TV is a poor college counselor

Kids, don’t take college advice from TV shows, OK?

I’m a big fan of Friday Night Lights, which just started its third season on NBC after starting on DirecTV.  Not only are some characters back for their sixth year of high school (without losing football eligibility) but there’s a plot line about Tyra pursuing her college dreams by applying to University of Texas at Austin, despite her B- average.  She furiously rejects the idea of community college as though it’s only for white trash who aspire to be strippers.

Her most affordable path to a college degree is to live at home, work part-time, attend community college and then transfer if she needs a four-year degree to achieve her desired career in business.  Or she could apply to less selective four-year colleges, such as UT-Elsewhere, and take on college loans to pay her way. There are lots of ways for motivated students to make college a reality. It’s not a big-name university or nothing.

Football star “Smash” Williams injured his knee and lost his college scholarship. He’s now working full-time at the Alamo Freeze. No football, no college. Go to community college, Smash. You can still be on the show.

On the other hand, the coach’s wife, with two years’ experience as a counselor, has become the high school principal.  Perhaps Smash should apply for a job as CEO of Alamo Freeze. Unlike time-warped Tyra, Lyla and Tim, Smash has a high school diploma.

About Joanne


  1. NYC churns out principals with as much or less experience in the Leadership Academy. When their schools don’t do well, I always read the Tweed folks making excuses for them, and they’re reassigned to apply their utter lack of experience elsewhere.

    By the way, you’re the number one ed. blog in the universe, according to these folks:


  2. Having had a high school principal who never could pass the Praxis exam (for PE) who was then a drop-out prevention counselor while he worked on his Admin Masters and was then an AP for only one year before becoming principal, I would find a 2 year guidance counselor highly experienced.

  3. …Tyra pursuing her college dreams by applying to University of Texas at Austin, despite her B- average.

    By law, admission to some UT campus is only guaranteed to students who graduate in the top 10% of their high school classes. Tyra doesn’t have a chance for UT Austin. But now that we’re starting a football program, she could get in to UT San Antonio!

  4. Mike Curtis says:

    Coach’s wife, 2 whole years as a high school guidance counselor, now a HS principal? What an underachiever…she should at least be ass’t superintendent for the school district.

  5. Hah– I’ve seen a principal with less than one year of teaching experience who also was 25 years old!

    No longer a principal, by the way…. But I’ve hear it was really fun to hear his ideas about how to teach….

  6. UT Austin currently fills it’s freshman class with about 90% of the top ten graduates. My son tells me that he has seen small town kids with pretty horrible grades admitted to UT-Austin.

    Most don’t succeed, but hey, at least the University beat the race quota, counting method.

    BTW, UT-Austin is petitioning the legislature to limit the number of spots to the Austin campus. Evidently, they don’t like it either.

  7. superdestroyer says:

    UT-Austin would probably not be a good choice for someone with limited grades and no idea of what to major in. She would probably end up majoring business, sitting in classes with four hundred people, living off campus from day one, and eventaully trying to join a sorority.

    given the central texas location, she would probably be better off at Texas State-San Marcos, a much easier school that is more of a suitcase college where the students go home of the weekends.