Statement of Athletic Philosophy
Yale University offers its students a liberal education, one which has as its focus the intellectual and moral development of the individual, and which gives students a foundation for learning and leading throughout their lives. Yale has long recognized that such an education is not fostered by its academic component alone. Part of it is constituted by those challenging and pleasurable experiences and extracurricular activities--like varsity and recreational athletics--that enable an individual to give fuller force to academic training.
As a part of its great athletic tradition, Yale sponsors over thirty varsity teams, with broad opportunities for participation by men and women, in which athletes of proven ability have the opportunity to test their skill and valor in intercollegiate competition. Through its commitment to competitive athletics, Yale demonstrates its belief that the lessons such engagement teaches are many and enduring. Among these are learning how to strive to win, to compete with pride and honor, to make sacrifices, to persevere when all seems lost, and to develop a sense of obligation and responsibility for others. These lessons make athletics a school for accomplishment and character, and for the athlete they represent an invaluable part of the non-academic aspects of a liberal education.
Because Yale views athletics as a component of liberal education, complementary to its central academic mission but not superior to it, the University requires that aspiration and achievement in competitive athletic endeavor play a proportioned role within any student's school life. The University also subscribes to the Ivy agreement, the principles of which delimit the role competitive athletic endeavor play in the life of the University or of any individual student within it. These principles include the belief that student athletes should be generally representative of their class and admitted on the basis of academic promise and personal qualities as well as athletic abilities; that financial aid to student athletes be awarded in the same way it is awarded to other students, that is solely on the basis of financial need; that student athletes be held accountable to the same academic standards as other students; and that athletes make normal academic progress toward their degrees.
In addition to its sponsorship of competitive sports, Yale supports a wide range of extracurricular programs, including those which present significant opportunities for recreational and instructional participation. The University provides supervision for over thirty club sports, and has developed a large intramural program, which present undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty fellows with the opportunity to participate in competitive sports throughout the calendar year. Yale considers the opportunities it offers in these areas to be an important contribution to the well-being of members of its community and is as dedicated to these extracurricular activities as to the continued strength of its competitive programs. In all aspects of sport and recreation, the University recognizes that shared experience can help create a strong bond among members of the University community, and between the University community and alumni, and it is committed to fostering the spirit of pride and fellowship that athletic endeavor can develop.