In Case You Live In A Cave

This just in from the Associated Press: athletes don't have to pass the same academic requirements to be admitted into college as regular students.

Read the story.
I'm not kidding, that's basically what it says.

Sure, sure there's a lot of good research done by the writer and it goes a little more in depth, but is there really anything in that 2,000-word-or-so report that even the most casual sports fan didn't know? I mean, did anyone think the criteria to get into school was tougher for freaks of nature who can run 4.4 40s, do reverse windmills or hit tape-measure home runs?

These loosely-termed scholar athletes make their schools millions and millions of dollars. Thus, when evaluating that 4.4 speed versus a 1.7 GPA, what do you think usually wins out?

The report was worth reading, however, just for the particular details on the University of Texas, whose football team will face another beacon of knowledge, Alabama, for the national championship Jan. 7. Texas was one of seven division I football schools to say it doesn't have any "special admissions programs." That's obviously just a technicality, though, since its freshmen football players averaged a 945 on their SATs from 2003-2005, a whopping 320 points below the average freshman longhorn.

The other six schools refusing to admit that they lower their standards to raise their athletic programs were Air Force (interesting), Connecticut and Kansas St. (shockers), Purdue, Virginia and Tennessee, which apparently only admits potential or prior felons to play football.

Another highlight was the fact that the study found that athletes at California, a highly-regarded institution of higher learning, were 43 times as likely to receive special admissions treatment. Anyone who's ever seen the school's former standout running back Marshawn Lynch give an interview, however, would instantly be able to tell the guy wasn't exactly being asked to tutor fellow classmates in physics lab.

This doesn't just happen with the big sports (where it makes financial sense) either. I once heard an announcer during a Final Four field hockey game (don't ask) comment that a star player had gotten a 1200 on her SAT and that she had even turned down going to Harvard. I found it funny since I thought you needed a 1300 to even be a janitor there.

But alas, that's the system that exists today in college sports. People who aren't qualified get into schools and then get passed through the system in order to stay eligible.

If you didn't realize that long ago, though, you're just as dumb.

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