Like day follows night.

Here’s an academic development that should surprise exactly no one.

… Auburn’s top-ranked football team, which is preparing to play Oregon in Glendale, Ariz., for the national title on Monday, has tumbled in the N.C.A.A.’s most important academic measurement to No. 85 from No. 4 among the 120 major college football programs.

The decline came after the university closed several academic loopholes following a New York Times article in 2006 that showed numerous football players padded their grade-point averages and remained eligible through independent-study-style courses that required little or no work…

Amazing how that works.  It’s pretty clear who those loopholes were meant to benefit.

Among all the bowl teams this season, Auburn has the highest disparity in the graduation rates between white players (100 percent) and black players (49 percent), according to a study at the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

Auburn’s athletic director, Jay Jacobs, declined to comment. The Tigers’ second-year football coach, Gene Chizik, said of his team’s academic performance and support, “We do a great job, so we’re not concerned with that.” When pressed on the issue of graduating black players, Chizik said, “Those are circumstances; there’s all kinds of different things.”

You can see the complete study report here.  One can only conclude that there are a large number of Division 1 schools which aren’t facing similar circumstances.

As an aside, notice that there’s one school on the list which managed to graduate its football players at a rate higher than that of the general student body its overall student athletes:  Texas Tech.  With data like that, it’s easy to see why Mike Leach can’t find a job.  And maybe we should wonder how quickly Tommy Tuberville will work his magic in Lubbock.  It’s not like he didn’t leave a trail.


Filed under Academics? Academics.

76 responses to “Like day follows night.

  1. Bulldog Joe

    Some guys major in football and football is their best shot to make it big financially.

    That is a fact. No self-righteous ground taken here.

    • gastr1

      Best shot to make it, period. (Also, no self-righteous ground taken.)

      • Hackerdog

        It’s really not.

        The fact is that most high school kids who go to major college programs are studs who dream/believe in playing in the NFL one day. Most of those kids will never get the opportunity. Even the kids who get to the NFL don’t have a good chance to stay there long enough to amass a retirement nest egg.

        After playing on an NFL practice squad for a couple of years and being cut, a college degree becomes pretty valuable.

  2. dudetheplayer

    Gotta love Tech’s numbers there. They’re only graduating 49% of the entire football team and only 43% of the black players? Way to go, NATS.

    That whole holier than thou academics bullshit they always try to lob at us doesn’t look too legit after seeing that.

    “It’s cause our programs are too hard wahhhhhhh!!!”


  3. UGAdog

    Now there are accusations Auburn changed grades for the championship game

  4. Back in (red and) Black

    AU, more than any other SEC school, has been doing this shit for years and years. How do think idiots like Brent Fullwood, Kenny Irons, Rudi Johnson, Newton and countless other transfers make it to Auburn? It’s b/c they cheat like a bitch to gain the edge. I mean, Irons couldn’t even form a sentence – he was seriously too stupid to speak. And these guys provide what, a year or two at most to the program? It’s like they’re their one season, gone to oblivion the next.

    I’m glad the nation is waking up to the fact that AU is arguably the dingiest football program in the country.

    • Dolly Llama

      Hate to tell you Back In (Red and) Black, if you’re going to write a post questioning the communication skills of players, you’d best learn the difference between “their” and “there.” If it had been any other kind of thread, I’d have never pointed it out, but …

      • Back in (red and) Black

        good catch – of all times to miss that. Still, Kenny Irons and the rest are f*cking idiots.

    • Toom

      I married an Auburn grad (she swears she gained admission to our University too). Anyway, the years have been tough, but none tougher than this one. All I really need to know about Auburn and the “Auburn Way” is the stadium has in bright orange letters, “Pat Dye Field”.

      I can pretty much believe any seemingly outlandish accusation against Auburn – and Alabama too for that matter. Not because we are better or morally superior. But because of something I heard Bill Curry say one time. “Alabama will be great again because it is too important for them not to be.” They simply can not bear losing to one another. And (not intended to be snarky) there is NOTHING else going on over there.

