I was a student-athlete (track and field) at the University of Pennsylvania. The Ivy League does not allow athletic scholarships or preferential admissions. The only recruiting that can be done is to ask an athlete to apply. Every competitor is essentially a “walk-on,” and no financial support is provided for participation.
For the past years, I have worked for Penn admissions by interviewing applicants from the Triangle area. A while back, I interviewed an applicant for “Early Decision” (committed to attend if admitted) who was a star linebacker for a local high school football team. He was a good student although not among the very best. The coaches at Penn were very keen to have him, and he very much wanted to play for them. He was rejected outright, not even deferred for later consideration.
In spite of this lack of emphasis on sports, our games were exciting, and we played because we enjoyed the sport. It relieved the pressure of a demanding academic program.
The Ivy League occasionally produced a star (former Sen. Bill Bradley, Princeton and New York Knicks). It seemed a really good arrangement.
Dennis T. Brown