Patrick Witt's decision to forgo his Rhodes Scholarship interview to play his final game against Harvard didn't have a poetic ending. In fact, it was quite the opposite: Harvard trounced Yale, 45-7, and Witt was picked off three times.
Witt had been in the headlines the past couple weeks due to a unique conundrum: choosing between playing in his final collegiate game against rival Harvard or interviewing for a possible Rhodes Scholarship. The interviews were held in Atlanta at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, just four hours before kickoff, so there was no way he could do both.
Witt decided earlier in the week that keeping his commitment to his teammates was the right move and never looked back despite some critics questioning his decision.
While it's hard to question the emotional value of finishing the season with his fellow seniors, the outcome of the loss to Harvard was actually the worst loss the Bulldogs have suffered at the hands of their rival since 1982.
Initially, it looked like Witt's choice of athletics over academics was the right move. Midway through the first quarter, Witt found Jackson Liguori for a 24-yard pass and Yale took an early 7-0 lead. After that, it got ugly.
In the second half, Yale moved the ball to Harvard's side of the field just once, not counting the final series of the game, which was basically used to run out the clock. When the Bulldogs did get the ball to the Harvard 30, Witt threw an interception that Harvard eventually turned into a score. He also threw a pick-six in the fourth quarter.
It's too bad this didn't have a fairytale ending. Witt, 22, does have until he's 24 to reapply for the Rhodes Scholarship, but there's no guarantee he'll get another interview.
- Rhodes Scholarship