Student Athletes

The late Lewis Grizzard once defended his alma mater from charges that, if you drove past the University of Georgia with your windows rolled down, they’d throw a diploma in. He said it wasn’t true: You had to stop first. Apparently, it ain’t far from true.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. McGehee says:

    “How many halves…?” LOL!

    Lawdy, I can’t breathe.

  2. Jess says:

    You’ve gotta love Lewis Grizzard, eh?

    My favorite question from the exam (apart from the ones that incorporate the coach’s name) is probably, “What is the name of the exam which all high school seniors in the State of Georgia must pass?” with “How Do the Grits Taste Exam” as one of the potential answers.

  3. fick. he’s dead? where the hell have i been?

STUDENT ATHLETES?

A new book by William Bowen and Sarah Levin finds that, even at the Ivies and academically elite Division III schools, recruited athletes perform far worse than the student bodies as a whole–and even walk-ons on the same teams.

Not only are recruited athletes at these schools admitted with lower test scores and grade-point averages than their peers’, but they perform worse academically than other students once they start college–and worse even than their own high school GPAs and test scores would predict. Men recruited to play Ivy League football, basketball, and hockey had SAT scores averaging 165 points lower than other incoming students, the authors found; 81 percent of these athletes ended up in the bottom third of the class, as did 64 percent of recruited male athletes in other sports and 45 percent of recruited female athletes.

This is somewhat surprising, but hardly shocking: Competitive sports is a very time-consuming enterprise.

“It’s not that these tennis players aren’t able people intellectually–they are,” says Bowen, a former president of Princeton University. “It’s about allocation of time and focus.” Athletes are recruited by college coaches because of their single-minded devotion to sport, he says–a system he believes is in serious tension with the avowed priorities of selective schools.

Indeed. One wonders if there’s a non-athletic peer group that’s similar, however? Do ROTC scholarship students planning on military careers or those on music or dramatic scholarships show similar trends?

Cross-posted at SportsBlog

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Michaek says:

    As someone who received their commission in the Navy via NROTC I can say that the standards, at least between 85-89 were pretty low.

    You just needed to maintain a 2.0 GPA. This does deserve a little of supporting information. While the GPA requirment was low, the course work was not.

    You could major in any subject but you had to take 2 semesters of Calculus, 2 semesters of Calculus based physics as well as 1 semester of logic or computer science.

    There were no ‘underwater basket weaving’ slackers and your class standing had a big effect on your first assignment, i.e. if you want subs then you better be a hard science major with a high GPA.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Interesting. I commissioned via Army ROTC in 1988. There was no particular concern about the major, but class standing mattered. At that time, getting an Active Duty assignment was still very difficult and we had a lot of hard chargers not get them because of mediocre academic performance.

  3. SportsBlog says:

    STUDENT ATHLETES?
    A new book by William Bowen and Sarah Levin finds that, even at the Ivies and academically elite Division III schools, recruited athletes perform far worse than the student bodies as a whole–and even walk-ons on the same teams. Not…

STUDENT ATHLETES?

Vanderbilt University is getting rid of the position of Athletics Director in an interesting move:

Vanderbilt University announced a major reorganization of its athletic operations today in an effort to bring sports, academics and student life together more successfully.

The university is not getting rid of its intercollegiate sports programs, but officials said they want to change the way they’re managed. The reorganization means Vanderbilt’s athletic director, Todd Turner, will be out of his job of the past seven years, though he’ll have an opportunity to keep working for the university on NCAA reform issues.

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The changes, which Gee said have been in the works for six months and will take another six to nine months to implement fully, include:

  • Bringing intercollegiate athletics and recreational activities for students together in a single Office of Student Athletics, Recreation and Wellness. Assistant Vice Chancellor Brock Williams will oversee the office’s work and report to David Williams, the university’s vice chancellor for student life and general counsel.

    The new office will be responsible for 14 varsity sports, more than 300 varsity student-athletes, 37 club sports with more than 1,000 participants and the university’s intramural athletic program.

    David Williams held a similar position at Ohio State University, where Gee was president from 1990 to 1998.

  • With the athletic department gone, Turner has been offered a chance to serve as special assistant to the chancellor for athletic/academic reform. Turner has been Vanderbilt’s athletics director since 1996 and is chairman of the NCAA’s Incentives and Disincentives Committee, which has proposed sweeping changes to improve athletes’ academic performance.
  • Vanderbilt’s central administration will now oversee financial, administrative, public relations, marketing and facilities work related to athletic operations, including the ticket office. Similarly, academic support for varsity athletes eventually will come under the direction of the provost’s office.
  • A bold move, but one wonders what the practical impact will be.

    Cross-posted at SportsBlog

    (Hat tip: Cam Edwards)

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    James Joyner
    About James Joyner
    James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

    Comments

    1. SportsBlog says:

      BOLD MOVE AT VANDY
      Vanderbilt University is getting rid of the position of Athletics Director in an interesting move: Vanderbilt University announced a major reorganization of its athletic operations today in an effort to bring sports, academics and student life together…

    STUDENT ATHLETES

    · · No comments

    CalPundit has some interesting thoughts on college athletics. (via Asymmetrical Information)

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    FILED UNDER: Sports
    James Joyner
    About James Joyner
    James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.