Patrick Witt, the starting QB for Yale University has made his decision. He will play in “The Game” this weekend as Yale travels to Harvard. For Witt, a senior, this could be his equivalent of the Super Bowl. Ryan Fitzpatrick aside, most Ivy League quaterbacks don’t play in the NFL. They do however go on to successful careers, which has more to do with their Ivy league education than their on field football prowess.
Witt, whose application for a Rhodes Scholarship was accepted, decided not to go to the interview. Why? Because it’s scheduled for Saturday when Yale travels to rival Harvard. It’s been the talk of sports talk radio across the country. At the beginning, before he made his decision, it was about what he should do. Now it’s about what he decided to do.
There are two sides, this is a very black and white issue, although I’ll shed some grey on it for you in a moment. You play with your team and don’t interview for a chance at what some call the “world’s most prestigious scholarship,” or you don’t play and you interview, letting the cards fall where they may, whether that be as an actual Rhodes Scholar or just a Rhodes Scholar finalist.
I, from the first moment I heard, wondered why, at a University like Yale with so many wealthy and high profile alumni, didn’t someone step up and offer to fly him on a private jet back to the game, provided he was able to secure the first interview at 8am? That’s my grey area.
Black, white and grey aside, I do believe that for Patrick Witt, he made the right call. This is a kid who transferred from a Big 12 program, Nebraska, to study and play football at Yale. Yes, he went from backup to starter in that transfer, but he also did this to further his education. Wait, wait, wait, if he’s all about education wouldn’t he had chosen the scholarship. Wrong, there are lessons that everyone learns in college, both in and out of the classroom. Out of the classroom could be in student senate, it could be as a resident assistant, or it could be on the football field, where teamwork is something that has been taught since the very beginning. This isn’t the case of a kid ignoring his future or pissing away opportunity. This is a kid who doesn’t want to leave his teammates hanging. This is a kid who is part of a team and understands his role on it.
Bottom line, here’s a kid who in an interview will have an Ivy league diploma, and will be able to talk about character and sacrifice of oneself for the team. Tell me what company isn’t looking for a hire like that?
And in the end what would you have done? I for one, at first thought would have played.