      • Back in (red and) Black

        Football comprises the majority of an Alabama state resident’s self-esteem more than any other variable in life. Children, spouse, family, friends, career – none impact the self-worth of an Alabamian more than footbawl.

        The beauty of it all is that Ga can always be better than either Alabama school simply b/c we have better in-state talent, more of it, millions more residents, and much, much more money.

  5. Gravidy

    Good Senator:

    You said that Texas Tech graduated football players at a rate higher than that of the general student body. I think you meant to say that they graduated football players at a rate higher than that of all student-athletes. However, your point is still well-taken. That is quite an achievment by Leach.

    • Fixed. Thanks for catching my brain fart.

    • Texas_Dawg

      Or maybe Texas Tech is just using the same loopholes that had Auburn at #4 on the list before they were busted.

      • Hackerdog

        That would be stupid. Cheating to keep a star or two on the field is one thing. Cheating so that your third stringers can graduate is just needlessly asking for trouble. Even if Leach is dishonorable enough to cheat, he’s not stupid enough to cheat that badly.

  6. Tom

    Wah Eaguh Baybehh!

  7. Texas_Dawg

    So… Auburn is an embarrassing joke of a school that makes a mockery of academics and runs a disgusting oversigning program that disproportionately features black adolescents and young adults as its victims… but Jim Delany!! Big 10 sucks!! drooooooooool…

    The SEC West is a community college level fraud run by Jim Crow era holdover boosters and donors.

    Let’s see Jim Delany say that.

  8. Buck Futt

    Pretty funny stuff coming from a University of Grade inflAtion homer. Nah, there are no crip classes in Athens. None whatsoever. (eye roll)

    • Texas_Dawg

      2007-2010 signings
      Auburn – 119
      Georgia – 86

      Auburn is a joke of a school… and nothing shows it better than that.

      • Marmot

        I’m not sure what you are mocking. Auburn has to take more risks to get the same number of athletic contributors as a Georgia or a Florida thanks to regional challenges (rarely get first choice of recruit, poorer Alabama school system, etc.), and they still don’t have as many solid 2 deep contributors. The disparity in those numbers is a sign that the Auburn staff is doing what is necessary to stay on par with their rivals. They would be incompetent/lazy to do otherwise. The real thing that needs to be mocked here is that it appears Georgia didn’t sign enough players over that time and let scholarship spots get wasted.

        • Texas_Dawg

          That is not what is happening at all.

          1) Auburn and Alabama are abusing medical hardship scholarships, using them to remove players from their teams to clear roster space. Chizik has done it with 5 players in 2 years. Saban has done it 12 times already at Alabama. Richt has done it less than both in a full decade at Georgia.

          All programs have injured players or players unlikely to contribute much on the field. They don’t kick them off the team and remove them from their teammates. Only extremely unethical oversigning programs do so.

          2) Alabama and Auburn have both announced group dismissals, weeks from the 85-deadline, for “undisclosed violations”, in the past 2 years. The WSJ uncovered how bogus the Alabama version was. I’m sure Auburn’s was as well.

          3) Which of these schools should be mocked for not signing 113 or 119 players: Stanford (81), USC (76), Texas (86), Ohio State (78), Penn State (81)…?

          Amazing that these schools, all widely recognized as academically superior to Alabama and Auburn, are just so dumb that they didn’t know they could churn through a selection of 30-40 more players every 4 years? Go figure.

          • 81Dog

            that’s gonna leave a mark. Well played, sir.

          • Marmot

            If you want to mock the medical hardship thing then you have to use enrollment numbers, not signing numbers. Signing numbers are padded with guys who never made it in academically which obscures the medical hardship/transfered-to-pursue-other-opportunities issue. That 30-40 players worth of churn is mostly guys who never got to campus. They weren’t going to campus without football, so I guess the only crime in letting them sign is giving them false hope for about 6 months of their life.

