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Username Post: Question about the current recruiting environment        (Topic#23135)
TheLine 
Postdoc
Posts: 4219

Age: 56
Reg: 07-07-09
06-18-19 01:32 PM - Post#285213    

I had a recent conversation with the mother of a recruited athlete (not basketball). His top choice is Harvard, which was showing strong interest in him, but over the last couple of months the message has shifted and the recruit is now being told that he is going to have to get his grades up. The mother was wondering if there has been any change in Ivy recruiting after the recent recruiting scandals and the academic requirements have tightened. If it has then they may need to shift their target to one of the non-Ivy schools recruiting him. While Harvard is still the #1 choice, they also don't want to wait indefinitely when there are other schools with offers on the table that may not be there a few months from now.

Does anyone know if there has been any change? Didn't AI tighten a couple of years ago?


 
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1813

Reg: 10-20-14
06-18-19 04:26 PM - Post#285217    
    In response to TheLine

Here is a post I had on 3/18/19 on a different thread from an article at the Chronicle of Higher Education. It may not be much, but it is some of the few public comments made by the schools about any changes in admissions after the Varsity Blues Scandal.

Cornell was not included or interviewed for that article, but the school president was recently interviewed by the school paper and she had some comments about admission changes. I will post that after this one.

---------------
The Chronicle of Higher Education asked 20 elite school Admissions Deans about the scandal:

https://www.chronicle.com/article/We-Asked-20-E lit...

- The Chronicle asked two questions to 20 admissions leaders whose universities admit the smallest percentages of students who apply, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, and who participate in intercollegiate athletics. Most of the colleges were not named in the investigation, and several colleges named in the investigation are not included on this list. The questions were:

Will your university exert more oversight over how students are designated as athletic recruits in the admissions process? If so, how?
Does "Operation Varsity Blues" show a broader need for reform in selective admissions? -

- Harvard University: A university representative declined to comment. Harvard has not been named in the federal investigation. -

- Columbia University: Dean of Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid Jessica Marinaccio declined to comment. Columbia has not been named in the federal investigation. -

- Princeton University: Acting Dean of Admission Jill Dolan declined to comment. Princeton has not been named in the federal investigation. -

- Yale University: Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Jeremiah Quinlan responded to The Chronicle's questions with a written statement. Yale has been named in the federal investigation.

"I encourage you to review President [Peter] Salovey's recent messages regarding the investigation, including [Friday's] update regarding our next steps. A collection of frequently asked questions about the case is also available on the website of the Office of the President. I am, of course, committed to working with President Salovey, Director of Athletics Vicky Chun, and other university leaders to prevent this type of fraud from happening again. The coach who was charged no longer works for the university, and there is no indication that any other member of the Yale administration or staff knew about the conspiracy."

(Editor's note: In the FAQ, Yale said its athletics director would review coaches' proposed recruits before they were sent to the admissions office and would scrutinize instances in which a recruited athlete did not make a team.) -

- Brown University: Dean of Admission Logan Powell responded to The Chronicle's questions. Brown has not been named in the federal investigation.

Q. Will your university exert more oversight over how students are designated as athletic recruits in the admissions process? If so, how?

A. Our first step was to complete a case-by-case review of every varsity athlete admitted and enrolled as part of the athletic recruitment process over the last four years. That review generated no concerns — fewer than five recruited athletes did not ultimately end up on a varsity athletics roster, and in each case that was due to legitimate reasons such as a major sports injury. As we think of next steps, we are of course looking closely at all our existing processes to identify if there are ways to strengthen what we have in place. It’s too soon to speak definitively about what our assessment might identify or determine, but we are taking this very seriously.

Q. Does "Operation Varsity Blues" show a broader need for reform in selective admissions?

A. Each institution has to reflect on its own processes. Ultimately, our rigorous, comprehensive and individual review of every prospective student’s qualifications remains essential in enrolling an academically talented and diverse class through a fair and equitable process. We will certainly explore new safeguards and remain vigilant to the potential for fraudulent applications. -

- University of Pennsylvania: Dean of Admissions Eric J. Furda responded to The Chronicle's questions. Penn has not been named in the federal investigation.

Q. Will your university exert more oversight over how students are designated as athletic recruits in the admissions process? If so, how?

