Tag Archives: athletics

MIT just got even less athletic

Pax Arcana

It was math nerds that inadvertently caused the global economic meltdown, so I guess the chickens had to come home to roost at some point. We received word today that MIT — where I once mopped the hallways as a janitor while secretly solving complex math riddles — is shutting the doors on several sports:

It is with regret that we write to inform you that the following eight varsity sports will no longer be offered at MIT: Alpine Skiing, Golf, Men’s Ice Hockey, Women’s Ice Hockey, Men’s Gymnastics, Women’s Gymnastics, Pistol, and Wrestling. These changes are effective at the conclusion of this academic year.

The University says it can no longer afford to carry 41 varsity sports, pointing out that the Ivy League average is 33 and the Division III average is 16.

I say forget about that shit what the hell sport is “Pistol?” I’m picturing a mustachioed man in breeches and a petticoat firing at a tuppence nailed to the wall.

Actually, it turns out that the MIT Pistol team won the 2005 and 2007 NRA National Championship for shooting stuff. The campus newspaper published an article about the team in 2005:

Pistol Coach Will Hart explained that “here at MIT we start at ground zero, at the very, very basic: this is a gun, this is where you point it, this is how you aim it, this is how you release the trigger. Everything is done at a very basic level and goes from basic to elite by the time [the students] graduate.”

Competing against the military academies, where, Coach Hart said, the students start “way ahead of the curve,” how can MIT perform so well? The MIT athletes succeed by virtue of “the same attributes that it takes to become an MIT student: the dedication, the time management, attention to detail, focus, self-discipline,” which all contribute to becoming a good pistol shooter, Hart said.


I suppose it’s possible for sports like Pistol to continue as club sports, but I doubt the hockey players and ski team members will be able to cobble together enough money to carry on.

This is undoubtedly a sad day for college athletics, and I hope these students can find other outlets to enjoy the athletic experience.  But I want to make one thing explicitly clear, former MIT varsity athletes — if I see a single Quidditch match on your campus I will fire my electromagnesiotron and completely erase all the porn from your external hard drives.  I mean that.

MIT to reduce the number of varsity sports offered [MIT News]



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