            And if Auburn had it’s pick of the recruiting litter out of well educated regions like those other schools you point to, then I’m sure their signing numbers would be similar. (In Stanford’s case there is not as much pressure to win and more nation wide recruting mojo).

    • Stoopnagle

      Duh. Of course there are. They’re everywhere!

      At some schools, you just hop across the street and take the weedout at Atlanta Metropolitan College. Thank you, course articulation!

    • Your team is playing in the NCG in four days and you’re over here kibbitzing in the comments of a rival team’s blog? Dude, get up from your computer and go outside. Smell the crisp winter air. Meet a girl.

  9. Comin' Down The Track

    I would like to say that Danielson got tongue tied during one broadcast of an Auburn game this season (possibly ours) and accidentally called Auburn’s coach Chin Gizik. I have called him something similar to that ever since.😉

  10. Dog in Fla

    While Auburn may be steeped in tradition from more than half a century ago,, easy courses for jocks don’t make them unique in the SEC West or East.

    As far as regular courses are concerned at Auburn in fun areas like engineering (aspires to be like Ga. Tech, i.e., look to your left and right and one or two of you is not going to be here when we’re finished) or pre-vet, those courses are as much of a pain in the ass at Auburn as they are almost anywhere else.

    • Texas_Dawg

      While Auburn may be steeped in tradition from more than half a century ago,, easy courses for jocks don’t make them unique in the SEC West or East.

      No, but the extremes to which they’ve gone lately and their oversigning practices add up to an embarrassing university.

      Auburn isn’t Georgia and no reputable academic ranking list confuses it as being so. This would be all the more true if Georgia wasn’t so heavily shackled to Auburn via the “S-E-C!!”

      In 1960, Georgia and Alabama were similarly sized states with similar economies and similar demographics. 50 years later the situation is completely different. Georgia has a population twice the size of Alabama. It has an economy nearly 2.5x as large as Alabama’s. It has a major US metropolitan area growing at a rate that ensures it will be a true top 5 market in not just population but influence and wealth within 2-3 decades. It has a more diverse economy and a more diverse, more international population. Alabama is barely growing. It’s the same old Alabama. Mississippi and Louisiana are even worse in this regard.

      Jim Delany sucks. Yankees are rude. The Big 10 sucks at football.


      WGAF. UGA is shackled to out-of-date, inferior institutions from which it needs to either separate itself or much more aggressively assert itself over (i.e. as Texas has recently done to its lackeys in the Big 12).

      • Dog in Fla

        “UGA is shackled to out-of-date, inferior institutions from which it needs to either separate itself…”

        TD while I agree with you that Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU and others in the conference oversign and it gives them a competitive advantage and screws those who are put on waivers, I don’t think anybody is voluntarily splitting from the conference. Too much money to be lost. Look how long it took Georgia Tech to recover from leaving the conference. Tulane never recovered. Bet each of those schools wished they would have stayed like Vanderbilt.

        Insofar as Georgia asserting control, if we don’t have enough influence to get an annual open date before Florida, I don’t think we are going to be able to convince Gene, Nick, Houston or The Hat to stop what they are doing. A school like Texas can impose its will on a conference, but I don’t think Georgia has anywhere near that kind of pull.

        • Texas_Dawg

          Look how long it took Georgia Tech to recover from leaving the conference.

          How long was that?

          Georgia Tech academically outranks every SEC school but Vanderbilt. It has a larger per capita (graduate) endowment than all but Vanderbilt.

          As far as what really matters for universities, I’d say they’re doing just fine without the SEC.

          As to UGA leaving the SEC, I realize that won’t be happening soon. But in 20-30 years? Very possible, and likely highly advisable. 15 years ago, Texas was sharing its time and money with TCU, Houston, Rice, SMU, etc. The thought of such an arrangement in today’s world is laughable. Texas is so powerful now it can set its own terms with state schools like Missouri and Kansas… much less the tiny little schools of the Southwest Conference’s 2nd tier.

          Given current rates of growth, Georgia in 2030 will have around 20 million people. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas will have fewer people (and a smaller economy)… combined. With this ever-widening gap in demographics and economics will come an ever-widening gap in academic reputation. UGA leaders don’t need to wait for this inevitable scenario to start better positioning the school.

          • Normaltown Mike

            Interesting thoughts sir. While I was aware of all those facts, I hand’t made the logical jump about where Georgia should see itself 20 years hence.

            BTW, do you use that handle on non sports sites? I swear I saw it on some odd site (political or economics maybe)

          • Dog in Fla

            “How long was that?”

            Until Tech joined the ACC.

            Maybe I should have added the word “athletically” after the word “recover” to make it clearer.

            From what I understand both Tech and Tulane left the SEC because each felt that other schools in the SEC were not academically on par with them and each did not like the way other schools in the conference were recruiting. Bear Bryant could have been looked to as the Beta test site for oversigning to keep players away from Auburn and elsewhere. Plus Tech didn’t especially care for its brutal games with Alabama in the ’60’s.

            I would never criticize the academics at Tech. From what I understand, it’s an excellent school as are Tulane and Sewanee.

      • AthensHomerDawg

        Atlanta’s growth rate is about to hit a Major Wall. Infrastructure is shot and water resources maxed out.

      • Hackerdog

        If you’re talking demographics, why don’t you mention the stellar economies of the Big10 states? How’s Michigan’s population and economy going to look in 30 years? Going forward, I think I would rather cast my lot with the southern states.

  11. Will Trane

    Great post Senator! Where do you find this stuff so quickly.
    Could you call up the AD and see if you could spend some time with the current coaching staff…bring up their thinking, reasoning, and communications skills.
    At lunch ran into a metro Atlanta client and UGA alum. Thinks CMR is toast after 2011, but thinks Leach is someone they should hire immediately to run the O.
    CMR just seem slow to me lately, and his team plays that way. Is there some major disconnect, attitude, and inside fighting in the current staff. Something just seems out of sorts with these guys for a couple of years. I’d like to see CMR do less press and talk shows and more coaching.

  12. ScoutDawg

    Sorry! I want Mike Leach right now. We could outFOX everyone else right now! See what I did.

    • Texas_Dawg

      Why do you think no one else has picked up Leach yet?

      People involved in high-profile lawsuits with universities and major media companies usually aren’t ideal university employees.

  13. ScoutDawg

    And, it wouldn’t piss me off to stick a stick in the eyes of those ESPN dicks either.

  14. Scott W.

    Hopefully their academic ranking isn’t the only thing that takes a long nose dive.

  15. Texas_Dawg

    Ha. That is not what is going on at all.

    1) They are removing players from their teammates to clear roster spots via medical hardship scholarship abuses. Georgia and most schools very, very rarely – if ever – put players on medical hardship scholarship. They instead let players unlikely to see playing time remain with their teammates as full members of the team and the honors that come with that. Oversigning regimes like Auburn and Alabama purge these student athletes to clear roster space.

    2) Auburn and Alabama kick kids out of school, in groups, when they refuse to transfer in summers where the schools are over the scholarship limit. They hide in “undisclosed violations” which we are now seeing are as bogus as any rational person would expect.

    3) So Georgia (86) “didn’t sign enough players” from 2007-2010? Did Ohio State (78)? Did Texas (86)? Did USC (76)? Did Penn State (81)? Did Florida (93)? Did Stanford (81)?

    Oh, these stupid coaches and inferior schools and programs. How could they be so dumb or lazy as to not sign 30-40 more recruits like these upstanding, academically elite Alabama universities do?

  16. Go Dawgs!

    “Circumstances” like “the NCAA closed down all of our diploma mills”?

