Things are going great, and they’re only getting better
I’m doing all right, getting good grades
The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades
I gotta wear shades
— Timbuk 3, “The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”
It was just a couple of months ago that Doug Jolley over at Scout’s South Carolina site was extolling the virtues of the Gamecocks’ special admissions policy. Everyone in the article was handing out bouquets, particularly to the wise and far-seeing athletic director, Eric Hyman.
… USC Senior Associate Athletic Director Val Sheley said, “When (Athletic Director) Eric (Hyman) first came in here, he could not believe how good the academic credentials were of our Special Admits. ‘These are Special Admits?’ he asked, and I explained to him that they’re not at-risk kids. He said, ‘That’s crazy – these kids should not be Special Admits.’ So from that day, we started looking into the whole process, which was pretty cumbersome. He championed it the whole time. Eric does things very thoughtfully, thoroughly and transparently.”
Well, the NCAA released its annual APR report yesterday. Care to guess which institution was one of only four BCS schools (h/t The Wizard of Odds) that had both its football and men’s basketball programs in the bottom ten of the APR rankings?
… USF was one of four BCS programs that had football and men’s basketball programs with both teams among the lowest 10 APR scores in each sport. The others: Mississippi State, Purdue and South Carolina.
And this despite the assurance, straight from the horse’s mouth, that the institution is on top of things with these kids.
… USC Athletic Director Eric Hyman also talked about the new system. “If a person is very marginal academically, there are stricter guidelines. Those stricter guidelines are called a Contract Admit. That athlete needs close guidance and monitoring; they need to have better focus.”
Jolley’s last point sounds pretty clueless in the wake of these numbers.
… At Clemson, Georgia, and South Carolina, the methods of getting the student-athletes in school may vary, but the objectives are the same – to produce winners on the field and in the classroom. How successful they are in getting those athletes into their respective schools has a direct impact on how successful they are against each other on the playing field.
Getting them in is only half the battle, sport. Keeping them enrolled and progressing towards a degree is how you win this war. Though we should give the devil his due here. Hyman was thoughtful and thorough enough to obtain a waiver from the NCAA for the APR scores, which were below the mandated minimum.
By the way, Georgia’s APR ranked in the top three in the SEC for both men’s basketball and football. The football number looks particularly impressive, given the company it’s keeping:
Football BCS Top 10 APRs
1. Stanford 986
2 (tie). Duke 977
2 (tie). Rutgers 977
4. Boston College 972
5 (tie). Miami 969
5 (tie). Notre Dame 969
5 (tie). Northwestern 969
8. California 967
9. Georgia 965
10 (tie). Penn State 964
10 (tie). Wake Forest 964