INSIDER Academics in Private FBS Universities

An In Depth Look at Academic Trends in the NCAA as we examine Tulane's Playbook Promises.

As Tulane's playbook has previously stated back in spring 2011, the University committed an ambitious three way strategy to improve all Tulane athletics. This strategy focused on the two revenue producing sports - Football and Men's Basketball. Included in Phase I of the Playbook's goals were the University's monetary commitment to athletics through the substantial increase in yearly subsidy given to athletics. Additionally, included in The Playbook was the upgrade and building of new athletic facilities. Tulane will also be taking a closer look at adding new majors to the university curriculum. The phrase "athletic friendly" majors may scare some people, but this is not new for the NCAA. These are academic tracks that athletes are more attractive and easier for athletes to relate to in a post-sports life such as a sports management or movement sciences programs. While this is a newer idea for Tulane, it has become a common practice at schools across the nation. On the negative side, in many state university programs, athletes are seemingly grouped, almost as if steered, towards certain majors. This occurs, not only the big football factories, but also our peer private institutions. There have been a few studies on the practice, dubbed "clustering" by the academic world, where over 25% of athletes are involved in one major. Sometimes student-athletes are often switched from major to major, even up until their senior year. In cases like these graduation is not possible. Tulane Insiders has put together a list of our peer schools, private and academically similar institutions, and the their most popular majors among football players. The majors listed were pulled using the data from school websites from those athletes in their third year of school (RS Sophomore) or above that have declared a major. Here is the list:

Rice: Sports Management, Kinesiology, Political Science

Tulsa: Business Management, Exercise and Sports Science, Organizational Studies

TCU: Movement Science, Business

Vanderbilt: Economics, Human and Organizational Development

Wake Forest: Communications, Health & Exercise Science

Duke: Public Policy Studies, Cultural Anthropology, Anatomy and Sociology

Miami (FL): Sports Administration

Stanford: Science, Technology, & Society

Northwestern: Communication Studies, Sociology, Psychology

Baylor: General Studies

Notre Dame: Design, Management-Consulting

Boston College: Communications

Syracuse: Communication and Rhetorical Studies

Southern Cal: Policy, Planning, and Development, Communications, Sociology

BYU: Pre-Business Management, Exercise and Wellness, Landscape Management

Tulane for their part is seems to be diverse in its athletes majors, similar to Duke or Vanderbilt. Twenty three Tulane football players are majoring in the business school (majors include management, accounting, marketing, finance, or legal studies), as well as 10 football players majoring in different biological studies (Cell & Molecular, Public Health, or Environmental). Seven players are studying in the Sociology track for their major course of study.

Schools like Miami (FL) and SMU seem to be ahead of the wrong side of curve as their players' major information was extremely difficult to find anything information about college studies for athletes. The new trend for universities is to either not include public major information at all, or to not update the player's profile regularly. Stay tuned to Tulane Insider for more information as soon as we know more about concerning Tulane's plans for new academic majors. In addition, updates on the increased monies to the Athletic Department and updates on finishing, building and planned facilities as Phase II and Phase III of The Playbook finishes, continues, or starts their planning stages.

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