Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eight For Eight

Perhaps you don't recognize the name Kwasi Enin.

You probably heard about what he did, though.

Enin is a high school senior from Shirley, N.Y. He's the one who was accepted to all eight Ivy League colleges.

When TigerBlog first heard the story, he had three thoughts. First, how often does this happen? Second, how many high school seniors apply to all eight Ivy League college? Third, how did it become news?

If a student could get into Princeton, Harvard and Yale, well, presumably he or she could get into all of them, no? 

Sure, the odds aren't great. The final admissions decisions can be about very small differences, so what pushes someone over the top in West College might not be exactly the same as in Cambridge or West Philadelphia.

Still, this has to have happened before, no?

TigerBlog applied to one Ivy League school. Penn. Obviously, he got in. Had he applied to all eight, he doubts seriously he would have gone 8 for 8. He doubts he would have gone .500 even.

With all the time that TB has spent on Ivy League campuses, he's often wondered what it would have been like to have attended a different school than Penn. Mostly he's wondered about what it would have been like to attend Princeton, how different his experience would have been, what his thesis topic might have been.

Meanwhile, back at Kwasi Enin, how did this become news? Did he and his school send something out about it?

Either this isn't something that happens a great deal, which is why it became news, or Enin and/or his school were proactive about getting it out there when perhaps others haven't been. Whichever one of those is the answer probably leads down the path to answering how often this happens.

The next part of the story is where Kwasi will end up. TB saw on the news that he was leaning towards New Haven, which is a fine choice. All eight are, obviously.

If it helps swing the decision one way or another, TB is willing to throw in free tickets to every Princeton athletic event for Kwasi during his entire four years if he comes here.

Of course, Princeton only charges admission for five sports, and all of those are free for students. So maybe TB would need to sweeten the deal.

To that end, he'll throw in a Princeton Athletics shirt. Oh, and if Kwasi wants, he can be a student-worker in the OAC.

So what will sway Kwasi, who is a violist and aspiring doctor? Where will he end up? Maybe it'll come down to whether or not he wants to be in the city (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, New Haven), the country (Ithaca, Hanover) or in an area that is the perfect balance of both (Princeton).

Despite their differences, the eight Ivy League schools are fairly close geographically, especially in the modern world of college athletic alignment. In that world, UConn and SMU can be in the same conference. Boston College, Notre Dame and Miami can all be in the same league.

Denver can be in three leagues in three years, actually more than that, if you count being a satellite member of two different lacrosse leagues. This Friday night in Big East lacrosse, you can see Denver at Villanova.

Denver isn't even in the eastern part of Colorado, let alone the United States. But in the modern world of college athletics, what does that matter?

The Ivy League continues to be the most stable athletic conference in the country. The same eight teams, unchanged, since 1956.

They are joined together by a series of rules and beliefs that make them just a bit different than the rest of Division I, but no less competitive.

TigerBlog often hears about the purity of sports in the Ivy League, and he always takes that to mean that those outside the league feel that many of the problems that inflict much of the high-profile world of football and men's basketball don't impact the Ivy League. Much of that is related to money.

Ivy League athletes, on the other hand, are not playing to become professional athletes. They play for the love of the game.

TB always finds that a bit patronizing. Yeah, Ivy athletes play for the love of the game. So do athletes in all conferneces.

And winning and losing isn't any less important in the Ivy League than it is in the SEC.

The purity in Ivy League athletics comes from the stability and the unwavering commitment to the core principles. That's where the real purity is.

The Kwasi Enin story is big news because of the Ivy League angle. Had he been accepted to MIT, Cal Tech, Williams, Amherst and the like, it wouldn't have registered at all.

It's the Ivy League angle.

And what is the Ivy League? An athletic conference.

So good luck, Kwasi. Personally, TigerBlog would recommend the school in New Jersey.


Anonymous said...

Did you find out how often this happens?

I applied to one, got in early and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Go Quakers! Go Penn SQ

How did you go to Penn but write for Princeton?

Anonymous said...

"I always thought they were far better than me academically," Kwasi said.

He should attend the school that has a remedial grammar course.

TigerBlog said...

It should be "than I." You want to use nominative case after "than" and "as."