I so appreciate Gregg Lange ’70’s writings (Rally ’Round the Cannon, PAW Online) that I am forced to (belatedly) reply to his request for comments about the admissions scandal. I have been an alumni interviewer for years and have seen a great many talented applicants not be admitted. My goal is to prepare the applicant for disappointment if not admitted; assure the applicant and the family that their child will be a great success elsewhere and go on to a wonderful life; and, if accepted, to realize that Princeton is the greatest place in the world. I cite the admission rate (less than 6 percent), and explain that not even being a star athlete is a guarantee of admission, which is why the “Varsity Blues” coaches “selling” team slots really hurts.
As evidence, I tell this story: I was the senior manager for the varsity basketball team. After Princeton won the NIT in 1975, on Acceptance Day I was sitting in the stands watching a baseball game with Coach Pete Carril and half the team. Coach Carril was literally crying in his beer because a top recruit was not accepted to Princeton. The real agony was that he was accepted to Penn and then destroyed us a couple of seasons later. I pledge my honor that I have neither given nor received assistance on this story ... but memories fade, and never let a few details get in the way of a good story.
So Gregg, I take pride in my belief that Princeton hasn’t been tainted and won’t be.