“Student-Athletes”

In the world of NCAA Division I football, it is an inescapable reality that schools around the country admit athletes who academically have no business at these institutions of higher learning. At my own alma mater, THE University of Texas, there is a chance that Vince Young might not have gotten in were he applying solely on academics. Yes, VY brought the school its 1st National Championship in 30-odd years, but probably would not cut it academically.

This reality is nothing new, everyone knows about it. Folks, it happens at most schools (except Rice). So why am I pointing out the obvious?

Well, per my daily routine, I mosied on over to SI.com’s NCAA football section to check out the latest happenings in the sport. Perusing through the ‘top stories’, I noticed a disturbing trend. Here are the top stories:

That’s 12 stories, 7 of which have to do with criminal activity (or disciplinary problems) by athletes or even staff.

This begs the following questions, is this type of behaviour related to the lowered admission standards that are set for football players? What kind of people are these universities letting in?

Even UT is not immune for there was an incident this season where a starting CB (Tarrell Brown) was suspended for the biggest game of the year (vs. Ohio State). I won’t even mention the dismissal of Ramonce Taylor during the offseason, a big part of last year’s national championship team, because of behavior issues.

What would happen if athletes were subject to the same admission standards as the rest of the student body? Would we see a lesser product on the football field? Or would we not notice because everyone would be at the same level? So many questions…

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5 Responses to “Student-Athletes”

  1. jasonk says:

    I think the answer might be a lot more obvious than low admission standards.
    In my observation, people are stupid. That’s it.
    A man gets hired to a dream job, maybe THE dream job in his profession–head coach of one of the most storied football programs in the country. Then within days, he resigns in shame because he gets drunk at a strip club. Raise the admission standards all you want, but it wouldn’t have helped that head coach.
    I have a friend in the training/coaching department of my firm. She tells me stories, lots of them, of people who are smart enough to pass a series of amazingly difficult exams, but get to training in St. Louis, and are sent home and fired because they get drunk and trash their room, or spend their per diem on strippers and casinos across the river.
    People just aren’t too bright.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I may be restating what jasonk has already said, but just because people are academically on a higher level by no means guarantees that their behavior will be of equally high standards. On the flip side, people with low academic intelligence are not automatically delinquents. As for college football players, I suppose they are acting up as much as any of us may have in college, only the consequences of their actions afect a much broader range of people than ours did.

  3. jasonk says:

    Anon is right. People in the “team” athletic community seem to think differently than non-athletes. Even when they transition to the business world, their mentality seems to be very “locker room” in nature. The towel-popping, wedgie-giving, “aw come on I was just kiddin around” mentality where people try to one-up each other all the time.
    Not that all team athletes are this way–I am seriously generalizing–but it seems that it has the potential to lead to this kind of behavior.

  4. Doc Hancock says:

    A good example would have to be Lamar Thomas, who was fired after those dumb comments during the Miami-FIU brawl. He thought that it would be appropiate to use things that would be deemed appropiate for the locker room or some obscure talk show, but he instead uses it on television.

  5. Lazaro says:

    How soon I forget all the stupid things I did in college, and I did meet the admission standards.
    Of course my actions then were not in the public eye, my lack of celebrity status being the culprit…

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