Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Opportunity Cost of A Rivalry Game: One Rhodes Scholarship

This Saturday is a big day for current Yale quarterback Patrick Witt. On Saturday, the Harvard Crimson will march down from Cambridge to play Yale in "The Game". The Yale-Harvard rivalry is the second oldest in college football, dating all the way back to 1875. To say the game means a lot to both of these storied universities is an understatement. Testament to that fact is Witt's decision to forgo his Rhodes Scholarship interview in Atlanta for an opportunity to play in the biggest game of his life.

It was roughly to weeks ago that Witt found out that he had been selected as a finalist for the prestigious award that is given for postgraduate study at the University of Oxford. The final set of interviews for the scholarship are to be held in Atlanta at 8 am this Saturday, which left the Yale quarterback with a tough decision. Do you pass up an opportunity to pursue graduate studies at possibly the best university in the world in favor of playing perhaps the biggest football game of your career? For Witt, the answer was easy.

Patrick Witt transferred from the University of Nebraska after his sophomore season because he wanted to attend a more academically rigorous institution. The senior history major sports an excellent 3.91 gpa and has received nothing but praise from coaches and teammates. His decision to remain with his team is one of the most selfless acts I have seen by a collegiate athlete. Patrick Witt has forsaken personal advancement and gain in order to support his teammates, fans and university. His decision may seem foolish to some, but not to Patrick. His one saving grace is that he can apply again for the Rhodes Scholarship as eligibility for the award does not expire until applicants turn 24 years of age. Is his decision worthwhile? Guess we will find out on Saturday.

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