College athletes' reading levels

Discussion in 'College' started by teachinnola, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    Jan 8, 2014

    http://us.cnn.com/2014/01/07/us/ncaa-athletes-reading-scores/index.html?c=homepage-t

    I hope this link works! I saw this story on CNN today. Thoughts? Personal experiences?

    Sadly, this doesn't surprise me at all. I feel very strongly that this kind of higher education should not be manipulated to just pass people, regardless of their status. It devalues other people's diplomas and wastes resources (this I think it's arguable since many universities have athletic departments that can support themselves). I think it's great that underprivileged students can get to school on athletic scholarships, but I don't think they deserve to be there solely for their athletic abilities.

    I do wonder how these students passed through middle school, and then high school, reading at a third grade level. This is a deeper problem with sports, apathy, culture, etc, than just universities passing illiterate students.
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Literally everything about high-level collegiate basketball and football disgusts the crap out of me, and I firmly believe the country as a whole would be better off if every Division 1 school dropped their football and basketball programs tomorrow.

    I say this as a huge sports fan that utterly refuses to watch any type of college sports... and it's even more disgusting knowing that high school football or basketball games are on tv, too. Gross.
     
  4. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    It does disgust me that these athletes are taking spots from students that are qualified for the academics in college. However, it disgusts me more that they all required a high school diploma in order to be accepted into college.
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'll admit that I'm not sure I like the idea of a gifted athlete being denied the opportunity to play (and possibly change his or her world with a pro contract) because of reading struggles. It's a complex problem.

    Sad. :(
     
  6. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    It is a complex problem since they are now mandated to play in college (1 year for basketball, 3 for football).

    I would never get rid of sports. I have seen kids truly excel BECAUSE of sports. It teaches them discipline. Their coaches are on them about grades for eligibility.

    I took ed classes with a D1 player. He was extremely intelligent and I'm sure he'll make a great teacher. He had a teammate majoring in computer science and on the deans list. There's no one size fits all.

    Full disclosure: we loff college sports. We already have our NCAA tourney tickets. GO BUCKS!
     
  7. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I've seen this. I know in my university you had to have a minimum GPA to be in sports (of course this can be and is manipulated, as seen in the article). And your freshman year you have to go to study hall a certain amount of hours every week.

    I was on the swim team and we always had the highest GPA of all the sports teams. :D
     
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    They aren't mandated to play college sports to go pro. Football players and basketball players each have other options. They generally don't choose those options because the living conditions from college are the best.

    And I wouldn't advocate ending sports altogether. I agree that high school and college sports do play important roles in college. A program that allows nonsense like this (and let's be realistic here... if it's happening at a school like UNC, which has very high academic standards and which actually has refused players on academic reasons, then it's definitely happening at other schools) is not helping to play that role though.
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Let's be honest though-if you want to go pro, where are you MOST likely to be noticed? Who goes number one in the draft? I don't begrudge these kids anything. It's clear that college is their best chance.

    I'm fully aware that this happens at big name schools. BF works at OSU. These athletes who clearly just want to turn pro, typically aren't taking hard classes either. Many of them declare sports and leisure as their major or some other form of sports management, at least where I'm from.

    Also, athletics brings in a good amount of money and advertisement to a university. Just look at some of the boosters at Texas. OSU football supports their athletic department. I've also seen firsthand how a good sports team can help a school and community. When Akron won the national title in soccer, there was definitely more support for the university as a whole. It also really helped out them on the map. The same is true of Miami hockey (especially since their football team lost every single game this year). We are a sports focused culture. I see this living within walking distance to a major university. Columbus is what it is largely thanks to OSU.
     
  10. Math

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    It is a shame that these students make it to High School. Just like a previous poster said they take up spots for other individuals that may want to get into a college. There definitely needs to be a strict guideline with at least having down the basic skills necessary. If you do it this way you might as well tell future athletes school doesn't matter that much. If you are good enough you'll be passed along without a problem. I work really hard for my grades and to get passed along to the next level. I am not getting passed along why because I am the average student? Is my future less promising then the person who wants to play sports? Athletes make really great money while teachers are ripped off. Do priorities really matter? A sport is simply a game. Those students probably get to a point on where they are simply thinking they don't need this stuff. I will be wealthy and never have to think twice about what this teacher has taught me. Now, if students know they will get passed along I know they will not put forth any true effort.
     
  11. gr3teacher

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    I don't see it as a good thing if collegiate programs can only survive/thrive based on making a mockery of the academic process.
     
  12. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    We'll just have to agree to disagree then! I still have the same respect for those graduating with degrees from big name, top 10 athletic schools. I certainly don't value BF's degree any less.
     
  13. gr3teacher

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    I respect those degrees, also, but if a program is only surviving by allowing the basketball and football team to do stuff like this...
     