A. Yes. Penn Admissions and Penn's Department of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics have worked with an outside consultant to review and strengthen our processes for the recruitment of student-athletes. We are further establishing checks and balances within each department and across the departments with standard operating procedures to document, verify and audit the recruitment and evaluation processes for student-athletes. Furthermore, there are lessons learned from this case which can be applied to all candidates, regardless of whether they are recruited student-athletes. As an example, similar to the Fafsa verification process, selected applicants can be chosen for further vetting randomly or because of inconsistencies in a student's application.

Finally, we will not be naïve to think that all people will act in the manner in which we hope they should or underestimate how persuasive some people can be in trying to influence the admissions process. Operation Varsity Blues may also, hopefully, demonstrate to others who may try to manipulate the system that there are no shortcuts and that their actions will eventually come to light, with heavy repercussions.

Q. Does "Operation Varsity Blues" show a broader need for reform in selective admissions?

A. Yes, there is a broader need for reform in highly selective admissions. Operation Varsity Blues, along with litigation and court cases currently pending centered around highly selective admissions, exposes the deepening divide across our country along socioeconomic, geographic and racial lines. These gulfs have only deepened since the 2008 global financial crisis. The sense of zero-sum competition and winner-take-all to gain admission to "the 20 most selective universities" adds to this divide and is detrimental to the fabric of our nation and, most regrettably, damaging to our children. As educators we need to highlight and celebrate the range of options in American higher education, from community colleges which can become a path to a four-year degree, [to] our flagship state university systems and private institutions, that should be measured by their graduation rates rather than admit rates. Once we admit students to our institutions, we need to make sure all of our students, regardless of background, are entering into a supportive learning environment where they can find their own voices and learn from those who have different lived experiences. In this way, they will be better prepared for the lives they will enter into as young adults. -

- Dartmouth College: A university representative responded to The Chronicle's questions. Dartmouth has not been named in the federal investigation.

Q. Will your university exert more oversight over how students are designated as athletic recruits in the admissions process? If so, how?

A. Dartmouth is proud of its athletic program and the academic accomplishment of its student athletes. That achievement is fostered by a rigorous practice and protocols designed to yield students capable of succeeding on and off the field. In light of these revelations, the athletics office is redoubling its efforts to ensure the integrity and strength of that process. We are committed to formalizing the protocols for administrative approval of each recruit and an annual review of all first-year students who were recruited athletes to ensure that they appear on the appropriate team roster.

Q. Does "Operation Varsity Blues" show a broader need for reform in selective admissions?

A. "Operation Varsity Blues" has uncovered a sophisticated fraud scheme. Our review process of each application is rigorous, multifaceted, and thorough. Dartmouth remains vigilant to the potential for fraud; committed to the energetic response to, and investigation of, any allegations of misconduct; and proactive in working to prevent fraud within our own institutional processes. In addition, we encourage the admissions testing agencies in their efforts to carry out their prevention efforts. -

 
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1813

Reg: 10-20-14
06-18-19 04:32 PM - Post#285218    
    In response to rbg

Yale Frequently Asked Questions Related to Admissions Fraud Scheme
https://president.yale.edu/frequently-asked-ques ti...

Daily Pennsylvanian interviews with Dean of Admission Eric Furda:
10/23/18 - https://www.thedp.com/article/2018/10/jerom e-allen...

3/19/19 - https://www.thedp.com/article/2019/03/upenn -admiss...

Cornell Daily Sun interview with President Pollack.
https://cornellsun.com/2019/06/08/the-sun-in tervie...

- The Sun: I wanted to talk about the admissions, and the admissions hoopla that happened recently. That’s going to be the phrasing of choice for now. So Yale, UPenn, and Dartmouth all said they were going to increase the oversight of their athletics recruitment program.

Pollack: So we didn’t make a big public announcement about it, but let me back up and say it was appalling. What happened was just appalling. The whole scandal was appalling. We have in place oversight, but we immediately did go back in and looked at all of our incoming and incoming and first-year student athletes, because that’s where the biggest source of the scandal was. And we found no irregularities at all, we ensured that they were all legitimately on teams.

