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It’s unfortunate that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia chose to frame his concern about placing students in academic settings that are too rigorous in terms of race [“Scalia’s words add fresh fuel to debate on affirmative action,” Page One, Dec. 10].

It may be true that some students admitted to top schools on bases other than pure academic merit struggle and would have been better served to have settled for a “slower-track school.” But that’s true irrespective of the race of the student. A large percentage of admitted students of all races at any university didn’t get there based on academic merit alone.

We seem comfortable enough taking that risk with our student-athletes, for example. Why wouldn’t we be as willing to go as deeply into the admission pool to expand the diversity of a university’s student body as we are to protect the prowess of its sports program?

–Chris Goelz, Mercer Island