Great on-line article in Sports Illustrated written by one Eph alum about another:

DK’s favorite topic, Eph marriage, even gets a mention!

Unlike many on this forum, I relish Williams’ image as a Division III athletic power. I sort of like the idea of Williams as a place where academics are top-notch, but where leadership/service/social development, athletics/outdoors activities, and excellence in the arts are all valued in equal measure. I’ll admit that right now, athletics may be a little bit TOO prominent in this equation, and I hope that the new arts facilities will be accompanied by a corresponding increased emphasis on students with artistic talent. But I don’t think the formula on campus, with the new restrictions on low-band admits, is that far off. Eliminate some of the admits in just a few problem sports, whose members are disproportiantely responsible for the bad image of athletics on campus, and I think Williams could achieve the proper balance. But the school certainly gets a lot of great publicity from its overall excellence in athletics, and attracts a lot of applicants who appreciate being in an academic environment where many students maintain an intense focus, and attain great success, in other arenas.

On another athletic topic which perhaps deserves its own post at some point, it’s kind of amazing, given Williams’ reputation for athletic excellence, that the only campus facilities to receive little attention in recent years are some of the badly-outdated athletic facilities. The Williams track facilities are apparently in terrible disrepair, and except for Chandler and the new squash courts, the remainder of the indoor athletic facilities are reaching the end of their usefulness. In particular, the weight room/fitness center, which is utilized by a huge percentage of campus, is (last I saw) far, far inferior to similar facilities at Williams’ prime competitors. Middlebury and Amherst, to name two, both have huge, gorgeous fitness centers, which make the Williams’ facility look like a high school junior varsity weight room by comparison. Given the enormous capital investment in a professional-caliber theater and art studio, two new student centers, and a new academic quad, I’m surprised a relatively modest sum has not been set aside to renovate and expand the cramped, overused fitness center and improve the condition of the fieldhouse and outdoor track. I imagine some creative reengineering of Lasell could find room for an expanded fitness center without anywhere near the costs of the other major campus projects. Otherwise, Williams may soon begin to lose talented student-athletes to Midd and Amherst despite its reputation for athletic excellence.

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