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I guess some parents really DO want their kids to go to college

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  • NotDutra5
    replied
    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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  • Pego
    replied
    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."

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  • jeremyp
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • jc203
    replied
    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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  • Conor Dary
    replied
    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, 05:04 PM.

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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    Is this sort of thing even conceivable in western European universities?

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  • gh
    replied
    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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  • bambam1729
    replied
    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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  • tandfman
    replied
    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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  • tandfman
    replied
    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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  • jc203
    replied
    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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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    Based on the standard, I suspect that pole vault photo was taken at the University of Texas.

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  • tandfman
    replied
    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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  • Halfmiler2
    replied
    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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  • jazzcyclist
    replied
    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, 01:57 PM.

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