FanDuel - WFBC

July 13, 2006

For Some Athletes, Courses With No Classes : Talk about a hand out instead of a hand up. The article is long but easy reading. At what lengths will some colleges go to keep these academic flops in the game?

posted by T$PORT4lawschool to general at 09:02 PM - 13 comments

In college, I can only remember three classes in which male athletes were in the same class I was in. One was astronomy (offensive lineman who was ineligible for a bowl game); a sociology class with two walk-on basketball players; and finally, my theory of coaching class, in which 27 out of 30 (part-time) attendees were football players. Easiest two-units I ever earned. The final? Write a 10-page essay on your favorite university. Good times.

posted by forrestv at 02:07 AM on July 14

To paraphrase Casablanca, I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find out that universities would let athletes take joke classes to boost their GPAs.

posted by Bonkers at 06:20 AM on July 14

surely you're joking, bonkers. this comes as no surprise to me at all. it's no secret universities do everything they can to get these kids to pass, even if it's not within the rules. some are just better at hiding it than others.

posted by ksb122 at 08:32 AM on July 14

I doubt Bonkers likes to be called "Shirley."

posted by cobra! at 09:17 AM on July 14

Universities have lots of easy classes and lot of programs to help kids who are struggling succeed. Athletic programs have student advisors that know all of these things and direct students to them. Most college students see their academic advisors only when they have to, but athletes have to see them much more often. It sounds like the classes were too easy, but that they weren't only football directed. The article says that more than a quarter were athletes, which means that a huge number of them were non-athletes. That is hardly an athletic department problem -- more of a sociology department problem. The article also says that folks were graduating with sociology majors that didn't take sociology classes. They don't have prerequisites in sociology? Obviously, the school isn't academically challenging for many students. It's easy to get good grades, but so what? I don't like the idea of making things more difficult for student athletes at Auburn because it is harder for student athletes at Vanderbilt.

posted by bperk at 09:34 AM on July 14

as a former college football walkon for a 1-AA school , my comments - only classes we had that were free were classes that the coaches were the teachers (i.e weight training, jogging (yes its a class), flag football, etc.). - For jogging, the athletes would get assigned to the stopwatch while the other students ran, but they still had to show up each day - for Weight-training, the first day of class the coach (who was my position coach) told me not to show up anymore since I was getting my lifting done through the program, so for that one I didn't even have to show up the whole semester - there were "friends of the program" teachers who definitely favored the football players (my typing teacher was one) and probably cut them slack on grades,missed assignments, etc. - there were "anti-football" teachers who definitely treated football players much worse than normal students and probably were extra tough on grades, missed assignments, etc. - our LB used to cheat off of me in English :-) - high school was much worse as far as helping students get through who shouldn't be getting through (I sat in front of our star running back in history class and never passed a test back to him that was higher than a 40, yet he amazingly passed). Another general comment. People generally don't get what it means to be a college athlete and you often get the "dumb jock" comments, etc. I'll certainly admit that most guys I worked with weren't the brightest bulb in the shed, but some of that is not deserved. I've posted this before, but here was my typical day as a football player: 6-8am - workout with the team (weights) 8-9am - come home shower, eat, nap if you have time 9-12 - class 12-1pm - eat 1-3pm - back at the fieldhouse for game film 3-6pm - practice 6-7pm - dinner 7-9pm - back at the fieldhouse for game film 9-12pm - your free time (study, call your mom/girlfriend, hang out with friends, etc.) And this was a 1-AA school...I can't imagine what it would be like at a USC where millions are depending on wins/losses. Now the above schedule varies during offseason, but its still generally full. I'm not trying to paint a "poor me" picture, but when exactly are you expected to study? You get a few hour window and that's when you also have to work around your social life as well. You get your school paid for, but only a very small amount for extra spending and you are not allowed by the NCAA to get a job (even if you had time). So there's a reason athletes are taking "ballroom dancing 101" rather that "Physics 303".

posted by bdaddy at 09:40 AM on July 14

I think if students can't hang in real classes, WalMart would have hired them yesterday. bdaddy's comments are great insite. Maybe schools should have no athletic sport interaction after six pm or something to take the stress of the students. I was disappointed about the someone in the Sociology Deptartment dumbing it up for the students especially since I have a Soc degree and now at law school. If an athlete who wanted to go to post-undergradute but were not challenged in undergraduate, I think they could be robbed of future dreams like being a lawyer, doctor, college professor or some other career requiring a doctorite. (not like that's everybody's dream) I wonder if maybe athletes should do athletics with one or two classes a for a year and the next year without athletics (while retaining scholarship) to see if they can take regular classes without the stress of athletics. Then alternate back and forth on this schedule. If they flunk out then, there're gone. If they do well they get educated properly.

posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 10:39 AM on July 14

Bdaddy's schedule is an NCAA violation. The NCAA has a 4-hours per day and 20 hours per week maximum for athletic activities during the season. All strength training, practice, game filming, and the actual game (3 hours worth) have to be fit into that 20 hours per week.

posted by bperk at 10:58 AM on July 14

ksb, obviously you haven't seen Casablanca, otherwise you would know that Bonkers isn't shocked. great line Bonkers. i couldn't have put it better myself.

posted by edub1321 at 12:41 PM on July 14

I rather find the whole endeavor to be a complete joke. If we're willing to support the notion that these are in fact schools first, then you need to totally get rid of the football minor leagues. If you agree that everyone benefits from the football programs, then who gives a rat's ass what kind of grades these guys get, or the classes they take. And if it devalues the idea of eduction - well, what did you expect?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:47 PM on July 14

Bdaddy's schedule is an NCAA violation. The NCAA has a 4-hours per day and 20 hours per week maximum for athletic activities during the season. All strength training, practice, game filming, and the actual game (3 hours worth) have to be fit into that 20 hours per week. I hope you're not that nieve. :-) All those film meetings were "voluntary" by the way (as was the weight workout if I remember right). I once had to run gassers at 6am for missing one of those "voluntary" sessions, if that gives you an idea of what "voluntary" is (and ironically I missed it because I had to study for a test)

posted by bdaddy at 03:10 PM on July 14

Voluntary means that a coach or staff cannot be present, according to NCAA rules. Those big, closely scrutinized schools have to be careful about NCAA violations. The media follow their activities closely and would love to catch a big story.

posted by bperk at 03:50 PM on July 14

Voluntary means that a coach or staff cannot be present, according to NCAA rules. Those big, closely scrutinized schools have to be careful about NCAA violations. The media follow their activities closely and would love to catch a big story. bperk, I'm aware of what voluntary means. That is why I put it in quotes. You are very nieve if you believe that college teams follow that. Do you think the NCAA reps are following around the athletes to make sure they follow the rules? The only time they get involved is if someone reports a violation. And what player is going to turn in his own team? You can ask any college athlete about these "voluntary" workouts and you will get the same laugh from all of them. I do recall a few "voluntary" workouts where the coach wasn't present. More than a few where the coach was present. Sometimes there would be a GA there. By the way, it happens in pro as well. Lovie Smith fined someone for not showing up at "voluntary" workouts. It's an old football "secret" that has been around ever since the invention of the rule.

posted by bdaddy at 08:41 AM on July 15

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.