The University of Texas is not an ivy league school. It’s a very good state school, but not ivy league. Further, his decision was not about intelligence, but about preparedness. It does a huge disservice to the student if they are put into a situation that they are set up to fail in. They go to UT, get overwhelmed, drop out. Do they go back to school? Maybe, maybe not. It is better for someone to go where they are capable of thriving, regardless of any characteristics they might have, rather than tossing them into a place where they may drown.
As well, there’s the issue of who gets left out. Who does it help if an under prepared student attends then drops out, while a better prepared student is left to go elsewhere? Again, it’s bad for the school and bad for the students.
Scalia may or may not have been a total SOB. But he was a great legal mind, and that’s what history is going to remember his as.