By Matt Noonan
This past Sunday, Yale University quarterback Patrick Witt made one of the biggest decisions of his life, as he decided to forgo the Rhodes Scholarship interview, so he could remain in New Haven and quarterback the Bulldogs against Harvard University.
Of course, Harvard-Yale is “The Game,” but it certainly comes as a shock to many, especially those in the education world that learned of Witt’s decision. I’m sure many are puzzled or dumbfounded that he chose football over education, but again, it was his call, not yours.
On Sunday, the Yale Athletics department published Witt’s statement, which read as followed:
“I will be playing in the Yale-Harvard game this Saturday. I have withdrawn my application for the Rhodes Scholarship. My focus this week is solely on preparing for the Game alongside my teammates and coaches.”
Head coach Tom Williams also commented on his quarterback’s decision, and stated the following on, “Inside Yale Football,” which is a weekly video hosted by Ron Vaccaro.
Williams said, “I’m just happy for Pat to put that behind him. I know it’s been weighing heavy on him, and I know it’s taken its toll emotionally, so to have some closure in my estimation is the best thing for Patrick, the best thing for our program, and now we can have a single minded focus going forward to Saturday.”
So, did Witt make the right decision?
Do you feel he should have chosen the interview over football?
Exactly, what does Witt and his Bulldogs have to gain from Saturday’s affair against the Crimson?
Harvard has officially wrapped up the Ivy League, which is why this decision seems quite puzzling, especially from an outsider’s perspective. Neither Harvard or Yale are vying for college football bowls or even a National Championship, which again proves that Witt should have chosen the Rhodes Scholarship interview instead of his final collegiate football game.
Although, while Witt may not be remembered for 149 completions, 13 touchdowns or 11 interceptions, but he’ll certainly go down in the record books, as a Bulldog that registered the most passing yards against Princeton University’s defense, as well as his decision to forgo the interview.
I expect numerous alums and students to continue to question his decision going forward, but again, this was his choice, and as sports fans or supporters, we need to encourage Witt to follow his heart and mind. Besides, even if he did choose the interview over the game, there’s no guaranteed answer that he would have received the award and opportunity to study abroad.
Witt is a talented young man, and certainly I hope that all of his dreams and goals come true.