JUST ONE GUYS THOUGHTS
Part II—A Change in Method of Player Eligibility
The preceding half of the article described the changes that were made to the present system for freshman academic eligibility. The sliding scale and new requirements to stay on track were discussed and proponent viewpoints were presented. In this article I will try to develop a rationale for change.
The members of these committees sometimes forget the rigors that student athletes go through daily on campus. It's difficult to be a major Division I one athlete. The time requirements in season are often mind-boggling. There is travel time to get to and from games and practice, as well as, the actual game day. Then there is the academic side, classes and study and it's like having two or three full time jobs.
The academic reform is definitely not as simplistic as the NCAA wants to make it sound. I am upset that the people making these decisions seem regressive in their thinking. I am all for helping to get more academically challenged athletes into college but let's do it the correct way.
The correct way isn't ditching a test because of racial or ethnic bias or inflating grades to get more kids to graduate. What good are we doing for the ones that never get the degree or worse yet get the degree and learn nothing? A diploma is just a worthless piece of paper in those cases.
If the standardized test is the problem, it's time the folks down in Princeton at Educational Testing figure out how to fix the problem. If certain aspects of the test cause a racial or ethnic bias, let's figure out where they are and change them. There is no such excuse, as it can't be done. If students were allegedly cheating on these exams or doing too well, the ETS would figure out the problems and have them corrected immediately. I believe there is a need for standardized testing; that is how you compare a student from a small town in Alaska, to one from LA, to another from Short Hills.
High school grades are just a part of the equation and they vary from school to school. Some schools have C+ as an average grade while others may have B+ as an average grade. There is no standardization, given the choice go to the school that gives out the B+ or better yet find one that has A as an average grade. This is just wrong, learning is then not even secondary it's somewhere below the floor level and is definitely swept under the rug. The objective of school is to educate these young people so that they can get good jobs for themselves after graduation. Not every one of them is going to have a career as a professional athlete.
I don't want kids pushed through the system. We saw that in the 50's and 60's and even the 70's and maybe even part of the 80's. I don't want to see reforms and strides made in academics for athletes eliminated. I want the term student-athlete to be more than just words. I want kids that go to college to learn something, I did and you know it wasn't half bad after all.
If you have a better idea, I would like to hear it and publish it. So put on your thinking caps and take up your pens. Just maybe we can come up with one great idea and maybe someone will listen. Sometimes even you can make a difference.
Mike and The Big Dog LLC