You know the old joke about “He couldn’t find his butt with both hands, a roadmap, and a flashlight“?
Meet Kenneth Wainstein, crack academic fraud investigator.
Don’t go too far out of your way, fella.
The line is open.
Tech fans, can we please dispense once and for all with the holier than thou whining about admission standards and the Hill holding back Paul Johnson? The genius says he’s been greenlighted to go after the same kids most everyone else chases.
In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Johnson shared updates and insights about his team, which begins spring practice in advance of his seventh season on March 24. Among them: an admissions leeway he has been granted by school president G.P. “Bud” Peterson, changes in the coaching of the offensive line and possible scheme adjustments for the offense.
The incoming signing class was among Johnson’s largest and was significant in another way. With the academic success that the program has had since his arrival after the 2007 season, Johnson went to Peterson last year for help. He had ammunition. The Jackets were honored by the NCAA last June for having an NCAA-measured Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent of FBS.
Of the 15 players who were part of Johnson’s first signing class in 2008 and who stayed for four or more years, 14 earned degrees. Of the 16 players in the 21-player 2009 class who stayed four or more years, 15 earned degrees and the 16th is completing degree work.
Up until last year, Johnson said, he was permitted to have 20 percent of the signees fall below the school’s admissions standards so long as they met NCAA qualifying standards, signees termed by the program as exceptions.
“(Peterson) said, with the success we’ve had, he would give me more leeway if I thought guys could make it through,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that Peterson removed the 20 percent cap and gave him autonomy to offer scholarships to prospective players as long as they were NCAA qualifiers, which are a lower standard than Tech’s.
Fine by me. On to the next excuse for losing to Georgia…
John Infante makes an eloquent point that deserves mention.
… If collegiate athletics continues to insist (and is allowed to continued to insist) on amateurism, then a bachelor’s degree remains the primary compensation for athletes. Taking that away from the athletes who most need athletics to have that opportunity would reduce the value of what they get out of college athletics too far. Part of the commitment to academically challenged or underprepared athletes should be to see them through all the way to a bachelor’s degree.
Absolutely. It’s not enough to say your cause is noble. And if you don’t like the added expense exposure, don’t sign kids who are academic risks.
Okay, America, you decide – is building a winning football program at Army important enough to risk recruiting increasing numbers of “… football players… more than twice as likely to fail courses, more likely to leave the Army early and less likely to be promoted to higher ranks in the Army compared with their non-recruited counterparts”?
This is a pretty good exchange between Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and one of the school’s attorney at yesterday’s NLRB hearing in Chicago:
Another Northwestern attorney, Anna Wermuth, asked Colter whether playing football was, in itself, part of the education process. Does it help players learn to ”critically analyze information?” she asked.
”We learn to critically analyze a defense,” said Colter, who ended up studying psychology.
If the Northwestern players can’t get certified as a union, maybe they ought to fight for the right to a football major.
You’d think in that rarefied academic atmosphere Georgia Tech inhabits, the Jackets would be regularly fighting off the likes of Duke, Vanderbilt and Stanford for the services of the kids it recruits.
Georgia Tech’s signees had a lot of choices. Most often, it appears, Marshall was one of the options. Marshall offered nine Yellow Jackets signees, according to 247 Sports, the most of any team. Marshall was followed by Georgia State with seven and Appalachian State, Middle Tennessee State and South Carolina with six.
Marshall was something of a surprise, given that Marshall is three states away (four if you count South Carolina). You wouldn’t think there’d be so much fishing from the same pond. Marshall only has seven Georgia players on its roster. Of the nine Tech signees that Marshall offered, seven are from either Lamar County (DBs Lance and Lawrence Austin and WR/DB Qua Searcy) or Florida (OL Gary Brown, DB Step Durham, LB Terrell Lewis, OL Jake Stickler). The other two were DE Kenderius Whitehead (Georgia Military College) and C Jake Whitley (South Carolina).
Marshall recruits plenty in Florida, as does Tech. There were at least a few Marshall signees who chose the Thundering Herd over Tech.
Appalachian State, Georgia State and Middle Tennessee State all were often competitors for whom Tech was the top choice, conference-wise.
Marshall, you may recall, was Kendall Gant’s fall back option – his “out” in the words of his coach – when he failed to meet Georgia’s entry requirements. I’m betting Gant won’t be struggling with calculus at West Virginia next fall.
On the bright side, no Georgia State signees picked the school over an offer from Tech. So there’s that.
The next time somebody whines in your presence about why college professors and administrators make less than football coaches, point them to this handy FAQ from the SEC Network:
20. Will there be academic programming?
There are no dedicated blocks of academic programming planned at the outset of the network, but there will be opportunities to promote the academic and research accomplishments and reputations of SEC institutions within the live event programming of the network.
C’mon. I sat through some pretty riveting lectures in my day, let me tell you. Of course, maybe that’s just me.
They could always cut the baby in half by creating a reality show that follows a few athletes around as they go to class and work with their tutors. Call it “The Sausage Factory”. No?
It’s cold. Get fueled up at the buffet line.