Coach Dave Barnard deserves kudos for coming up with the idea for a baseball tournament over spring break in the Florida sunshine.

MIT is one of 72 Division III baseball teams playing in a month-long tournament in the Tampa Bay area. The tournament was the brainchild of Williams College baseball coach Dave Barnard. Most of the games are played at various spring training sites such as Englebert Complex in Dunedin and Huggins Stengel Field in St. Petersburg.

The baseball team seems to be doing well this year. To any alum from the 80’s it is positively disconcerting to see how well Williams does in almost every sport. Some of this is due, I hope, to having better coaches like Barnard. Part is probably due to success leading to more success. Smart (and skilled) baseball players are more likely, perhaps, to come to Williams than they were 20 years ago. Yet part (most? all?) of the increased success in Williams athletics is due to the use of “tips.”

A thoughtful fellow like Barnard can certainly make a strong case for the use of “tips” — for letting in students who would not be admitted were it not for their ability to hit a curve ball. But I still don’t buy it.

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