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A letter from an alumnus about Princeton becoming Division III

December 6, 2001

In your October 10 issue, former president Shapiro is quoted as reporting that nobody in a group of recruited freshman athletes would have come to Princeton if it had been a Division III school (cover story).

I am not sure what Division III means, but I have a modest proposal. Let’s have Princeton become a Division III school. That way we could provide places for people who consider themselves students first and athletes second. We could thereby get rid of the "great kids" who could not otherwise qualify for admittance (financial support is no longer an issue) and those whose goal is becoming a professional athlete. Furthermore, we could offer students of modest athletic ability the important chance to play on a team.

I am not suggesting we go it alone. We would need the agreement of the Ivy League presidents and athletic directors so that all our traditional opponents would be playing under the same rules. However, I don’t see that there would be much difference in the state of things. The commercial television networks have apparently decided not to report Ivy League football scores, and the sports service that AOL uses reports only current scores and not season results. If I want to know whether Princeton beat Harvard a couple of weeks ago, I now must wait until PAW arrives. Newspapers in this area of the country could care less about the Ivy League, particularly for any sports other than football.

K. L. Campbell ’46
Hudson, Ohio

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