This is the last installment of comments from Director of Admissions Dick Nesbitt ’74 on the general topic of tips.

As for the comparison with music, here’s a reality check: We are able to admit roughly 120 top rated musicians each year from the top of the academic reader rating scale–what we refer to as academic 1′ and 2’s (broadly defined as 1500+ SAT’s and very top of the class). By contrast, how many decent football players do you think are among the academic 1’s and 2’s? A couple of years ago, I checked. There were exactly 9 applicants in that academic range who had played 2 years of varsity football and wanted to continue in college (we’re not even talking about rated athletes here, just those who had an interest). We admitted 7 of them, and 2 matriculated. Both played for one year, then quit.

Here’s another difference between music and sports: If the Berkshire Symphony is lacking players, they simply hire professionals. There have been years when up to 70% of the symphony have been hired guns. I happy to report that the majority of the BSO now is students and the percentage grows each year (as does the quality of the orchestra, ironically).

Kudos to Nesbitt for taking the time and trouble to explain things to EphBlog. As in most things, the more open and honest that the College is about controversial issues, the better it appears. The more that I have found out about the whole tip phenomenon, the less concerned that I have become.

Indeed, having read the College’s Report on the topic along with Dave Barnard’s thoughts, I can’t help but conclude that there is no evidence that there are any problems with “tips” per se. Certainly, there is no evidence of any ill-effects from female tips. Nor does there seem to be much evidence against the practice of male tips in most sports.

There may be a case to be made against tips — or at least “low band” tips — for certain male sports, but even that is an open question in my mind.

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