In an article, “A College Where Education Ends Inside the Classroom,” in The New York Times David Hart ’80 deplored his college’s commitment to sports. In his concluding paragraph, he wrote, “I guess you never understand how valuable something can be until you have to do without it.  Basketball to me is much more than a leather ball spinning through a hoop.  It is a symbol of mental and physical awareness, an alternative but not a substitute for high academic achievement. Oh, by the way, I attend Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N. Y.”

Barbara Brooks ’77 and Steven Kluger’80, a basketball teammate of Hart, addressed Hart’s charges in the January 14, 1979, New York Times. Ms. Brooks observed that, along with an ”accomplished soccer team” and “active tennis and rugby teams,” Vassar had “a nine-hole golf course…numerous tennis courts, a track and a dance theater.  The educational goal of Vassar has always been growth in mind and body.”  A graduate student at the University of Minnesota, she admitted, “for cheerleaders, field-houses, football stadiums…and crowds of thousands, one should attend a Big Ten university…. But an infinite number of the same trimmings can be found…at a college such as Vassar, and I would not trade the 3½ years I spent there for anything.”

Mr. Kluger, proclaiming “I, too, am a member of the ‘Big Pink,’ the Vassar basketball team,” said he didn’t yearn for a “multimillion dollar sports complex.”  “I do not want,” he continued, “the music department to compose a Vassar fight song; I have never been in a fight before, and besides, I cannot picture Denise dragging her bass cello or Wendy rolling her piano over to the gym to play a baroque pep chant.”  A sports complex, he concluded, “with marble floors, and a huge crowd would be nice—but unnecessary….Big Dave and I still cheer for each other, and we are learning what there is for an intercollegiate sportsman to learn, trimmings or no trimmings.”