  17. Marmot

    I know I only show up to defend Auburn, but this isn’t totally a defense. Tubs had things rolling for a while, and it wasn’t just relying on crip courses and impossible-to-fail online courses, but certainly those things were a big part. (There was also having players declared to have a learning disability, which was a clearly abused practice). Even with all that I’m not exactly sure how Tubs got Auburn’s graduation numbers so high.

    And its those high numbers that make the fall back to state of Alabama/Mississippi normalcy look so bad. Tub’s recruiting began to take a dive in 2008, which meant even bigger academic risks to get players of adequate athletic ability, and then there was the coaching change which hurts every school in these measures. Lots of players are asked to leave or choose to leave for all sorts of reasons.

    I suspect things are about to turn around significantly for Auburn now that Chizik has recruiting functioning at a higher level. When you recruit well you can be picky and take the smart 4* over the dumb 4*. If things don’t get better in 2 years I will throw Chizik under the bus on this issue.

    And I suspect that Georgia’s graduation numbers are going to take a hit as Richt is forced to rely more and more on great athletes with marginal academic ability (a by product of struggles in recruiting). It’s that or become Vandy by taking the smart recruits with marginal athleticism. All the smarter-than-thou haughtiness you Georgia fans like to throw around is total hypocrisy. You would fire Richt in a minute if he had a team full of Rhode Scholars but didn’t compete in actual games. He’ll do what he has to to be competitive, and you’d crucify him if he didn’t.

    • Scott W.

      Oh the last coach was the one with the dirty program and him leaving stopped all the impropriety. Any attitude of self-righteousness that UGA fans supposedly have can’t be as tiring and the litany of excuses you folks on the plains cling to and spew forthright.

    • Dog in Fla

      “You would fire Richt in a minute if he had a team full of Rhode Scholars but didn’t compete in actual games. He’ll do what he has to to be competitive, and you’d crucify him if he didn’t.”

      Yes we would and at the end of his second decade, if he is not at least 4-16 against Florida, he won’t be reupped for a third decade.

    • Chadwick

      I personally think it’s going to trend opposite at UGA. To wit, the Witchett kid was cut loose from a comittment yesterday and much of the reason seems to be that he is a “risk” to have on the roster. He was suspended from his team this year. I think the UGA staff will take less of the “risky” kids because they’re less likely to cause an open roster spot or waves in the team.

      Auburn, on the other hand, would sell their soul in a quick minute and have for years. Business as usual on the Plains. I understand why you defend it, they’re your school and it makes you feel better to deny that the school is equivalent to a Mississippi tenant farm for athletes.

    • Texas_Dawg

      “You would fire Richt in a minute if he had a team full of Rhode Scholars but didn’t compete in actual games. He’ll do what he has to to be competitive, and you’d crucify him if he didn’t.”

      Mark Richt, on oversigning:

      “I don’t want to oversign, then tell one of the kids we’ve already got, ‘You’ve got no value to us’ and toss him aside. I’m not going to do that.”

      So you are completely wrong there.

      As to your lame “it was all Tuberville” excuse, Chizik has in 2 years removed more players from the team via medical hardship (5) than Richt has in 10 years. He has also dismissed more players for undisclosed reasons than Richt has in 10 years.

      Don’t fool yourself, Marmot. You couldn’t care less if Auburn is doing anything unethical. In fact, as you suggest, you want Auburn doing highly unethical things like this if it means football wins. What’s it to you if Auburn is unethical anyway, right? You’re just a fan of their football team.

      • Marmot

        Every new coach cleans house. Are you criticizing that practice? I would have been disappointed if he did not.

        • Hackerdog

          If by “cleaning house,” you mean revoking kids’ scholarships for spurious reasons, then yes, we are criticizing that practice.

          If we get a new coach in a year or two, I will be very disappointed if he comes in and “cleans house” in an Auburn fashion.

  18. Bryant Denny

    It’s kind of neat to watch all the folks freak out whenever oversigning or medical hardships are mentioned. I also get a chuckle when folks like to start quoting socio-economic data about why Alabama (the state) stinks.

