockey players, one Canadian Football League player and a double-A baseball player. All of the above were at Dartmouth at least three years before turning pro, with just about all having their degrees by now. We're hardly some athletics factory on the level of Ohio State. So, where's the problem?

Walk-on Weenie said...

@alum04: You have given us the standard administration response.

Club sports and intramurals are not the varsity sports that get all the funding.

The "regular" students do play sports - club, intramural, and general recreation. These areas need more funding. Club sports are the model for what college sports, at least for schools like Dartmouth, can and should be.

Varsity ahtletes are a separate society. Saying that several hockey players have made it to the NHL after attending Dartmouth for three years and eventually getting their degrees only makes my point. Saying that the opportunity for walk-ons is "incredibly limited" also makes my point.

I agree with you that Dartmouth will not make any changes without the rest of the Ivy League. That means following Harvard, as usual.

alum04 said...

"Varsity ahtletes are a separate society."

No, the grad schools are separate society. When I took my first tour of Dartmouth as a prospective student, I was told that they were like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory: "Nobody ever goes in and nobody ever comes out."

Such a description hardly applies to Dartmouth student-athletes, whom I had class with, ate meals with, and hung out with at one time or another at various points during my years in Hanover.

"Club sports are the model for what college sports, at least for schools like Dartmouth, can and should be."

That sounds very nice, but if you're going to play a sport, you kind of need someone to play against. That is, after all, how competitive sports work.

Take the swim team controversy, for example. People wondered whether the swimmers could continue at the club level, but there are no other colleges in New England that have club swimming programs.

You'll find that club sports programs generally exist in sports that have limited varsity opportunities, like hockey and lacrosse. A wholesale transition to a club sports model simply isn't possible for one college acting alone. That I wouldn't be in favor of such a thing even if it were possible is irrelevant.

"Saying that several hockey players have made it to the NHL after attending Dartmouth for three years and eventually getting their degrees only makes my point."

I was writing very generally. The two NHL players from my time in Hanover, Lee Stempniak and Tanner Glass, both earned their degrees in four years before beginning their pro hockey careers. There have been a couple of players who haven't finished their degrees, but that's true of more students I know who weren't intercollegiate athletes than students who were (not that I expect anecdotal evidence to count for much of anything here).

We don't have "one and done" student-athletes, separate athletic dorms, training tables, "general studies" majors or fields of study that athletes are directed towards (jokes about Earth Sciences 1 as "Rocks for Jocks" notwithstanding). If you want to talk about student-athletes as a separate society, that's what you should look for, and we don't have it.

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