Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn firstname.lastname@example.org
an alternative view of the seven-week rule, see President Tilghman's
President's Page in February 26, 2003, issue.
By Nate Sellyn '04
Hey there sports fans, in my last column, I gave you my opinion
on the seven-week moratorium. Here, I talked with John Knorring
'03, the Varsity Student Athlete's Advisory Committee's wrestling
team representative for the past two years, and some other student-athletes.
How do you see the seven-week moratorium affecting athletes
I can't speak for every sport, but I can comment on how the moratorium
is going to affect wrestling.
Traditionally, our off-season has been in the spring. There are
very few collegiate style wrestling tournaments in the spring, but
there are quite a few Greco-Roman and Freestyle, or Olympic style,
tournaments. These tournaments allow guys who really want to compete
at the national level to find other competitive wrestlers to workout
with and to improve their skills.
With the moratorium, we no longer are able to use the wrestling
room in the spring to get in these extra workouts.
It is also important to keep in mind that our spring workouts
are totally optional. While coach Michael New would like to see
every single person in the wrestling room Tuesday through Thursday,
there are no ramifications for missing a practice.
There were already rules in place that governed student-athletes
out of season time, and these rules were highly restrictive compared
to other Division I schools. In fact, Ivy League student-athletes
can only practice about a quarter as much as other Division I schools.
If the moratorium remains in place, what do you see as happening?
The Ivy League's competitiveness on the national scene will significantly
decline. Part of the decline can be explained by having fewer hours
per year to practice and compete, but more of the decline will be
the result of losing a significant number of the top scholar-athletes
to non-Ivy schools.
I also think that the face of the undergraduate student body will
begin to change. Princeton values multidimensionality in its students
because it contributes to a more vibrant student life. Having serious
athletes on campus reinforces the multidimensionality of the student
What should be done?
Now is the time to fight. It is up to the Ivy presidents to realize
they made a mistake and to come up with a workable solution.
The Ivy presidents are hearing criticism from students as well
Are there are any likely alternatives?
We are actually working on a number of workable alternatives to
the seven-week moratorium and we look forward to getting feedback
from President Tilghman among others.
What else are you involved in besides athletics?
We practice five days per week for an hour and a half, and we
often go on away trips for a few days at a time. However, one does
not have to be in the library to get work done.
I find that I am more productive in-season than out of season.
At away wrestling tournaments, if you look at other teams between
matches, guys are sitting around or sleeping, but if you look at
the Princeton section, a majority of the guys are working on problem
sets or reading for their classes.
If I had seven weeks off, I know that I would not try to get in
a play, or join a club. I think that I would probably spend more
And Knorring's feelings are echoed by several other students
I talked to:
Allison Cahill '03, women's basketball ... "I'm personally
insulted by the moratorium. We chose Princeton specifically for
its excellence in academics and athletics. We wanted this challenge.
I don't think we need our time and energy regulated for us any more
than other Ivy League students."
Andrea Kilbourne '03, women's hockey ... "The decision shows
that the presidents place little value on athletics at their universities
while they push the Ivy League toward Division III standards. Most
students who attend Ivy League schools strive to excel in all aspects
of their lives, the moratorium prevents student-athletes from doing
- Michael Murray '05, men's water polo ... "The seven week
moratorium is going to destroy Princeton athletics. Forcing athletes
to take almost two months off during the year will obviously deteriorate
our teams' abilities to play at a competitive level, which will
in turn hurt the school's recruiting prospects. President Tilghman
is trying to end competitive Princeton athletics completely."
Hannah Foster '03, women's lacrosse ... "Nobody has outlined
how the presidents plan to gauge the moratorium's success. I'd be
interested to hear that. Are they going to keep a log of our hours
engaged in other activities? Will they compare our GPA's before
Sonya Mirbagheri '04 ... "I believe the moratorium should
be reevaluated on a sport-by-sport basis at the end of the semester
so we ensure that Princetonians are not being negatively affected
by this ruleÖ. More important, this reevaluation needs to occur
so student-athletes are given a chance to voice their opinions,
especially because their concerns were not necessarily addressed
before the moratorium was put in place."
Pettus Randall '04, USG president ... "The USG is working
actively with the administration to explore alternatives. President
Tilghman and the current administration are very receptive to more
effective alternatives. In addressing this issue, we first must
reevaluate the motivations of the moratorium and find alternatives
that will not change the structure of Ivy League athletics so dramatically.
You can reach Nate at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU