When a college athlete fails or drops a class, there’s a quick, easy, low-cost way to stay eligible: An Oklahoma community college offers two-week, three-credit online courses for $387. As the NCAA raises academic requirements, more athletes are turning to online credit mills.
Ohio State third-string quarterback Cardale Jones tweeted: “Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL classes are POINTLESS.”
Jones’ comments and his Twitter account have been deleted.
Ohio State ranks in the top 10 percent of Division 1 football teams on the Academic Progress Rate, notes ESPN.
California’s crowded community colleges are cutting classes, turning would-be students away and making room for out-of-state football players.
California has passed the “Half Dream Act,” which opens state-run private scholarships to undocumented students who’ve graduated from the state’s high schools. But, even if they earn a college degree, undocumented immigrants end up in the same jobs as their parents, concludes a University of Chicago survey. Without legal immigration status, they typically work in construction, restaurants, cleaning and child care.
Also on Community College Spotlight: Most community college students are women, but most athletes are male, reports the New York Times. A Florida college has achieved gender equity by spending to recruit female athletes directly from college and by limiting men’s sports.
Three times a year, the Boston Globe publishes a 14-page “All-Scholastics” section with photos and write-ups of good high school athletes from a variety of sports. Students who excel in academics are honored never, writes Will Fitzhugh of the Concord Review.
Schools are trying to enforce school rules on weekends and in the summer, reports USA Today.
Students across the country are going on notice that drinking, smoking, using drugs or posting risqué photos on the Web on weekends and during the summer can get them sidelined from school activities during the school year.
Student athletes and those involved in other extracurricular activities in states including New Jersey, South Carolina and Indiana are signing codes of conduct that hold them accountable for their behavior regardless of whether school is in session.
Some districts require athletes to “be on good behavior 24-7 during the school year,” USA Today reports. Others have year-round rules that include athletes, band members and choir members; some go even farther.
Indiana’s American Civil Liberties Union is representing two female volleyball players in the Smith Green Community schools who were disciplined for allegedly posting sexually suggestive photos on social networking sites during summer vacation.
Students wearing the school’s uniform can be held to a higher standard, says Erik Weber, attorney for the Smith-Green schools. “If they don’t like the rules, they don’t have to play,” Weber says.
Schools are having trouble enforcing rules on campus during school hours. I’m surprised they’re trying to control what students do on their own time.
Most Division I basketball players leave college without a degree, reports the annual Academic March Madness report. At University of Connecticut, one of the Final Four teams, the graduation rate is 25 percent.
While a select handful of these players will move on the NBA, the vast majority of those that do not graduate will be left with little academic training, minimal career options, and only the fading glory of college hoops as compensation. And the schools these players “studied” at won’t shed any tears — having already made millions of dollars off their talents.
But non-athletes do even worse, writes Andrew Rotherham on USA Today.
At the typical four-year college or university, according to federal data, fewer than 40% of students graduate in four years, and only 63% finish within six. Minority and low-income students are much less likely to graduate.
As long as athletes are eligible to play, writes Rotherham, their universities provide the support they need to meet minimal academic requirements.
The problem isn’t preferential treatment for athletes. It’s the conspicuous absence of such support for poor and minority students who would benefit from tutoring, special study halls and other programs to help them adjust to college life.
I’m not sure poor and minority students would benefit from taking easy classes, getting special privileges from instructors and letting their tutors write their papers and take their finals. When athletes lose their support systems, many are unable to pass enough classes to earn a degree. That doesn’t seem like a system to emulate.