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View Full Version : Student Athletes (or what role athletics and academics should play)


Hawk
03-02-2010, 05:31 PM
I wrote about how academics should play a larger role in college athletics and did the whole student first, athlete second approach. Prof liked it.

CJSchneider
03-02-2010, 05:49 PM
I wrote about how academics should play a larger role in college athletics and did the whole student first, athlete second approach. Prof liked it.

+rep - I agree whole heatedly.

CJSchneider
03-02-2010, 06:14 PM
You totally ignored the fact that a huge percentage of college athletes graduate (or are passed) while being given instructional modifications that are not given to non-athlete peers. These non-athletes, if they asked to receive the same said modifications, would be laughed at and be forced to re-take (and pay for) a course. Alas, the student athlete, because they provide a service ( which in itself is a crock, the school uses them to make a buck just the same) are looked upon as model citizens.

Go look at why colleges were started then look at how they changed in the early 1900's in the US because of athletics.

Hawk
03-02-2010, 06:41 PM
why? the point of college is an education, right? to what end? probably to get a job or compete in the job market, unless you intend to do research (but, in the end, that amounts to basically the same thing). athletics can prepare one for the same thing. sure, a fraction of a fraction of college football players end up in the nfl. and an even smaller fraction of a fraction of law students end up in the top law firm in their respective field. does that mean every other law student's degree was worthless, or that every other athlete's career was worthless? not necessarily. i could apply what i learned to coaching, or countless other sports-related fields.

*shrug* i've always hated the "academics are so much more important than college athletics" argument, because by any rational criteria, it's simply not true.

You've got to be kidding me..... :roll:

Xonraider
03-02-2010, 06:49 PM
So classes started today and I will be starting to ask for A LOT of help from here. Senior-itis from day one..........awesome..........

Bosanac01
03-02-2010, 06:53 PM
I would definitely just copy what CJ and NJX just wrote and that would be my essay. I need both sides of the spectrum. Too bad I have to send it through turnitin.com and if i did that this site would pop up. I have to stop being lazy. Great arguments though, from both parties.

CJSchneider
03-02-2010, 10:10 PM
brilliant counter argument. :rolleyes:

But I'll expand on it.

Let us look at this from a stand point of "fairness" - excluding any argument that college athletes need to be paid (I'll argue and win that battle at a later time).
Why is it that Joe Average, who wishes to earn a degree in, well... say anything at all, must do a said amount of course work. Joe Sport, on the other hand, wishes to earn the same degree (give CJ's argument 1 bazillion bonus points here when he mentions that after college, if Joe Sport does not turn pro, there degree will mean the exact same) has to do less course work. If this degree has nothing to do with a given sport, where is the logic in this?
How is this fair to Joe Averages all across our country, whom make up 95% of our college enrollment in the first place?

If colleges, which originated as models and institutions of enlightenment and higher learning (both theological and scientific), were to set a singular standard to academics, as opposed to a dual standard where student athletes are involved, perhaps our society could return to a time when it valued education and academia as opposed to Joe Sport's 40 time.

vikes_28
03-02-2010, 10:45 PM
So classes started today and I will be starting to ask for A LOT of help from here. Senior-itis from day one..........awesome..........

Senior-itis killed me bro.

Wally03
03-02-2010, 11:07 PM
CJ and njx9, I might be misunderstanding what the discussion really is focusing on, but it seems to me that both of you are really essentially in agreement with each other, just looking at things from different perspectives and as a result arguing for mutually exclusive things.

If I'm understanding both of you correctly, CJ's point = unfair for athletes and those college students who don't aspire to be professional athletes (or at least understand there is about a .0001% chance of them having the required skills) to both earn a degree in major X while having different academic expectations. njx9's point = colleges preparing athletes for a future career in professional sports is completely acceptable with no disagreement that there is some corruption within college athletics as it works now.

I'm curious if both of you would be in support of a college offering a "major" (I'm really not sure that is the right word for it, but alas nothing else really comes to mind) for collegiate athletes aspiring to achieve professional status in their sport, that instead of requiring academic classes (i.e. chemistry, calculus, etc.) consisted of "workshops" that would seem more beneficial to future professional athletes and taught them skills about how to handle their imminent media exposure and wealth?

