Denial

After you read this post at Capstone Report, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is there anything you can’t blame the NCAA for in the world of college athletics?
  2. Prior to 1991, what was going on at all of those schools that didn’t have athletic dorms?
  3. After 1991, how many schools forced to abolish athletic dorms saw a rash of criminal activity on the level of what was just discovered with Jimmy Johns?
  4. Why are student-athletes less prepared to deal with “the freedom of college life” than the typical student?
  5. If exposing student-athletes to the general student population is a bad thing, since it leads to more “general” behavior, how do coaches and athletic departments prepare their athletes for life after college, when there presumably won’t be any athletic dorms to reside in?  Or is that something that’s not their responsibility?

Related story here. (h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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6 Comments

Filed under Crime and Punishment

6 responses to “Denial

  1. A couple of answers to those questions based on what I’ve been told by people in coaching.

    4. Why are student-athletes less prepared to deal with “the freedom of college life” than the typical student?

    Many are first generation college students. Many are borderline academic cases, particularly in the SEC. Many have learning disabilities or need other specialized academic or peer support. Many come from poor backgrounds and since they don’t have time for jobs, are easier to tempt toward NCAA violations or criminal activity.

    And on top of all that they are celebrities in SEC states. People want their autographs, or something else. Athletes face different pressures than typical students, and most are less prepared to deal with it. The pressure on campus thanks to family, or other background issues is different for athletes. Shouldn’t we recognize that?

    5. If exposing student-athletes to the general student population is a bad thing, since it leads to more “general” behavior, how do coaches and athletic departments prepare their athletes for life after college, when there presumably won’t be any athletic dorms to reside in? Or is that something that’s not their responsibility?

    Athletes after four years of discipline and control should develop habits to prepare them for life. Aristotle said we are what we habitually do. So, after four years of doing what they are told, and living in a military-like camp atmosphere, you should expect many of the players to be better prepared (self-disciplined) than when they are 18 and arrived on campus. Isn’t that what we say sports does? Prepare us for life by teaching us important lessons?

    the other questions
    The other questions are I think good questions to ask, but football coaches seem to think athletic dorms help them control players better. Just read the Birmingham News article you linked. I’ve heard very similar things for a long time.

    I hear a common complaint: the NCAA wants law abiding athletes, but has created regulations which impair the ability to deliver. Coaches won’t say it is impossible…just more complex thanks to the NCAA.

  2. First of all, I don’t doubt that the majority of college coaches are in favor of jock dorms. I suspect, though, if they were honest about it, it’s not so much a matter of player control being easier as it is damage control being easier.

    Second, your arguments about why student athletes face different pressures than do the general student population strike me as a much stronger proposition for schools needing to do a better job of evaluating their recruiting targets than it does for SA housing.

    Third, I honestly don’t understand how you can argue that isolating a SA from general college life for four years – by requiring him to live, as you put it “in a military-like camp atmosphere” – prepares him for life outside of college. What important lesson is being imparted here – that these kids can’t be trusted to act independently?

    Ultimately, the mindset behind a “one size fits all” approach like this comes across as a lazy one. Rather than take the time and trouble to assess the nature and character of the kids brought into the program in order to decide what sort of attention and feedback each needs, it’s just easier to apply the boot to the back of the neck of all. I can’t see much value in that approach as a life lesson.

    And I would expect a guy with an annual salary in seven figures to be a better manager than that, as well.

  3. I suppose then spending time at the United States Military Academy, or serving in the armed forces wouldn’t prepare someone for life either?

    What about sending a borderline teenager to a boot camp? Does it teach them lessons which might be useful after the camp ends? In military-like settings you learn one major life skill, self-control.

    Supervising a student isn’t telling them he isn’t ready to be his own person and act independently. What supervising does, is make sure the student complies with the boundaries.

    Mainstreaming sounds good in theory. But so did Marxism.

  4. Your argument that mainstreaming doesn’t work is based on what, exactly? That Jack Crowe doesn’t like it?

    That’s why I asked questions #2 and #3 in my post. It would seem to me that without empirical evidence that there was more criminal activity going on in the absence of athletic dorms, this is nothing but mere supposition.

    At least we witnessed the collapse of the Soviet Union. ;)

  5. 69Dawg

    In the old days the jock dorms were to save the lives of the general population. Ever wondered why UGA’s McWhorter Hall was so far away from the rest of the dorms. Keeping the likes of Jake Scott and Cowboy Parish away from the normal students was tough.
    I am joking ok so don’t get all bent out of shape.

  6. David

    this is typical alabama fan nonsense, trying to push the blame for bad behavior away from where it belongs (the player who, no matter how poorly he was raised, understands exactly how wrong what he was doing was) and the person who this essentially reflects upon — their coach.

    it’s amazing how this guy has such a repuation for being hard-as-nails when his disciplinary track record suggests something else entirely.