MIT recruits for sailing. But as other schools of that ilk, they have to recruit kids that can do the course work. You cannot get in MIT for sailing without being able to do the coursework. And the schools want extracurriculars. They want people who don't just sit in their rooms and study. They play tennis, they run track, they play in the orchestra, start businesses -- like FB or Microsoft. Starting a business is a hook. I know a kid that got into Harvard last year framing that on his CV. All these kids have great scores. It is not that they cannot do the coursework and excel. They just differentiate themselves. Do some kids on the football team get on with weaker scores than most, I would bet on it. But the kid that gets recruited for fencing is going to have great scores. I have done a lot of work on this. I heard from a mother whose daughter got recruited by 2 ivys. She is at one. She is not a top track star. She is a really good, disciplined track competitor with top scores from a private academic feeder school. And when I say recruited, most athletes at these top schools initiate contact with coaches. They send their athletic CV with a scholatic score sheet showing they could get admitted based on scores. You cannot get athletic recruitment without submitting your academic scores. And 25% of athletes submitted for recruitment get turned down because of scores were not high enough.