Wagging the Dog?

March 9th, 2012

As a nonathlete alum, I acknowledge the many benefits of sports at Brown (“Thrill of Victory,” Sports, September/October). But I really think it is time to step back and consider whether the tail might be wagging the dog. While the benefit of student athletes in the Brown community is obvious, perhaps it is not as great as imagined. Like any subculture at Brown, athletes, like artists, students activists, etc., tend to commune with fellow travelers. The Brown community needs a more thoughtful analysis of whether this academic institution isn’t falling into the delusion that a great university must spend so much intellectual and financial capital on the athletic enterprise. Thirty-five years after graduation, I continue to be dismayed, for example, that Brown still can’t provide a world class system of academic and career advising while yet year after year I read in your fine magazine the “struggles” of underfunded Brown athletics.

Wayne Barnstone ’77
Melville, N.Y.

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Related Issue
March/April 2012