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  • The College Sports Academic Fraud

    A commentary by Frank Deford regarding the education of some college athletes.

    So much about big-time college sports is criticized. But the worst scandal is almost never mentioned: The academic fraud wherein the student-athletes, so-called, are admitted without even remotely adequate credentials and then aren't educated so much as they are just kept eligible.

    ........

    Imagine, showing up at college, Ms. Willingham says, with reading, writing and vocabulary skills so below your classmates that nothing makes sense. She found some athletes admitted to Chapel Hill, one of the most elite public universities in the country, with fourth grade reading skills. Worse, some are, simply, non-readers. More upsetting, she found cheating rampant. It troubles her, she admits, that she herself lied about that, filling out boilerplate NCAA forms that affirmed that there was no cheating. But everybody does it. Just tell the NCAA what it wants and sell more tickets.
    Link

  • #2
    Nothing new there. Colleges have been bringing in beef at least as much as brains for a very, very long time. Maybe one or two are exempt from the problem, but no more than that.

    The only debatable point is whether it is worse now than it was in the past. Flip a coin on that one as I think it is too close to call.

    Regards,
    Dennis
    If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

    Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree that its nothing new, however, that doesn't mean that this type of behavior on the part of the colleges and universities should be allowed to continue. The NCAA is finally making strides in mandating that college teams maintain minimum APR scores in order for them to qualify for post-season play and that's a start for the better.

      I've gathered from the reading of the Deford opinion piece and from my own search of "Mary Willingham" that she put up quite a stink about this nine or so months ago.

      Most, if not all, of the current realignment going on within the world of college athletics is being driven by big money, television money, that solely benefits the colleges and universities. Sure the athletes also benefit by the greater television exposure they garner when they play for these big name colleges, however, aren't they supposed to be going to college in order to receive a college degree? I'm sure that many do, but let's be honest about it, many are enrolled some cream-puff curricula that brings little to no benefit to the student in post-college life.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Gorque View Post
        I agree that its nothing new, however, that doesn't mean that this type of behavior on the part of the colleges and universities should be allowed to continue. The NCAA is finally making strides in mandating that college teams maintain minimum APR scores in order for them to qualify for post-season play and that's a start for the better.

        I've gathered from the reading of the Deford opinion piece and from my own search of "Mary Willingham" that she put up quite a stink about this nine or so months ago.

        Most, if not all, of the current realignment going on within the world of college athletics is being driven by big money, television money, that solely benefits the colleges and universities. Sure the athletes also benefit by the greater television exposure they garner when they play for these big name colleges, however, aren't they supposed to be going to college in order to receive a college degree? I'm sure that many do, but let's be honest about it, many are enrolled some cream-puff curricula that brings little to no benefit to the student in post-college life.
        Just like my unpopular views on the operational level of war, I have an unpopular view on this too.

        Let me start off by saying I would abolish the NCAA and its bogus and outdated amateurism. We're not in Kansas anymore, so to speak, assuming we ever were. Its not feasible for schools to pay players in revenue generating sports in light of Title IX (as I understand it anyway), but these players should be able to earn what they can from other sources. If someone wants to pay an Oklahoma linebacker 5k per week in the summer to watch an oilfield, I say good for him.

        I would take issue with the notion that these athletes are at a university to "get an education." That's a platitude. They are there to prepare for the future, and if that future is the NFL or WNBA, I could care less that the kid doesn't pay attention in Chemistry 101 or PoliSci 202. Frankly, if they are at school to prepare for a future in sports, that should be their major. Why screw around? Develop an appropriate core of classes to help with that major (speaking in cliches 101, how not to get ripped off by your agent 201 and most importantly, how to tell friends and family "no" 491), and be done with it.

        Now I'm sure some might say that not everyone can make it into pro football or basketball and I'd agree. But if some athlete wants to take that shot, it's on them if they fail (just as its on them if they are a summa cum laude grad with a degree in philosophy and can't find work). They are adults after all. But if the extra fifteen hours per week in the gym and studying film is the difference between a multimillion guaranteed contract, or even a 250k minimum salary in a pro sport for a few years (with the prospect of far more), versus spending the time in the library and getting a degree that will lead to a job paying far, far less, who is begrudge the athlete, and who should begrudge the university? I mean after all, who is more likely to give a big donation: a pro athlete looking for a tax write off or a guy struggling to keep a job in this economy?

        And even if the athlete does fail, gets cut in his first training camp or doesn't even get an invite, the athlete might still be better off than the summa cum laude philosophy grad. Jocksniffers will still be lining up to have Billy the football hero help sell cars or be an account rep for their beer distributorship, even if the athlete didn't manage to get through Calculus 101. So even then the athlete was prepared for life in the future, in some respect anyway.
        Last edited by The Ibis; 05 Sep 13, 20:49.

