Fr. Leahy Issues Letter Addressing Academics And Athletics At University

In the wake of news reports last week about athletics and admissions, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, wrote the following letter to the Boston College community on April 6.

I am sure that each of you has heard a great deal about the departure of Jim O'Brien, our head basketball coach; but I would like to offer some additional information for you to consider.

First, our undergraduate admission policy concerning athletes is the same as our policy for other applicants regarded as able to make unique contributions to BC. We have never automatically admitted athletes simply because they meet minimum academic standards of the NCAA, and that will remain our practice. The key criterion is whether or not there are reasonable grounds for believing that the individual, whether an athlete or not, has sufficient academic preparation and potential as well as personal motivation to graduate from Boston College. We do this because it is just and also successful. Our record of graduations in special admissions areas, of which athletics is only one, is among the best in the nation. Moreover, the efforts of our admissions office have helped Boston College to advance significantly toward our goals of excellence in both academics and athletics, and to enroll more students from diverse backgrounds who go on to receive degrees from BC.

Furthermore, I want to reiterate that I as President and Boston College as an institution remain committed to a successful Division I athletics program. I know that BC is criticized on occasion for maintaining high academic standards while at the same time striving to excel in intercollegiate sports. May the charge that we aim too high be the worst ever placed at our doorstep.

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