The cheating scandal in college admissions should force immediate changes at leading universities. For instance, corrupt parents bribed coaches and created false records for their kids, who pretended to be athletic stars in water polo, rowing or sailing.
But why reserve slots even for students who really excel in these sports? How does the presence of better student golfers raise the quality of a major college? Football and basketball can make big money for the university, but minor sports cost money that only inflates tuition.
Moreover, kids who are accomplished in sailing, golf, or tennis, most likely come from wealthy backgrounds. Giving them preferences in admissions is like affirmative action for rich kids.
In addition to grades and test scores, it’s appropriate to count volunteerism, or artistic ability, or community leadership. But to tilt toward participants in minor sports shows a problem of misplaced priorities.