So then, what we’re doing as a second step is we’re going to go back and, we are in the process of looking at all of our policies, not just around athletics, but across the board, because we have a very decentralized admissions system, and we’re looking at every touchpoint to make sure that there are no gaps that we have really full oversight. As of now, we have not identified any problems. Can I guarantee that there isn’t a student on this campus who cheated on their SATs or ACTs? I can’t guarantee that with 15,000 students, but we immediately went in and double-checked athletics, which was where the big issue was.

The Sun: Okay, and that would be the Class of ’22 and ’23?

Pollack: The freshmen and the recently accepted students.

The Sun: What would you have done if you had found irregularities? Or if you do find them?

Pollack: Well it depends, I can’t answer that abstractly, it depends on what irregularity we find and what the situation is.

The Sun: So are you changing any practices going forward knowing about situations like this?

Pollack: What we are in the process of doing right now is assessing absolutely everything that we do. Here is one thing we are going to change. I’m not sure if this is certain. One thing we are looking at changing, as an example as part of this overall assessment, is right now when a coach recommends a student, they write a fairly brief statement about the student’s academic credentials. And we’re thinking about expanding the set of information that they have to provide which would be an extra check on any kind of fraud. But we are looking across all of our systems to see whether there are such steps we should be putting in place.

The Sun: So you’ve also checked every athlete, just like Brown University did?

Pollack: Yeah.

The Sun: Some universities have been looking at what constitutes a “legitimate reason” for not being on a team anymore.

Pollack: Within days of the news breaking, our Athletics administrators conducted a thorough review, and we found that the few students who left did so for documented reasons. We found no irregularities. [Editor’s note: This response was provided to The Sun after the interview.]

The Sun: Is there going to be similar screening done for academics? I know it’s a little bit harder because it’s more nebulous.

Pollack: This is why we’re looking at the whole process, we’re looking at every touchpoint to see, should we do spot-checks? We actually have very good processes already in place. Not when there’s like massive fraud like this, but every once in a while there will be a case where a reason comes up to question the credentials of some student who’s either applied or been admitted, and we already have very good processes in place, where the admissions office checks — reaches out, checks with the guidance counselors, confirms all the data and so on — we have those. And we’re going to harden them as they were, make sure they’re really robust, and see if we need further changes.

The Sun: Does Cornell use the academic index in athletics recruiting, where they weigh different factors?

Pollack: Oh! the academic index?

The Sun: It’s like a point system. It’s been widely reported on.

Pollack: The academic index that I know of, there is a requirement across the Ivy League that all of the admitted students have a certain level of performance, maybe that’s what you are referring to? Yeah, yeah, being in the Ivy League, you have to use that, absolutely. The reason I was confused is that’s not, we don’t base whether you’re admitted on the academic index. Rather, after we have a class, we have to ensure to the Ivy League that the overall academic index is satisfied.

The Sun: So you don’t factor that into the admissions?

Pollack: What I’m saying is that’s a measure that we use to assure the Ivy League that we are only taking student athletes that are qualified to be here.

The Sun: You say, when you say you’ll review things, who is in charge of that review? What office is that?

Pollack: It runs out of the provost’s office. And actually my chief of staff right now is playing point person on that.

The Sun: How big is that review team? How many people are involved in that process?

Pollack: Oh gosh, I don’t know. All these details, yeah I don’t know.

The Sun: We’re just trying to get a picture out of it, because we’re coming at it from the outside … Are you looking at diversity in athletics at all?

Pollack: Are we looking at diversity in athletics? I’m always looking at diversity in everything. Do we specifically have a study right now that’s looking at the diversity of our teams, I don’t think so, but I’m always concerned with that in every issue.

 
Go Green 
Masters Student
Posts: 659

Age: 48
Reg: 04-22-10
06-18-19 05:35 PM - Post#285222    
    In response to rbg


And for heaven's sake-- tell him not to post something idiotic on social media.

https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/6/18/par kl...

 
Mike Porter 
Postdoc
Posts: 2722
Mike Porter
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Reg: 11-21-04
06-18-19 06:21 PM - Post#285225    
    In response to Go Green

Well to be clear, you should tell him not to be racist...

That kid didn't post his racist thoughts on social media... he did it in private chats that then got leaked publicly. All he did on social media was apologize.

That said, I don't think a lame excuse along the lines of "but I said those racist things only to my dumb friends" is much of a defense really.


