Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Your Collegiate Hit Parade: The Music Stays The Same

Does this come as a surprise to anyone?
Forty-one percent of this year’s bowl-bound college football teams fall below the NCAA’s new academic benchmark, and almost half of them lacked a 50 percent graduation rate, according to an annual survey released Monday.

The 56 Division 1-A football teams headed to bowl games have a lingering problem of too many student-athletes failing to complete their studies, said Richard Lapchick, the University of Central Florida professor who authored the annual report.

This is the first year Lapchick has used the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate, known as APR, to measure the bowl-bound schools’ academic progress. In past years, the study has relied solely on graduation rates.

Developed last year, the NCAA’s new academic standard awards APR points based on how many scholarship student-athletes meet academic eligibility standards. A cutoff score of 925 means an estimated 50 percent of those student-athletes are on track graduate.

Starting this year, NCAA schools that regularly fall below the 925 score can lose scholarships, face recruiting restrictions and miss postseason play.

In a dry run of the system last year, more than 90 percent of Division I teams across all sports had passing scores. According to Lapchick’s report, only 33 of the 56 bowl-bound teams — 59 percent — got above the 925 cutoff.
Heh. I'll just bet that our good buddies over at NCAA are going to enforce this particular standard. In our sports-obsessed culture, there almost always seems to be a special circumstance that warrants special exemption from the rules.

When it comes to collegiate sports, there's simply too much money to be made by too many people. I don't think that it's likely that academics are going to take precedence over athletics anytime soon.
Submissions for The Carnival Of Education are due by 6:00 PM (Pacific) tonight. Get entry instructions here. Visit last week's midway right here. See our latest posts, over there.