  14. Math

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    If a program is not run the right way then I have to agree. Don't pretend to have a "good" program when all it really is doing is nothing. Do these programs and colleges get evaluated at all? You should not have a degree if you don't have the necessary skills to pass what ever courses you were supposed to. What about the other people who fail a course and must retake it. What about the ones who are studying their tails off and actually earn their degree? That is simply not fair especially when you know they will be making more than a whole lot of people. That just does not sit well with me.
     
  15. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    What percentage of these students receive degrees? Honest question, I truly don't know.

    Should colleges never offer remedial courses? I guarantee you it's not just athletes in those classes.
     
  16. Math

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    Probably too many to count. That is my honest answer even though I have no clue. I have to agree with it not just being athletes in remedial classes. If their grades are not that great they should not be in a top college though in my opinion. They should be going to community college or something first.
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    And what happens to all of the kids that play in HS but are functionally illiterate and don't get picked up by a D1 school that offers scholarships. What happens to the kid that blows out a knee ends all chances of ever playing again in 11th grade but can't read or it happens in the first year or two of college and there goes the scholarship.

    We give kids more of a chance making sure they are functionally literate than taking a chance on a D1 recruitment. You can be darn sure if schools actually assessed students properly and didn't inflate grades and held to the academic requirements to play sports because it is a privilege, parents would be pushing to make sure the child go the needed supports to be literate.

    One parent may complain but it takes teachers, coaches, and administrators to allow a student to be passed along and for academic standards to be manipulated for athletes.
     
  18. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    That number would be worthless. The article clearly stated that kids were getting credit for classes that they didn't even take or for submitting a paper that some tutor sat and basically wrote for them.

    I think the real question is how many degrees were earned that reflect actual student ability.
     
  19. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    The NCAA at least nominally requires certain graduation percentage, so ultimately... well... most of them.

    Colleges absolutely should offer remedial classes, but that is very different from what is being suggested here. You're talking about people who wouldn't get into Chapel Hill Community College (no idea if that's a real place or not), let alone a university with the status of UNC, if they weren't basketball players. And why? So that the university can make money off them and get cheap publicity, and maybe even give them a sham degree in 4 years (or 5 if they decide to get a redshirt).

    If these colleges are going to do this, they should just cut the crap, designate a certain percentage of their roster spots to go to school employees, give these guys jobs in the dining hall, and save the full scholarship for somebody that will take advantage of it.
     
  20. Math

    Math Cohort

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    You just preached from A to Z. :thumb:
     
  21. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    http://stanford.scout.com/2/1273612.html skimmed this-looks interesting. Less than half the football players graduate at some schools.

    I also want to say I would never change a grade for an athlete. In fact, I've had coaches mad because a student was ineligible because of grades in my class. I know it probably doesn't seem like it from posts here!

    I realize I'm not talking about some parts. Some of those clearly should be wrong to any intelligent adult.

    Some universities in Ohio must accept everyone who applies regardless of test scores. They often end up at satellite campuses if they have low test scores.
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I strongly disagree when you state athletes choose college because college provides the best living conditions. They choose college because that's their best chance of being scouted. What do you suggest for those basketball players who must complete a year in college or meet an age requirement in order to participate in the draft? Overseas?

    ETA: I'm in a basketball state. So I'm talking top tier players.
     
  23. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    We all know not everyone does it.
     
  24. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    And to piggyback-in Europe they face competition with people who played in college. Romeo Travis played in high school with Lebron and then four years at Akron. Then and only then did he go to Europe. College at least offers a semblance of a level playing field.

    When was the last time the number one draft pick came from Europe?

    I also think there are multiple issues being lumped together here. I agree 110% these kids need a back-up plan. They should not be passed along. We need to find ways to prevent that and deal with the ones it's already happened too.
     
  25. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Basketball players majoring in "Boy I hope I can make the NBA one day" have the option of playing in the NBDL or going overseas. Both of those have the option of being coached by pro coaches. Most players don't choose that because it's not exactly an easy life. I wouldn't say it's fully a scouting thing. In particular, the NBDL is run by the NBA, and all the coaches are NBA employees. Scouts go to every game of the NBDL.

    As for football, there's always Canada and arena leagues, both of which attract NFL scouts, and frankly, the way the NFL works, there's absolutely no chance a "diamond in the rough" would possibly slip by if they do anything remotely athletic. There are all-pros in the NFL who never played college football.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Not everyone does what? Accept all who apply? Many do but make it so no one wants to take that option. BF's brother got accepted to OSU-middle of the cornfield. He opted to go to a private school in a big city instead, despite OSU being his top choice.

    It's also why some graduation rates seem so negative. Those kids who drop out after one semester still count.
     