Bosanac01
03-02-2010, 11:11 PM
Senior-itis killed me bro.

I would argue that you had no soul before that.

CJSchneider
03-03-2010, 11:41 AM
CJ and njx9, I might be misunderstanding what the discussion really is focusing on, but it seems to me that both of you are really essentially in agreement with each other, just looking at things from different perspectives and as a result arguing for mutually exclusive things.

If I'm understanding both of you correctly, CJ's point = unfair for athletes and those college students who don't aspire to be professional athletes (or at least understand there is about a .0001% chance of them having the required skills) to both earn a degree in major X while having different academic expectations. njx9's point = colleges preparing athletes for a future career in professional sports is completely acceptable with no disagreement that there is some corruption within college athletics as it works now.

I'm curious if both of you would be in support of a college offering a "major" (I'm really not sure that is the right word for it, but alas nothing else really comes to mind) for collegiate athletes aspiring to achieve professional status in their sport, that instead of requiring academic classes (i.e. chemistry, calculus, etc.) consisted of "workshops" that would seem more beneficial to future professional athletes and taught them skills about how to handle their imminent media exposure and wealth?

If this is his point, I will end now. As I understood him, I thought he argued that colleges should focus as much on athletics as they do on academics. If there were a curriculum established for athletes that helped them prepare for the real world after college (pro sports being an end option or not) I would at least be willing to examine it with an open mind. Understand my gripe is not with njx or at least half of the students that are considered student athletes. My gripe, one that has been argued by me in front of college administrators before and had them jotting down notes in a reversal of roles; as well as having athletes bolting from the room angry because they were exposed for who they were, is with those athletes who go about their daily lives feeling that because they have an athletic skill as opposed to an academic one, (don't open this can of worms - please) college should somehow be different or easier for them. As it is, a graduate who is an athlete stands a better chance at finding employment due to their status as an athlete more than they do based on academic performance; this due to a bias in society where we value athletic skill over academic performance.

I have no problem with Joe Sport going to college with the precept that he will be attempting to become a pro athlete, but at the end of four years - it seems unfair that he gets the same academic degree while doing a substantial amount less of academic work. Sports is extracurricular in an institution design to enhance academia. I'm not saying that sports is easy or that I am not a fan (my presence here demonstrates I am). I am saying college is for academics first and athletics second. When we blur those two, equity goes out the window.

Wally03
03-03-2010, 12:40 PM
If this is his point, I will end now. As I understood him, I thought he argued that colleges should focus as much on athletics as they do on academics. If there were a curriculum established for athletes that helped them prepare for the real world after college (pro sports being an end option or not) I would at least be willing to examine it with an open mind. Understand my gripe is not with njx or at least half of the students that are considered student athletes. My gripe, one that has been argued by me in front of college administrators before and had them jotting down notes in a reversal of roles; as well as having athletes bolting from the room angry because they were exposed for who they were, is with those athletes who go about their daily lives feeling that because they have an athletic skill as opposed to an academic one, (don't open this can of worms - please) college should somehow be different or easier for them. As it is, a graduate who is an athlete stands a better chance at finding employment due to their status as an athlete more than they do based on academic performance; this due to a bias in society where we value athletic skill over academic performance.

I have no problem with Joe Sport going to college with the precept that he will be attempting to become a pro athlete, but at the end of four years - it seems unfair that he gets the same academic degree while doing a substantial amount less of academic work. Sports is extracurricular in an institution design to enhance academia. I'm not saying that sports is easy or that I am not a fan (my presence here demonstrates I am). I am saying college is for academics first and athletics second. When we blur those two, equity goes out the window.

Just to be clear, I wasn't taking issue with the discussion taking place. I merely was attempting to clarify the points being made just for my own understanding.

This issue always strikes me with interest as during my time as an undergrad I worked with some of the members of different sports teams as a math tutor and was surprised at how their attitudes varied. RPI's only division I sport is men's hockey and I spent a majority of my time working with those individuals. Luckily, even though RPI has a decent reputation in hockey, a vast majority of the hockey players I worked with did place their focus on academics. I suspect a lot of that has to do with the college itself given it markets itself as a rigorous academic institution as opposed to a breeding ground of future professionals like some colleges it seems are starting to be perceived as so I can't really pretend I have a lot first hand experience dealing with D-I athletics in the manner you are really discussing. However, there always were those one or two guys who thought they were something special even though the hockey team sucked during my 4 years there.

