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Should we privatize big-time college athletics?

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Replies to: Should we privatize big-time college athletics?

  • AMWMIT79AMWMIT79 34 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I find the article interesting because my daughter was recruited by a NESCAC college and got into another college early action. We decided to have her visit both schools, on our own dollar , in January. After visiting the NESCAC college she remarked that of all the kids she met 1/3 were legacies, 1/3 were URMs and 1/3 were athletes. I just found it interesting that if you don't fall into one of those categories, you don't get in.

    I mentioned this to our local supintendent and he said " ya, there are about 8 spots left for everyone else" for all those thousand of other applicants.

    I don't know whether it's right or wrong. I read "The gatekeepers" when my daughter was in junior high and knew how being good at something -- anything -- could be the tie-breaker in getting her into a good school. She choose to excel at running. I feel like we lucked out because if she had pursued another passion, her chances of being accepted to a good school I now realize would have been diminished. However I really do think that what the schools really want are kids to show that they can stick to something, go through the ups and downs and overcome hurdles along the way. Are sports the only way to show that?

    In some ways, we gamed the system -- but is it the right system?
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  • G.P.BurdellG.P.Burdell User Awaiting Email Confirmation 2279 replies15 threads Senior Member
    here is no degree granted for athletic performance so far as I know.

    Several schools have degrees in Sports & Leisure studies, which is an interesting way to handle the situation. Students are taught how to keep score, manage a team, coach and encourage children, etc.

    The bigger difference is cost. Conservatories don't cost nearly as much as an athletics department, and don't give anywhere near the number of scholarships. As a result, I wouldn't be surprised if most conservatories broke even or even made a little bit for the university.

    The real reason schools tolerate (which in my experience is what they do) sports programs? It creates recognition for the school. Would Notre Dame be a household name without the football team? Would people know where Gonzaga is without the basketball team (I didn't purposefully pick Catholic schools)? Florida saw their out of state admissions applications double after winning both the Football and Basketball titles in the same year.
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  • gadadgadad 7471 replies302 threads Senior Member
    ^^^ But a student with a BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon has a CMU degree and has taken no non-Theatre courses other than one intro Math, one intro English, and a one-hour computer workshop. And their admission to a Top 25 university is predicated primarily upon their skill in an audition - not their intellectual depth. When they subsequently appear in starring roles on Broadway (as CMU BFA graduates are very inclined to do), lots of theatre patrons who may tend to be dismissive toward athletes read the actor's CMU pedigree in "Playbill" and think it's just wonderful.
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  • collegemomof2collegemomof2 67 replies2 threads Junior Member
    another duke basketball player was named to the academic all amer team today (3rd team) as a poly science major. Don't paint with a broad brush. I happen to know a starter for another D1 basketball program who routinely is on distinguished honors. The kid is brilliant and gets no breaks in the classroom other than the usual tutoring when the team is on the road. Many, many D1 athletes are great students because the same discipline that made them great athletes makes them great students.
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  • MomasitaMomasita 161 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Duke mens cross country team has an avg SAT of 1340
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  • bessiebessie 1803 replies15 threads Senior Member
    As the parent of a division one athlete in a revenue sport at a top 25 school, let me assure everyone that most schools take the education of their athletes very seriously, as does the NCAA. They may do it because they have to, but do it they must. Each athlete is required by the NCAA to declare a major by a certain date in their college career and they must meet specific "progress towards degree" requirements that prove they are on track. They cannot slide during one season and make up classes during another term; they have to carry an NCAA mandated number of units each term. They also must keep a certain GPA in order to compete. I would guess that athletes are held far more accountable than any other students on campus. My son has never gotten any favors from professors due to his status as an athlete. As a matter of fact, due to negative stereotypes about athletes, I would say he strives to perform better than others in order to exceed (defy?) his professors expectations . As for the people who think athletes whine too much about their "free" education: they earn it. They have to put in 40 hours a week (20 officially allowed (practice hours) per the NCAA and then conditioning, strength training, PR events and "volunteering" to work out and attend summer school when the team is "OFF." I think if anyone ever figured out their true pay per hour, it would have to be under minimum wage. Only an elite few of them will play professionally. Many will graduate with physical ailments directly related to their sport and some of those ailments, like arthritis or concussion syndrome, will be life long. The schools who do not graduate their athletes will soon start losing scholarship spots. This system, put in place in 2006, will have an impact beginning now. Lost scholarship spots means some coaches will lose more games and then lose their cushy jobs. Most parents care about the education of their children and will not send them to a school that does not have a good graduation record for their athletes. Believe me, I WISH my son could skip out after one year of school and make millions of dollars and enjoy financial security for the rest of his life. I would encourage him to take advantage of an opportunity like that. That doesn't happen for most. Athletes like Kyle Singler are one in a million. No one expects him to stay in college until he gets his degree. Why does the one in a million kid have to be the poster child for so many hard working student athletes who are working their behinds off to get a college degree? Do we take the diversity admit who has a low GPA/SAT who underperforms or fails out and say that all minorities/lower socioeconomic scale students are unworthy of their scholarships? Of course not. You cannot judge the many by looking at the few. This argument about sports comes up often. All I have to say is that when we as a global community stop watching broadcasts of collegiate sports and no one is betting on games or earning revenue from said sports, then the athletic departments will get smaller. Colleges cannot buy the media exposure they get from being mentioned by name a hundred times during a bowl game or the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Pictures of the campus are usually shown and commentators talk about the school. Those same elite university business schools that those who disparage student-athletes are dying to get their kids admitted to are producing the marketing experts who decide that college athletics is worth the expense. If people are really opposed to the way a university spends their dollars, they should let their feet do the walking and send their kids to a school that does not spend money on sports. Just as some consumers react negatively when colleges spend money on contraceptive services for students or bible study and pull that college from their list, you can to. Supply and demand will always rule the day.
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 19808 replies164 threads Senior Member
    Bully for Duke's cross country team-- what's the SAT average of their men's basketball team and their football team?