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        • #5
          What you say makes sense Ibis, and it is an approach that might work, so I won't argue that. Hell, there hasn't been amateurism in the revenue sports for generations. I especially agree with trashing the NCAA as they are as guilty as anyone for the current system.

          I would say that the only nit I have to pick with yours is the idea that the jocks are being prepared for something, even if they fail in the pros. I think all they will get is an even greater sense of entitlement and invincibility from the rules that the rest of us follow.

          What I will say is that I do not prefer your solution. I say make the NFL and NBA start their own minor leagues, that works as well.

          Sadly, while mine is more likely to return a greater degree of sanity to college sports, it is less likely to happen than yours. Big donors and other assorted pinheads who live out their lives through the accomplishments of the athletes at (name the school of your choice here) won't permit mine to go.

          As currently constituted we are awash in a sea of dung, perhaps all either of our ideas will do is distribute the dung differently.

          Regards,
          Dennis
          If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

          Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

          Comment


          • #6
            Didn't quote any of the previous posts, as a bunch they are pretty much the same.
            The kicker (pun) is the actual student who applies for one of the slots in the freshman class and gets the "no" letter because others without the education and test scores are granted admission. Somewhere, somehow, we need to create a system that allows the true students to take advantage of the higher education presented by the system.
            My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by holly6 View Post
              Didn't quote any of the previous posts, as a bunch they are pretty much the same.
              The kicker (pun) is the actual student who applies for one of the slots in the freshman class and gets the "no" letter because others without the education and test scores are granted admission. Somewhere, somehow, we need to create a system that allows the true students to take advantage of the higher education presented by the system.
              That would apply only to academically qualified athletes looking for an athletic scholarship. The traditional students aren't impacted. Scholarships to athletes are funded by donations to athletic departments.

              However as the number of athletic scholarships is limited, I am sure a small number of deserving student-athletes can and have been denied that particular funding.

              Regards,
              Dennis
              If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

              Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

              Comment


              • #8
                Two divergent schools of thought

                Two good points presented: Be open and honest about the reason why many college athletes are enrolled and formulate a curricula that will assist them afterwards or, paraphrasing here, require the same minimum admission academic standard expected of other applying students which might then create a sufficient talent pool of promising athletes for the start-up of a minor league system. I too doubt the latter will transpire, mainly due to the revenue stream flowing into the college and university coffers through the present system.

                Its a shame the NFL and NBA do not have a minor league system in place for player development and injury rehabilitation much like the MLB has. I like going to watch minor league teams play as they're sometimes more exciting to watch but are also a heck of lot cheaper to attend.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gorque View Post
                  Two good points presented: Be open and honest about the reason why many college athletes are enrolled and formulate a curricula that will assist them afterwards or, paraphrasing here, require the same minimum admission academic standard expected of other applying students which might then create a sufficient talent pool of promising athletes for the start-up of a minor league system. I too doubt the latter will transpire, mainly due to the revenue stream flowing into the college and university coffers through the present system.

                  Its a shame the NFL and NBA do not have a minor league system in place for player development and injury rehabilitation much like the MLB has. I like going to watch minor league teams play as they're sometimes more exciting to watch but are also a heck of lot cheaper to attend.
                  We do some minor league games each year with the Altoona Curve. Cheaper is right, and there are a number of little jewels in the minor league parks. Altoona is one of them!

                  Regards,
                  Dennis
                  If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                  Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    And people wonder why the NFL and others are constantly having thuggish behavior, such as the murder trial underway-its the whole 'free ride' method of bring atheletes through the system.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                      And people wonder why the NFL and others are constantly having thuggish behavior, such as the murder trial underway-its the whole 'free ride' method of bring atheletes through the system.
                      Are you arguing that the system creates the thugs, or that the thugs take advantage of the free ride in the system?

                      I believe it is the latter. Those who would take the easy way will do so no matter where that path is. Aaron Hernandez would be a homicidal thug if he worked at Burger King, but he has the talent to play major college and pro football. Athletically talented thugs gravitate to athletics because they see it as the easiest way to make big money.

                      Regards,
                      Dennis
                      If stupid was a criminal offense Sea Lion believers would be doing life.

                      Shouting out to Half Pint for bringing back the big mugs!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                        And people wonder why the NFL and others are constantly having thuggish behavior, such as the murder trial underway-its the whole 'free ride' method of bring atheletes through the system.
                        To say nothing about the other perks of collegiate football recruitment at booster expense in addition to classes and exams passes. Cars, of course, but chicks galore.

                        You remember when Tony Dorsett spilled the beans about his time at the U of P? I read it with a most profound sense envy to beat the green-eyed monster band. You honestly had to wonder if any nookie was left for the rest of the guys on-campus. Lucky bastard. Eric Dickerson had similar tales while at SMU. It's goooood to be a much sought after star running back in Texas.
                        Youthful Exuberance Is No Match For Old Age And Treachery.

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