NCAA Tourney Teams Get Grades; Summer School Next?

Making the NCAA playoffs means big money for colleges. If the league were serious about academics it may want to adopt Duncan’s suggestion.

"Some six years after the NCAA warned members to get serious about graduating student-athletes or lose scholarships and face a postseason ban, here’s the list of Division I schools that have been sent to sit in the corner at tournament time:

Centenary.

If Education Secretary Arne Duncan had his way, the list wouldn’t have ended with one school. It would have had an even dozen names on it, including luminaries such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisville and Maryland.

Duncan, a White House insider and basketball-playing buddy of President Barack Obama, is too politically savvy to believe his proposal is going anywhere. But that didn’t stop him from asking the question.

‘‘One out of five men’s teams in the NCAA tournament has graduated less than 40 percent of their players in recent years. If you can’t manage to graduate two out of five players,’’ Duncan said, ‘‘how serious are the institution and the coach about their players’ academic success?’’

nytimes.com/aponline/2010/03/18/sports/AP-BKC-Jim-Litke-031810.html

I think in a lot of ways the schools encourage this type of thinking. Sports at larger universities are huge money makers. Companies donate huge dollars to colleges to make sure their athletes wear their brand of clothes. Schools get huge bonuses for appearing on tv and in championship games and the best way to do that to have the best players. The universities also drop millions of dollars into the biggest and best facilities that rival professional teams.

There seems to be evidence out there that players are often times practiced for far longer than the NCAA allows, but the administration and professors turn a blind eye to it all. Lists provided by colleges typically have their atheletic coaches among the top paid at a university – further emphasizing their committment to sports rather than academics.

Are recruited players always even able to meet the minimum requirements for entrance to their respective colleges? I think in many cases they aren’t and I don’t know this for sure but I bet a coach gets a lot more leeway in saying who he wants on a team rather than a dean saying they don’t think this kid could graduate.

It’s a shame but for many schools in the U.S. sports are far more important than academics.

ChadS

This is the funniest article I have read. College basketball players are just there to be in a developmental league for the NBA. There are many that wouldnt even be in college if it werent for their basketball skills. Only in America do we require professional athletes to go to college. In most other countries, they do not. College basketball and football programs subsidize the entire athletic departments at Universities and bring in huge amount of money. It is embarrassing that the federal government is even getting involved with this. Everyone knows how it would be political suicide to do anything worthwhile.

If so, that would defy logic: “There are 347 men’s Division I basketball teams. Each is allowed to have 13 scholarship players. So roughly 4,500 kids play Division I ball, on scholarship, each year. But the NBA has only 30 teams, and its draft is only two rounds, meaning only** 60** players are drafted each year. And NBA teams are drawing more players from overseas.”

chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-hoops-20100322,0,5290128.story

Government is not involved in this – the education secretary made a true statement and is holding the NCAA feet to the fire.

Could be a good proposal, as long as transfers and players going pro aren’t counted against the graduation rate.

The problem with college basketball is that it’s the biggest “one and done” sport of college athletics. Granted, college football players actually can’t enter the NFL draft until AT LEAST 2 years out of high school, but basketball players only have to wait one. And unfortunately, in the major college basketball programs, it’s all about getting to the NBA for the majority of the players.

If the players that left college early for the professional teams were the only ones not graduating then none of these colleges would have horribly low graduation rates, they’d all be in the high 90% ranges. But they aren’t so that means many, many more players who never set foot in the NBA or NFL are not graduating either.

ChadS

The problem is that, from what I’ve heard, the NCAA takes into account those players who leave early or transfer, thus making the graduating rates worse than they actually are. They should only focus on the players that stay at that school and don’t leave or transfer, and use only those players to figure the graduation rate.

That makes things even worse then, you’re absolutely right. I think more than lip service has to be paid to the importance of educating the student/athlete and making sure they succeed. Athletics at these schools has to be treated as secondary importance and not the primary reason to go to college. The coaches of these teams have to be willing to admit that also. Unfortunately this will all take a giant change of attitude, one that doesn’t really seem to be in the making.

ChadS

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