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Articles by Noah Riskin

April 10, 2009
As MIT’s Head Men’s Gymnastics Coach (ninth year), I am not interested in varsity athletics. I am interested in varsity athletics at MIT, specifically because the combination is such a rare one. The number and variety of our varsity programs, the values I have always felt to be surrounding athletics at the Institute, richly complement academic pursuits, and for the greatest number of students possible. At least this is how it’s been. I understand that DAPER must make deep budget cuts — an unfortunate result of the current economic crisis and climate. But, I am concerned that the slated cutting of varsity programs, and a leaner, meaner DAPER, means that less-skilled student-athletes and so-called non-athletes will be shut out of MIT varsity athletics, along with the rare educational experience it affords. And, as this pushes forward with speed, I am concerned that not enough people know about this, especially our alumni/ae. We should be careful; forty-one varsity programs is an Institute gem. Varsity athletics at MIT should serve the best and the brightest students and not just the best and brightest athletes. And, I would feel exactly the same way, be writing exactly the same words, if MIT Men’s Gymnastics was not likely to be cut…
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