CJSchneider
03-03-2010, 02:12 PM
That's cool. Also, for the record, two or more people introducing various sides of an issue, while being supported by data of various kinds and respecting the other individuals position is not an argument, that is a debate and I enjoy those.

Hawk
03-03-2010, 04:08 PM
why? the point of college is an education, right? to what end? probably to get a job or compete in the job market, unless you intend to do research (but, in the end, that amounts to basically the same thing). athletics can prepare one for the same thing. sure, a fraction of a fraction of college football players end up in the nfl. and an even smaller fraction of a fraction of law students end up in the top law firm in their respective field. does that mean every other law student's degree was worthless, or that every other athlete's career was worthless? not necessarily. i could apply what i learned to coaching, or countless other sports-related fields.

*shrug* i've always hated the "academics are so much more important than college athletics" argument, because by any rational criteria, it's simply not true.

i absolutely agree with everything here. my point is simply that an 'education' in athletics, is at least as economically viable (and thus, just as useful for the college to provide) as an academic degree. i don't agree at all with the idea that colleges should do anything to provide an athlete with an academic degree that they wouldn't do (or, perhaps more importantly) don't do for any other student.

regardless, cheers. i enjoy a good discussion.


I disagree with the first bolded statement. Do you know how hard it is to get into coaching(at least at a high enough level to make a living) and any other sports related field? A career in sports is one of the most sought after jobs in the country. It's not an easy field to get into. Not everyone can pull a Tim Hasselbeck and jump to ESPN. The second bolded part happens all the time though. The degrees that a college basketball or football player might graduate with is not the same as a degree that a non student athlete would receive. Yeah on paper it is, but in the classroom, there is preferential treatment. And its naive to think otherwise. That's why it isn't fair to all the students.

I know for a fact, at least here at UT, that football players are instructed by an academic advisor within the football program to take lower level classes during the year and take their classes for their major during the summer. My first year here, I had junior and senior football players in each of my freshman level classes. And everyone knows how summer classes in college are.

The biggest benefit of college athletics(for those that don't go professional) is networking.

And I neg repped you because I don't like you and I know how sensitive you are about your "e reputation."

what, is your opinion so worthless that you'd rather hide behind neg rep than have an honest discussion? that's awesome.

thanks for this reputation comment too

Hawk
03-03-2010, 06:48 PM
It's like talking to a ******* wall

yo123
03-03-2010, 07:03 PM
Without using a calculator, write each of the following complex numbers in standard form.

a.) 7i^69+5i^94-3
b.) (7+3i^7)(4i-6i^2)

This probably isn't very hard but I really suck at math. Any help on either of them is appreciated.

wogitalia
03-03-2010, 08:18 PM
(give CJ's argument 1 bazillion bonus points here when he mentions that after college, if Joe Sport does not turn pro, there degree will mean the exact same) has to do less course work.

Disregarding the corruption thing as there really is no way to control for that in an argument this point stands out to me. You can take away the athlete and still question this. I don't know anyone who did less work than me at university yet my degree is worth exactly the same as the guy who never went out and partied and studied for the 3 years that we were both at uni. In the end, if you pass, you have the same piece of paper and every job I have ever gone for people skills and logic skills have been valued far higher than your grades. I've had jobs where my academic transcript was literally just to prove that I had the degree that I said I did on my resume.

So really, outside of athletes who get passed purely for being athletes, there is nothing wrong with some doing less work than others, you don't need to be an athlete to do less work than others and get the same degree. I knew people who could and probably still can recite an entire text book for a course, they would know way more theory on the subject than me, but we both passed the exam and that was all that mattered at the end of the day.