  27. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    2006. More recently, the third overall pick in 2011 was a foreign player who enrolled in college and was promptly declared permanently ineligible.
     
  28. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I did a bit of digging-it appears that the player in 2006 was only the second time an international player with no college experience was picked first overall, according to the article I read. It is interesting though. I'd forgotten about Yao.

    However, after looking at that overall draft, it still seems like kids with college experience are drafted at a higher rate. This could, of course, be due to a number of reasons. How many American kids are drafted after playing overseas?

    ETA: I'm actually finding this draft and stash thing very interesting. I had no idea it was as prevalent as it seems with 2nd round draft picks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/12/sports/basketball/12camps.html article about a player who skipped college and one who even skipped his senior year to play overseas.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I know nothing at all about football except there are quarterbacks and touchdowns. And flags. So I can't speak to that...

    I'm not implying they choose college only because of scouting. You had said they did it because college provides the best living conditions, and I just don't think that's true. There are obviously many factors in the decision.

    If I'm eighteen and have the choice of going to college for one year (and in my state, be treated like loyalty...so maybe there is some of the easy life stuff you mentioned :)) and being drafted early in the night or going overseas, I choose college every time. I think it's the best choice for the best players.
     
  30. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    My students are starting their persuasive essays this week. They choose their own topics. I'm excited to share this article with some of my students. They may get a topic out of it.

    I already have one student writing about whether college athletes should receive a stipend in addition to their scholarships. He's actually really excited to start researching.
     
  31. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Absolutely. I would too. I don't blame the kids for making that decision. I blame the colleges for giving them the choice. However, I would still maintain that the primary reason is living conditions (limited practice hours, co-eds, etc), and think I've conclusively shown that would-be athletes would still have options if the UNC's of the world stopped encouraging this stuff.
     
  32. JustMe

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    The ENTIRE system would need to change before I agreed that most student athletes had legitimate options if they had NBA potential and hopes.
     
  33. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    If you're trying to say that would-be athletes don't have options other than college... you're wrong, particularly in regards to basketball. I'm sorry to put it so bluntly, but it's true. Again, there's a pro league run by the NBA that 18 year olds are free to enter, besides international options. Players typically don't opt for those, because at least for NBA-bound players, it's preferable to spend a year at Kentucky's Basketball Palace (seriously, there is one) as local heroes with limited practice schedules than to be driven around on a team bus for a salary with only 5 or 6 figures in it. Not to mention if the UNC's of the world stopped agreeing to serve as the NFL/NBA's primary minor league system, someone else would pick up the slack.
     
  34. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I said legitimate options for their goals. And I said most. Of course there are some other routes that work for some student athletes.

    I "bleed blue"...University of Kentucky blue. ;)
     
  35. gr3teacher

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    How would the NBDL be a non-legitimate option (other than getting to live the high life, of course) for a basketball player with no interest in bothering with classes?
     
  36. JustMe

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    I don't see why someone like (fill in the blank with one of UK's recent one and done players) should have to join the D-League. So for someone with insane skill, I don't think it's a "legitimate" option. Especially when you have schools like ours...it's in your best interest in many cases to play for one.

    By legitimate I suppose I really mean "best"...under the current system.

    I'm really not assuming these student athletes have "no interest in bothering with classes", though.
     
  37. gr3teacher

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    So it's not that college the only perfectly legitimate option, it's that... the lifestyle is better in college, so it makes sense to go there. Like I said in the first place.

    As for your last point... some players stay for four years, get degrees, etc. However, take as an example that entire class of freshmen that Kentucky won the championship with and then bid adieu to. Of those four freshmen that ended up being drafted, how many of them do you think considered classes to be important? Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I suspect that number is zero... particularly when Calipari recruits players specifically for the purpose of allowing them to be one-and-doners. To me, that's an egregious flaw in the college system and makes a mockery of the idea of college.
     
  38. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    No, that's not what I mean (regarding lifestyle). You obviously think you have the only correct opinion on these matters. That's fine.
     
  39. gr3teacher

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    I'd be happy to consider your opinion if you'd give me some reason to think it. I mean, other than getting to spend a year as BMOC, is there some other reason why John Wall went to Kentucky instead of the NBDL? You say that athletes do think about class, but this whole topic is revolving around athletes that clearly don't think about class and haven't since they were in middle school, and I'm now asking specifically about one-and-doners who clearly never had any intention whatsoever of seeking a college degree.
     
  40. JustMe

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    One reason being that media coverage matters...and Wall got that playing for Kentucky.

    I didn't mean to indicate all athletes are focused on their education. I'm actually okay with that, though (from their perspective).

    There are a couple different issues at play in this thread. I admit to focusing more on the sports end of things.
     
  41. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Inflate grades. Pass students just so they can play. The things you said that you do not do.
     

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