April 23, 2004

Sports and the U of C

The University of Chicago has a long, if spotty, athletic tradition. We can proudly claim the first Heisman Trophy winner (Jay Berwanger, 1935) in addition to being the only school to remain undefeated against Notre Dame in football. Though the College now competes on the Division III level, athletics still play an important, if not central, role in the lives of many at the U of C.

Over the past few years, the Athletic Department has increased its efforts to successfully recruit more student-athletes and improve the reputation of University athletics. These efforts are now coming to fruition, with the best seasons ever for both womens softball and womens soccer, as well as the completion of the Ratner Athletic Center. The Maroon applauds these achievements but reminds our readers that while athletics can be a rallying point for the university, we should be wary of forgetting other investments of students time that are just as worthy.

Improving student athletics on a campus like ours is a highly-visible achievement deserving of praise. The athletic departments push for better student athletes, while praiseworthy, should come in the context of an overall improvement in student recruitment.

Improved athletic recruiting should serve as an example for other facets of University life. Admissions should also focus similar attention to drawing an improved group of students in all areas. Prospective writers, debaters, scientists, programmers, dancers, and artists should be given the same attention as top athletes.