 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22111

Reg: 11-21-04
06-19-19 11:26 AM - Post#285233    
    In response to Mike Porter

New Harvard athletic admission scandal--very much like Yale's:

https://nypost.com/2019/06/19/feds-probi ng-harvard...

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1643

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
06-19-19 02:50 PM - Post#285239    
    In response to palestra38

Not new.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22111

Reg: 11-21-04
06-19-19 03:58 PM - Post#285241    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

Has it been posted or discussed here?

 
rbg 
PhD Student
Posts: 1813

Reg: 10-20-14
06-19-19 04:51 PM - Post#285243    
    In response to palestra38

It sounded familiar, so I went back and checked. It was posted on 4/5/19 at the Jerome Allen thread on the Penn board.

Great minds think alike

  • palestra38 Said:
New allegations--Harvard fencing coach:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/04/0...




 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22111

Reg: 11-21-04
06-19-19 05:11 PM - Post#285244    
    In response to rbg

That's funny---I even posted it. Well, when I read it in the NY Post, it's REALLY noteworthy.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3827

Reg: 02-04-06
06-20-19 10:45 AM - Post#285250    
    In response to palestra38

If Ivies start revoking admission for students who quit a team “without a good reason” they might as well offer revocable scholarships. One of the main reasons for not having these is to eliminate the dependence of the student’s education on his or her athletic performance.

 
sparman 
Masters Student
Posts: 955
sparman
Reg: 12-08-04
06-21-19 12:14 PM - Post#285286    
    In response to SRP

An interesting point, although there needs to be accountability when applicants misrepresent their HS accomplishments, and there are/will be instances when not playing in college is a red flag.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3827

Reg: 02-04-06
06-21-19 02:13 PM - Post#285292    
    In response to sparman

Fine on vetting application claims. Not fine on investigations triggered by quitting the team.

 
TheLine 
Postdoc
Posts: 4219

Age: 56
Reg: 07-07-09
Question about the current recruiting environment
06-21-19 03:17 PM - Post#285296    
    In response to SRP

Back to the original topic...

I looked up the recruit and found out he's going to be a Junior this year, and not a Senior like I thought. It's possible he's always been borderline AI and now Harvard is impressing on him that he has some work to do on the academic side to be admit worthy. I'd imagine now would be the time to send that message.

Whether schools are being more selective academically than before - I don't know.


 
Go Green 
Masters Student
Posts: 659

Age: 48
Reg: 04-22-10
06-22-19 11:52 AM - Post#285303    
    In response to SRP

  • SRP Said:
Fine on vetting application claims. Not fine on investigations triggered by quitting the team.



Then it will be harder to catch folks like this.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/21/us/toby-ma cfarlane-...

In any event, Chris Lincoln's "Playing the Game" made clear that pretty much every coach in the league had experienced a coveted recruit quit his/her freshman year or didn't even go out for the team at all. I'm sure that most of those kids were bona fide recruits who just didn't let on that their talent for the sport was higher than their passion.

 
SRP 
Postdoc
Posts: 3827

Reg: 02-04-06
06-24-19 08:30 PM - Post#285352    
    In response to Go Green

Princeton accepted a rare transfer from Penn State, who happened to be a star football player from my high school, when I was there. As far as I know, he never played a down. It's been going on since forever and is part of the Ivy package deal.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22111

Reg: 11-21-04
07-10-19 10:13 AM - Post#285726    
    In response to rbg

Well, this is new---Harvard fencing coach fired for violation of conflicts of interest policy:

https://nypost.com/2019/07/09/harvard-co ach-fired-...

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1643

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
07-10-19 10:24 AM - Post#285727    
    In response to palestra38

Definitely the correct decision. The rule, as I understand it, is against anything that would create an appearance of impropriety. This certainly does.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 22111

Reg: 11-21-04
07-10-19 10:26 AM - Post#285728    
    In response to HARVARDDADGRAD

Agreed. What I cannot understand are those who believe (in the Penn case) that Jerome Allen's exploits as a great player warrant excusing his actions in accepting commercial bribes.

 
HARVARDDADGRAD 
PhD Student
Posts: 1643

Loc: New Jersey
Reg: 01-21-14
07-10-19 10:34 AM - Post#285729    
    In response to palestra38

Ironic, seemed like some fans abandoned Jerome as a coach despite his Penn player history.

 
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