As for the athletics thing. I think it is perfectly fine to focus on athletics and make them every bit as important to student-athletes as the academics. I would argue that I learned far more valuable skills in life from my athletic endeavours than I ever could from academics. There is only so far that being able to regurgitate a textbook can take someone. Where as the drive, routine, teamwork and social skills that are provided by sports are just far more important in real life and to obtaining success. To be honest if I was hiring staff I would rather someone with lower grades who had achieved something athletically to someone with higher grades and that was it. Any Joe Bloe can study to pass exams but not everyone can be a member of a sporting team(this goes beyond just players by the way). Just my feelings though of course.

CJSchneider
03-03-2010, 08:31 PM
... I've had jobs where my academic transcript was literally just to prove that I had the degree that I said I did on my resume.

... Any Joe Bloe can study to pass exams but not everyone can be a member of a sporting team(this goes beyond just players by the way). Just my feelings though of course.

There is a difference between earning a degree with a C average and and A average. I can live with that. I know that upon providing my transcript that my course work was at least an issue. (if you think this does not come into play you are wrong. I have been a member of teacher hiring boards and it was the first document I looked at). When looked upon, I can say that given equal chances, I outperformed and should be in better standing than another (given I am the A student and someone else was the C student)

Student athletes are offered modifications that if a non-student athletes asked for they would be laughed at if not referred to a dean. Extended time on assignments, pre-made notes, open note tests and quizzes, course credit for oral as opposed to written reports to name a few. When you look at this from this perspective GPA becomes inequitable between some athletes (the ones I have the gripe with) and non-athletes. Factor in the bias that exists for athletes upon graduation in a multitude of fields and one can clearly see a problem with this.

vidae
03-03-2010, 08:35 PM
sure. i think there'd be room for that. but it would require a lot of careful work to make it useful without... abuse, i guess. that said, i think anything that motivates people to even show up for college is a good thing. maybe they'll find out they like it and take some real classes they wouldn't have otherwise taken. *shrug*

i know that's a pretty flippant response and there are probably holes i haven't considered.

Yeah I think there is room for something like this, but it would need to be designed specifically to ensure that the person taking this is prepared for life AFTER athletics. We all know how many people actually make it in their professional sport, so I agree that it would take CAREFUL planning to make sure it has something worthwhile to help these athletes in the event that they don't advance to the next level.

wogitalia
03-08-2010, 08:35 PM
There is a difference between earning a degree with a C average and and A average. I can live with that. I know that upon providing my transcript that my course work was at least an issue. (if you think this does not come into play you are wrong. I have been a member of teacher hiring boards and it was the first document I looked at). When looked upon, I can say that given equal chances, I outperformed and should be in better standing than another (given I am the A student and someone else was the C student)

No doubt there is a difference but I would say that grades probably play about a 10%(if that) role in getting most jobs, there are obviously fields where this changes, but I know as someone who is that "C" student who has beaten out many of those "A" students for jobs. The things that I learned in athletics have proven far more valuable in gaining employment than my grades. Again, not all fields are like this but the majority people look at the transcript, can see you passed everything and then proceed with the interview and based on that they make their decision.


Student athletes are offered modifications that if a non-student athletes asked for they would be laughed at if not referred to a dean. Extended time on assignments, pre-made notes, open note tests and quizzes

See it is different over here, we don't have the whole athletics thing attached to university, but still, I know of people who were given every one of those things except for open note exams at some point. I personally have no problem with the basic idea. The athletes represent the school, the athletics program helps fund other parts of the school and make up everything that is offered there. Part of being on an athletic team is a fairly substantial time commitment. I dare say that if you were caring for a disabled/dieing relative, working a full time job or many other similar situations that you would be able to obtain similar concessions in your coursework. I know of a guy who was given full marks on tutorial participation because of full time work, someone that was given until the end of semester to complete all assignments due to caring for a disabled family member, someone who was allowed to defer his exams due to a sports injury, another that was allowed to type his exams due to a hand injury. That's just some but generally if you have a valid reason they will attempt to accommodate you, at least they do over here.

I guess that really raises the question of whether athletes should be given those concessions though, I personally have no problem given their commitments to the university as it helps to allow them to complete their studies, I still think they should have to complete any assignments to the same standard as anyone else and be graded as such and I believe a lot of the problems related to athlete academics are that the above is not true and that there are different standards.