Sometimes it’s OK to shoot the messenger.

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone where you agree with the position he’s taking, but wind up arguing with him anyway because he’s so obnoxious in making his point?

Dennis Dodd – come on down!

A few considerations in response:

  • If you are going to discuss “academic fraud” in the context of the APR and NCAA enforcement, you need to be more precise with your use of the term. As repellent as I find the situation at Auburn to be, it’s something the NCAA should become involved with only if it can be shown that the directed reading courses in question were created for or accessed overwhelmingly by student athletes. In Auburn’s case, it seems to be the opposite – an easy class that folks in the athletic department realized could be exploited by athletes as well as kids from the general student population.
  • Similarly, having an easy major isn’t the same thing as academic fraud.
  • This kind of article comes off a lot better when you don’t rely so much on a person who has such an obvious ax to grind, like Ridpath does. Arguing against the NCAA’s tax exempt status does nothing to promote more rigid academics for student athletes. It just makes him look like a prick wanting to mete out a little punishment as revenge.
  • Saying that you “want the NFL and NBA to end the charade and establish their own minor leagues rather than colleges becoming de facto developmental leagues” sounds great in principle, but hard to implement in practice. Baseball has gotten away with it because it enjoys an antitrust exemption that the other two sports can’t claim, for example.

For the record, there’s nothing wrong with greater transparency in the process, although I think Ridpath is missing the forest for the trees. Where the search for truth should start is in comparing student athletes’ grad rates with those of the general student body, and holding schools accountable when their athletes fall short.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Media Punditry/Foibles, The NCAA

One response to “Sometimes it’s OK to shoot the messenger.

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