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Posted at 02:14 PM ET, 11/02/2011

Yale quarterback Patrick Witt faces conflict between Harvard game, Rhodes interview

Well, this is some unfortunate timing. Patrick Witt, Yale quarterback, faces one of the biggest games of his football career Nov. 19.

This is The Game. The stuff of legend, Yale vs. Harvard. (Or is it Harvard vs. Yale?)

On the same day, he also has an interview as a finalist for a Rhodes scholarship, which is only one of the biggest things in education, which is kind of why one goes to Yale. The problem is this: Witt, who applied for the scholarship from his home state of Georgia, will be interviewed at Emory University in Atlanta. The interview, which takes about 30 minutes, begins at 8 a.m. Kickoff for the game at the Yale Bowl in West Haven, Conn., is at noon; the flight from Atlanta to New York takes two hours. Even a non-Ivy Leaguer can see that that’s a tight timetable.

“It’s still very new. It’s still very fresh just finding out this information,” Witt told The Yale Daily News. “So I need to kind of reevaluate. If the Rhodes Committee is willing to work with me, in a perfect world, I can interview first thing in the morning and get on a flight to be back in time for the game on Saturday. But I don’t know if that will be possible.”

Witt’s stats: 3.91 GPA (history major), 1,393 yards passing, 11 touchdowns (and eight interceptions). If he can’t play, John Whitelaw, who has played in only one game, would replace him.

This isn’t the first time the problem has cropped up. Casey Gerald, a defensive back, interviewed on a Friday in Texas and made it to The Game about seven hours before kickoff. He didn’t get the scholarship. And his team lost the game.

“I knew that without Yale football, I wouldn’t have been close to being a candidate for the Rhodes Scholarship,” Gerald said.. “I was a finalist as much because of my teammates as for myself. I didn’t take it lightly the choice between either going to the interview, where the best outcome would only relate to me, or going to play in the last game of my athletic career.”

By  |  02:14 PM ET, 11/02/2011

 
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