The whole article is not worth reading, but I loved the opening anecdote.
In 1955, Williams College Admissions Director Fred Copeland was bothered by a new trend: “This year, Yale, and, to some extent Harvard, gave early verbal and written guarantees to many top candidates. It seems to me that the practice is going to become more prevalent and that ‘early acceptances’ will become the rule rather than the exception; the problem will be not to let it go too far.”
No source for the quote is given, but I think that it comes from The Early Admissions Game. The authors are running a conference at Yale this week-end. Alas, my invitation was lost in the mail. Although my views may be extreme, I think that these conversations would benefit from a little more ideological diversity.