    Gadad, why the hostility to BFA programs? There's no secret; students get BFAs from conservatories. Some conservatories (CMU, Oberlin, Lawrence) are attached to colleges that also grant BAs and BSs in other programs, but people who get degrees from conservatories aren't hiding anything.
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  • hops_scouthops_scout 3853 replies50 threads Senior Member
    Bully for Duke's cross country team-- what's the SAT average of their men's basketball team and their football team?

    Probably a lot higher than you would expect.

    I would be shocked if many drama departments made money for the University.

    Cardinal Fang, why the hostility toward the athletic departments? Questions can go both ways... yes there are those athletes who are just that and shouldn't be in school. Most of them don't make it through school. Then there are MANY that get degrees and "Go Pro in something other than athletics."

    Would you believe a women's gymnastics team had a combined GPA of a 3.82 last year while maybe two of them had "easy" majors? Many of them were Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy students. Oh, and let's add that they were ranked in the top 36 in the country in DI Women's Gymnastics!
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  • AlexandreAlexandre 24280 replies434 threads Senior Member
    If a "big time" college athletic program (such as the top 10-15 Basketball and Football programs) is to remain competitive, it is unfortunately going to have to attract substandard students who will not care about academics. Most of those "student athletes" will graduate from high school with a 2.5-3.3 GPA having taken the minimum requirements to graduate and they will typically score between a 900-1100 on the SAT or between a 20-24 on the ACT.

    In college, they will most likely opt to follow some "independent studies" major or in major in a "special" program. All major universities are the same, even elite schools like Cal, Duke, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Stanford. Even the Ivy League, which claim to not give out athletic scholarships, lower their admissions standards for athletes in the major revenue sports.

    I think this is a shame really. It is ok to cut those athletes some slack, it is another thing entirely to hand everything to them on a platter. Standards should be drawn and enforced. And this should not be limited only to athletes. I maintain that a minimum level of education should be required of actors, fashion models, Musicians etc... should all be required to reach a minimum education standard and they should work their schedules around it rather than the other way around. Actors, athletes, fashion models and musicians have a huge influence on the young and earn huge salaries. I have no issue with that, but I think humanity should expect a great deal more out of them.
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  • BigGBigG 3729 replies156 threads Senior Member
    I modestly suggest that basketball players not enroll for or attend classes during their sport's busy season (usually Winter) but that they be required to attend Summer term (with monetary compensation equivalent to a Summer job). This is not a perfect match for many schools' academic schedules but perhaps it could be a starting point for discussions.

