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A Student's Dilemma

This is the kind of hard choice we'd all like to have. Overachieving Yale quarterback Patrick Witt can't be in two places at once, but either place could have a great deal to do with the rest of his life.
Witt, a 22-year-old senior from Wylie, Texas, has a scheduling conflict next Saturday. At about the same time he's expected to lead Yale in his career finale against visiting Harvard in the 128th edition of "The Game," Witt is also supposed to be at Emory University in Atlanta as one of 212 finalists for the Rhodes Scholarship. His interview in front of a selection committee is Saturday morning. Kickoff is at noon. The interview can't be rescheduled. This is a problem—albeit a good problem.

The NFL is looking at Witt, who leads his team in completions and is second in passing yards. He also has a 3.91 GPA, which is rare for a star athlete. What would you do? Link -via TYWKIWDBI

After you think about it, see what Witt has decided to do. Link

(Image credit: Ron Waite, Photosportacular)

I don't know, I think I would have gone for the Rhodes scholarship. But I guess either way its just important he did what he felt was best.
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Oooh, wrong decision! In this day and age where we are prizing sports over academics and especially in light of the recent Penn State scandal with students rioting over a football coach...yes, he should have chosen Rhodes over a silly game.
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Now, I'm not a sports person. But I would've chosen the football game, because I think there's a greater chance of winning the football game than becoming a Rhodes scholar if there are 212 contestants for it.
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It would be terrible if he hurt himself first out. Life likes to do things like that. "Show you how you made the wrong choice, fool..."
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There must be 200,000 eggheads for every football star, so why be just another egghead?

And this is coming from an nonathletic nerd who isn't even smart enough to be an egghead.

As other say - Play ball! If he gets injured, then he certainly has a great fallback.
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If he doesn't get drafted into the NFL, he can apparently still apply for the Rhodes scholarship next year. Even if he misses that, it's not as though someone with his intelligence and work ethic will find the academic world closed to them after this decision. I say play sports while you're young- figure on retiring from that in your late 30's at the latest, earlier if you get injured or decide you don't like it. That still leaves plenty of time for a second career.
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Muzition, there are 32 scholarships awarded to the 212 finalists.

Also relevant to the discussion of this situation is the fact that he can reapply for the Rhodes scholarship after he graduates from college. About a third of recent winners have done exactly that.
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Those who believe that this is a typical case of football being more important than academics need to look at the full picture. First, Witt chose to go to Yale instead of a Division 1 school where he would have had national exposure and a much much better chance of being drafted. While he might still have that chance now despite going to Yale, he'd likely have it whether he started this game or not. Second, he has a 3.91 GPA, so he's obviously not blowing off classes to lift weights; he's embracing the role of a student athlete.

I believe Witt in his statement that he is doing this for the teammates who rely on him as the starting quarterback. How come everyone is discounting the fact that he's giving up personal advancement opportunities in favor of supporting his teammate?
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...@ The Annual, "The Game" ( of course said as thought one were grasping a martini glass O so delicately and pointing the chin) Two gentlemen whilst in proximity engaged. Said the Harvard man, noticing a zip and dash ...Yale man exiting." I say O'l chap, at Harvard, after we urinate, we wash our hands?" Chortling out, the Yale man exclaimed, "At Yale we don't urinate on our hands!"
Smart is always doing what you want to.

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Ok, I'm not normally a commenter but I need to join the ranks to defend the decision this man made which in my opinion was the only one he could make in this situation.
A: He was not simply choosing a sport over education, he was choosing a team full of people that relied on him and that he'd been spending hours of his life with every week to get to that championship. Anyone who'd ever played a competitive team sport will tell you that isn't a decision, your team is your family (I play varsity rugby, I know how he feels)
B: As multiple people have stated it's not as though a man of his intelligence and skill isn't going to win scholarships, and he can simply re-apply for Rhodes next year.
He chose giving up one (but not the only one he'll ever have) chance at the Rhodes scholarship to not let down his teammates on a route that will lead him to a career that would make him famous and potentially rich. As long as he doesn't drop out of Yale to play football as a pro I don't see how he's shunned or dropped his education for sport
GOOD JOB WITT, anyone who's made a tough decision between their own good and that of their friends or team mates respects your decision.
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Definitely a poor, but predictable decision. How many excellent college players have gone on to the pros, to find that in that world they don't quite have the edge required to be one of the forever champions? A Rhodes scholarship follows one the rest of their life, pulling their CV directly to the top of the pile. A Rhodes scholar can truly rise to the top. It would be interesting to know--in thirty years--how often this young man thought about this decision with regret. Hopefully, not at all.
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There is a lot more to this story. Living in the New Haven area, I know that this is the biggest game each year for both of these schools. And I agree - I think, when looking for jobs, a Rhodes Scholarship is great, but what employer is not gonna know this kid as the one who gave up the scholarship one year to keep his commitment to his team. I'd almost rather hire someone who is a team player than book smart...

Also, he is unable to fly down in the morning for the interview because they are required to stick around in case there is a follow-up interview.

And, as many have mentioned, it can reapply next year.

To be honest, I am not sure anyone goes to Yale to play football thinking they have a great shot to make the NFL. There are dozens of other schools where football/sports is placed much higher than education. Connecticut's already got one of those schools (UCONN).
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I think a number of the people commenting here might not realize what the Rhodes Scholarship actually is. It's not money for college; it's the opportunity for post-graduate study at the University of Oxford. It's basically a golden ticket - an entree to whatever path you want to follow in your life.

That said, I understand why he'd choose to play in the game. He can apply another year, and sadly, depending on what he might achieve in professional sports, he might be better compensated there than post-Rhodes.
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