Dismal graduation rates still don't raise enough eyebrows

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 29, 2011 - 12:17 AM

The cash cow that is the NCAA men's basketball tournament blinds too many schools and coaches to what's really important.

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triodeMar. 28, 1111:59 PM

A good place to start would be admissions standards. College applicants who have been scouted and recruited by the athletic department, and promised athletic scholarships, are held to a lower academic standard than the rest of the prospective student body. This must change. College admissions offices must make their decisions without any reference to or knowledge of athletic achievements or pursuits. All the athletic department can do is encourage its prospects to apply for admission. A good second step would be to guarantee that all students receive the same level of access to academic counseling, tutors, and other special help that the athletes receive. No academic support can be given through the offices of the athletic department. It ruins the college experience for the rest of the student population to see a bunch of jocks getting coddled through courses they rarely attend, at a university they didn't deserve to be admitted to. It ruins high school for the smart or hard-working students who try to get into college through academic merit, and pay for it with work, loans and savings, to watch a bunch of jocks who didn't attend class and cheated on tests get admitted to colleges they aren't prepared for, and be given a full ride scholarship. It is a slap in the face to anybody who ever earned an A to see college athletes given the special treatment they receive. That they seldom graduate is our only come-uppance.

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rdmiesMar. 29, 1112:56 AM

Columns like this are a dime a dozen about D-I, and, like this one, never offer a viable sensible solution. There is no way the schools much less the NCAA will forgo the revenue their charade of "student-athlete" brings in and there is no way the major media - which inlcudes Blount's employer, the Strib- will give up the revenues that it derives from covering D-I athletics. Nor will Blount forgo her income for writing columns glorifying D-I athletes...which makes this column rather hypocritical, considering how many times Blount slobbers the praise on the semi-pro athletes she covers at the U and other D-I outposts. And those of you chiming in "right on Rachel" let me ask this-- how are your brackets doing?

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pagreMar. 29, 11 6:08 AM

So how does the U of M men's basketball team perform in the classroom?

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mobydick1Mar. 29, 11 6:13 AM

As long as the "macho lads," associate their virility with the won-loss status of their teams, the tail will wag the dog.

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BurntsideMar. 29, 11 6:33 AM

Require students to successfully complete their freshman year before becoming eligible for varsity sports. If an athlete leaves before graduation, his scholarship goes to a deserving academic performer who is ineligible for sports. These rules would force coaches to recruit student athletes, not merely athletes. The NBA and NFL have caused the NCAA to become their farm system. College sports should be for students who want to play sports, not for kids who spent their HS evenings on the playground rather than on the books.

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mellow1Mar. 29, 11 6:40 AM

Let the NFL, NBA, NHL, et al provide any scholarships.

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jimdubskyMar. 29, 11 7:07 AM

I would like to look at the starters on a team to see what their graduation rate is. I can see teams recruiting players who have a good chance in graduating and let them sit on the bench just to increase their graduation rate.

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goodoneMar. 29, 11 7:11 AM

the APR dos not make sense because it takes into account kids who leave school early to go pro. They do not graduate but they are leaving and starting their careers and that is what college should do, prepare you for your career. If kids are failing out of school that is another issue and should be dealt with but who cares if the players leave early for the NBA with no degree, it is their decision.

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rat618Mar. 29, 11 7:16 AM

And how many of those kids who leave early actually make the NBA? UConn has a grad rate around 50%...name the players that failed to graduate from UConn that are in the NBA. The poor graduation rates aren't from kids going to the NBA but from the kids dropping out after exhausting their eligibility most of the times with the schools tacit approval.

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captaintripsMar. 29, 11 7:39 AM

Higher education is no place for semi-professional sports, period.

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