Independent Thinking Blog

On Scholars, Athletes, and Leaders

“Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead.”


Patrick Witt played a football game on Saturday. By that ordinary action, the Yale quarterback seems to have demonstrated the character, commitment, and leadership that the Rhodes Trust has valued for over 100 years.

But Witt, a Rhodes Scholarship finalist, won’t be a Rhodes Scholar. Because the Rhodes Trust scheduled his interview to coincide with his game, he had to choose.

He chose his team.

After an enormous scandal brought on by a failure of leadership in college sports, it’s refreshing to see someone who understands what it means to be a leader.

What do you think? Should Witt have taken the interview? Does it make a difference knowing that Harvard crushed Yale?

Photo by Jayel Aheram (Flickr).

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