I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Economic Profit and Winning Trumps Academic Achievement at Many Public Universities

CNN has completed an excellent investigation and video on college athletics misconduct, that is worth the five minutes it takes to watch/read.  We all love an excellent college football or basketball game, and the skill and talent some of these athletes possess is nothing short of amazing!  But sometimes when the viewer is subject to watching the cringe-worthy after game interviews with some of these students, it calls into question the fidelity and effectiveness of the college education these athletes are receiving at these institutions.  According to this STUNNING article that not surprisingly received very little exposure, this is the ongoing, dirty little secret that many universities simply will not discuss.  Students are being run through these colleges, most do not graduate, but some do, and these athletes, particularly the stars, are given tutors and there are allegations that the grades these athletes get are "given" to these students and much of the homework is completed on behalf of the athletes by "assistants" that are employed by the universities. This amazing, interactive chart allows the reader to click on the logo of various schools to see how they track and account for struggling student athletes.  Not surprisingly, many of the top performing colleges provided 0 information, which is reprehensible in my opinion.  Remember, these are public universities funded by our tax dollars.  from the article:

"They're pushing them through," said Billy Hawkins, an associate professor and athlete mentor at the University of Georgia.
"They're graduating them. UGA is graduating No. 2 in the SEC, so they're able to graduate athletes, but have they learned anything? Are they productive citizens now? That's a thing I worry about. To get a degree is one thing, to be functional with that degree is totally different."
Hawkins, who says in his 25 years at various universities he's witnessed some student-athletes fail to meet college reading standards, added: "It's too much for students reading below a college level. It's basically a farce."
Gurney, who looked into the situation at the University of Oklahoma, put it bluntly: "College presidents have put in jeopardy the academic credibility of their universities just so we can have this entertainment industry. ... The NCAA continually wants to ignore this fact, but they are admitting students who cannot read."


Alice said...

Winning Trumps Academic Achievement at Escambia County High Schools

Let's talk about 2009 when certain enormously popular and talented athletes graduated only because their grades were changed. Let's talk about the horrendous punishment the data clerk involved received: two whole weeks suspension. Let's talk about the favoritism shown these athletes, athletes who violated virtually every school and county discipline and academic policy without any consequences. Let's talk about the message we sent to students who, that same year, were suspended for letting their pants sag or for having an unexcused absence or for coming to class late or for an academic "dishonesty." And while we're at it, let's have a serious discussion about justice and equality in our schools.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Alice, I remember that incident and I do not believe we could do anything more under the union collective bargaining agreement. Although, like you, I believe academic misconduct by staff is unacceptable. This one should have warranted termination. But the union would have grieved that, and they would have won. Progressive discipline.....

Anonymous said...

Sobering. And those who sacrifice education for sports and fail are relegated to the minimum wage. Of course, that minimum wage is rising, which means automation is just coming faster and will displace many service industry workers. At least robots don't take smoke breaks and then touch your food.

Alice said...

I'm going to make a very controversial statement (nothing new for me). I do not think football belongs in our public schools. It's a brutal sport, as witnessed by the rising number of concussions experienced by all players as well as the number of professional players who have been CONVICTED of brutal crimes. The same behaviors that result in referrals in the classroom are accepted on the football field, a fact brought home to me by one of my students who commented that the reason he loved playing football is that he could act out his anger on the field by hitting his opponents hard when he tackled them. Instead of a referral, he received praise from his coach and admiration from other students.