Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Student Athletes and Academic Performance

Yesterday, I discussed about the Knight Commission and their recommendations in terms of the imbalance between academic and athletic spending. Today I want to expand on one of the suggestions from the Knight Commission, tying athletes academic performance to post-season championship eligibility. In an excellent article in the USA Today, it gives some anecdotal evidence about how student athletes search for the majors with the least academic rigor in order to stay eligible for NCAA athletics.

According to the article, of the schools examined most schools (83%) have at least one team with high clusters of majors (25% or more junior and seniors student athletes in one major) compared to the overall student body, and 34% of teams had one such cluster - which could happen given the small samples. The problem is determining what is an "easy" major and a difficult major. The USA Today article mentions that the academic adviser may be pushing student-athletes toward "easy" majors, but the student has the final decision as to there major.

If the Knight Commission's recommendation would take effect, there would be more incentive to have clustering of college majors in order to meet the academic eligibility goal which would not be in the student athletes best interest. This is why I would not be in favor of tying post-season championship eligibility to some sort of academic progress.

Now, I want to be clear, I am speaking only for myself and NOT for any college/university I have been or am employed.

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