    Football players would concentrate on football during the Fall, and attend classes Spring, Winter and Summer.
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  • gadadgadad 7471 replies302 threads Senior Member
    No hostility on my part towards BFA Conservatory programs. They're full of fabulously-talented people participating in pre-professional training as opposed to intellectual activities and adding to the campus environment, just like Duke's basketball team.
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 19808 replies164 threads Senior Member
    Me: Bully for Duke's cross country team-- what's the SAT average of their men's basketball team and their football team?

    Hops_Scout: Probably a lot higher than you would expect.

    You're right, I don't think they're high at all. What are they? Perhaps they're a lot higher than they were in 1994-97, when "... the San Jose Mercury News, examining data from 1994-97 (the last four-year period the NCAA used for documentation of grades and test scores), found that freshmen entering Duke on basketball scholarships during that period had an average SAT score (M+V)of 968." http://www.slate.com/id/101920/
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 19808 replies164 threads Senior Member
    Nope, sadly those Duke basketball players continue to be a lot more athlete than student:

    Fight, Blue Devils, fight - Columns

    "For the Class of 2007, 768 male non-athletes were admitted to Duke with an average SAT score of 1,438, while 42 recruited athletes averaged 1,172. For females, 786 non-athletes averaged 1,403, versus 37 athletes' 1,258.

    "That's a 266-point gap for males and a 145-point gap for females.

    "And in case you're interested in a team-by-team breakdown, the eight men's baseball team recruits averaged 1,206 that year, while 22 football players averaged 1,063 and the five men's basketball players came in last at 997. "
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  • Cuse0507Cuse0507 4404 replies115 threads Senior Member
    As far as I know, UNC's basketball team is the most valuable in the country and generated over 12 million dollars for the university last year. No other program even comes close to doing that. Yeah, the academic quality of some of the players may be lax but they are definitely contributing a lot more to the university than pretty much any other program could.

    Not to mention the national exposure that big-time sports programs give their respective schools. When you can go deep in the NCAA tourney each year or go to a bowl game in football, people (and prospective students) are going to notice.
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  • BigGBigG 3729 replies156 threads Senior Member
    Going back to to OP:

    "Should we privatize big-time college athletics?"

    Who do you mean by "we"?
    Who is this hypothetical "we" that has the power to dictate policy to private and public schools?

    Of the top 20 national universities, how many have football and basketball, even though they "bend" admissions standards? I will give you a hint; Emory, Caltech and Hopkins don't have football. Everybody has basketball.

    How many of the top 100 national universities would be willing to yield their football and basketball programs to an external entity which would not contribute money to them?

    Americans love sports. The management of "their" colleges and universities know this and manage accordingly.

    Perhaps the OP would care to move to a sociocultural mileiu which is not so sports besotted, rather than attack the cultural values which have made America great.

    Of course the cultural value I am referring to is "money talks". Eliminating big time sports
    would mean less money for colleges and universities, not more.
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  • BayBay 12456 replies43 threads Senior Member
    22 football players averaged 1,063 and the five men's basketball players came in last at 997.

    Once again (how many times have we had this discussion on CC?), someone is getting their panties in a bunch over 27 athletes, comprising 1.7% of the entering class.
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  • BigGBigG 3729 replies156 threads Senior Member
    How many major college women athletes go to competitions with their travel paid by you know what? Who pays for the cross country team to go to nationals. The last time I looked, TV revenue for cross country was really minimal.LOL
    Title IX is a great thing. Football and basketball shouldn't get to keep the whole boodle, earned in part by being affiliated with a college or university. The very real contribution big time sports makes to college life should be recognized, and it is.
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  • Time2Time2 675 replies33 threads Member
    Maybe just me, but I thought the primary purpose of going to college was to get an education and graduate with a degree. I wonder what percentage of college athletes ever go on to a successful career in professional sports? For those that don't become pro athletes, the allure of having been a college athlete probably wears off fairly quickly.
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  • BayBay 12456 replies43 threads Senior Member
    Maybe just me, but I thought the primary purpose of going to college was to get an education and graduate with a degree.

    It is, and always has been the primary purpose. It is just not the only purpose.
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  • Time2Time2 675 replies33 threads Member
    When I read the comments near the front of this thread, the Duke basketball player who was being interviewed made it seem like playing basketball what his primary objective, if that is the norm for college athletes, there is something wrong with our sense of priorities. I wonder if after the limelight of college sports has faded if he will wish he had actually pursued getting an education and a degree while in college.
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