Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The College Athlete Standards

I was having a conversation with someone who is a soccer player and who plans on playing in college, and she was giving me examples of schools that she was looking at and how they could get a scholarship to these schools with a lower ACT or SAT score than the "average person" (a.k.a a non-athlete). Now that I have started the ACT process and realize how much work you have to put in to it I have come to the conclusion that his system is unfair. Even if I put in more time and effort in to studying than an athlete they may have a chance to get into a college that I wouldn't be able to just because they can kick a ball or shoot a basket. I am not trying to say that being an athlete or playing a sport in college is bad, I just believe that if they earned a spot into the school like the majority of students at that school it would be more fair.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution(AJC) is a major daily newspaper out of Atlanta, Georgia, and they compared SAT scores of college football and men's basketball players to their classmates, in 2008, and here are the results:" Football and men’s basketball players on the nation’s big-time college teams averaged hundreds of points lower on their SATs than their classmates".
The University of Florida

The University of Georgia
The AJC found that the biggest gap between SAT scores was at the University of Florida where players scored 346 points lower than the average student. I also found it very interesting that some schools with the highest admission standers had the biggest difference in SAT scores. Schools also use a special admissions process to admit athletes if they do not meet the normal requirements to get in to the school. Nancy McDuff, the University of Georgia's associate vice president for admission and enrollment management said “If the university says they’d help us meet team needs, that’s as important as finding an oboist for the orchestra.” However, the AJC found that at the University of Georgia 73.5 percent of athletes were admitted through special admission compared to the 6.6 percent of the student body who were admitted through special admission. This really shows what colleges will go through to have a stronger team even though these players may not be qualified regarding school standards. 
I am not the only one who believe this is unfair. Former Princeton University President William Bowen said "There are grounds for concern. Places at a lot of these schools are precious things. To have them allocated this way raises troubling questions about fairness, about taking advantage of educational opportunity.”

So do you agree with Mr.Bowen and I or do you think that the way this system admits athletes is fair? 

1 comment:

  1. Ariana, Nice job blogging this term. You seem to focused on race (just an observation!), but you've covered a lot of ground topically. I found the free hug post very moving. This post touches on several hugely important topics. The ACT is clearly a biased test, culturally and socio-economically. That's worth exploring (in a follow-up post?). Next, I'd take issue with the characterization of athletes. They're being courted by schools and often quite literally pay huge dividends to schools through TV contracts, and by stroking the egos of alumni boosters. The amount of time SOME athletes spend in hs and college on their sport is staggering and counter-productive to learning by almost any measure. Last: there is a growing # of schools that allow applicants to skip the test (I think it's almost 30% nationwide). Why do you suppose they are doing that?