Good For The Point Guard, Good For The Gander…

This week’s School of Thought at TIME revisits an issue I’ve written about before, a pretty good model for helping at-risk students on college campuses already is in use on college campuses – in the athletic department. College athletics have their problems – and calls to keep programs with low graduation rates out of the NCAA tournament and college bowls make a lot of sense – but they offer a good model for supporting students

When the University of Connecticut beat Butler on Monday night to win the NCAA championship, they brought down the curtain on an unusually exciting men’s college basketball tournament. But one aspect of the tournament was entirely predictable: The handwringing about the low-graduation rates for many basketball programs. While graduation rates for student athletes are improving, poor outcomes remain a serious problem. In this year’s tournament, only 42 of the 68 teams graduated at least 60 percent of their players, according to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. The winning Connecticut Huskies have a 31 percent graduation rate for basketball players…

…While college athletic programs have their share of problems, they also offer some ideas about how to improve college completion—especially among those who are the first in their families to attend college.

Read the entire thing here.

4 Replies to “Good For The Point Guard, Good For The Gander…”

  1. The people who play on big time college sports teams are entertainers. Entertainers don’t do classes/academics. You are confusing what these people do with the PR BS which incorrectly names them “student atheletes.” You are forgiven. Go and sin no more.

  2. Richard: Well said. The students playing major sports at the college level (football, basketball, etc.) are really more athletes than they are students, from my experience. They are recruited because of their superior athletic skills, not because of their academics. That said, I can’t knock them for attending college due to their athletic ability instead of their grades — it’s not their fault this is how the system works.

  3. The problem is not the graduation rate for basketball players. The problem is that the NCAA has a monopoly cartel over minor league professional basketball. Which is exactly what we just watched on TV–minor leagues pro ball.

    Give these young players another option for plying their trade and a whole lot of them would probably rather be playing minor league ball rather than pretending to be students. Same goes for football.

    CT has a 30% graduation rate because young hoopsters have no other choice but pretend to be a student for a few years before trying out for the NBA.

    Imagine if other performance oriented professions were the same. Imagine how odd it would seem if actors and musicians were required to attend a few years of college before being eligible play professionally. Most actors and musicians don’t actually make it big. In fact a small percentage actually ever do. But we don’t go through the same pretense of trying to get them all into college for a couple years before they are legally allowed to even try out in Hollywood or Nashville.

    Explain to me how basketball and football are any different from acting or music?

  4. While it may be true that athletes only attend college because they have to in order to particpate in sports, it does give them the opportunity to improve their lives. Any chance a young person has to improve their lot in life should not be put down. For the person who does graduate and move up the ecomonic ladder they will always consider it a gift.

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