    Here’s the way I see it:

    1) Bama football is a huge economic engine in the state and all that, but folks just like to win football games. Nick Saban was hired to do that.

    2) When you pay a guy $4M+ to coach football, you expect him to get the doggone job done. After the last couple of decades of UA football, it’s also important to do it legally (at least in the eyes of the NCAA).

    3) Last time I checked, football scholarships were renewable annually. That means if it doesn’t work out: see ya.

    4) I believe the players and their families have to know that if their player doesn’t get the job done, he’s a goner.

    5) As my simple Alabama-educated mind understands the numbers, you can sign 25 per year, but only have 85 total on scholarship. Seems like the NCAA expects some players to leave, too.

    6) All I can say about the medical scholarships is a medical doctor has to sign off on them. I know, I know, spare me. But someone else is signing-off on it.

    7) Regarding the WSJ articles: yawn.

    I like the discussion with you guys. Not trying to blow up an opponent’s chit chat board.

    Hope yall have a good evening,


    • Normaltown Mike

      BD, your posts are far too circumspent and completely lacking in myopic inanity.

      So just come clean with us…you don’t live in the state of Alabama.

      Sure you went there (hell I did too for one semester), but you don’t live there anymore.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I hate to say it but I am with BD on this one. If it ain’t against the rules WTF is wrong with doing it? Satan…er…Saban took Bama from a dirtbag losing team to National Chumps in 3 years. How? It wasn’t just by teaching Xs and Os better than his predecessor. He oversigned, evaluated what he had, kept the best ones and ran off the one’s that didn’t measure up. Ever had a job with a big company or law firm? Does this sound familiar? This tactic, unfortunately, is reality in the business world. It may offend the delicate sensibilities of some but not me. Rather, I am pissed off that our coach knowingly allows programs in direct competition with ours to have a major advantage such as this without responding in kind. Moreover, the fact the CMR will not oversign has added to the lack of accountability problem among the players (that everyone in the world now seems to recognize exists except for CMR). They all know that unless they really misbehave (i.e. get drunk, arrested, grope gals uninvited–not necessarily in that order) they get a free ride forever. At Bama you better be productive or else your ass is outta there. Auburn, too. When Ole Miss (another notorious oversigner) makes the turnaround of the century next year and kicks our team’s ass all you guys who are moralizing about this and claiming ethical superiority will change your minds and be bitching that CMR won’t do it. I want a coach who does what is necessary to win. If I want a preacher I’ll go to church.

      • Biggus Rickus

        “Nothing the Wall Street investors were doing was illegal, so what’s the big deal?”

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Don’t misunderstand me on this. I actually do not like the practice (I also do not like it when a big law firm hires 25 new associates at one time knowing that it will only make about 3 of them partner eventually). But if it is legal and our main competitors are doing it UGA is put in a disadvantageous position by not doing it. Are we committed to winning or aren’t we? Just sayin’…….

    • Hackerdog

      Some of your points are valid. Some aren’t.

      Saban is paid to win. And oversigning is legal. But it sure as hell isn’t above board. Just because we can all read between the lines doesn’t mean 18 year-old kids and their (frequently) uneducated parents can.

      If there’s nothing at all wrong with Saban cutting kids who aren’t performing each year, then why doesn’t he admit that he’s doing it? Why the invented medical hardships and undisclosed team rules violations? Why does he bristle with answers about managing the numbers? It seems like when the reporter asked about getting his roster from 91 to 85, he could have easily said, “We’re going to revoke the scholarships of the 6 least valuable kids.”

      Of course, the answer is that it would hurt recruiting. When you are honest with kids that you are only offering them a one year scholarship with a chance to get another one next year, some of those recruits will start thinking about their safety schools that are offering four year rides.

      • Bryant Denny

        I think you are offering a straw man, but I’ll bite.

        Unless you’re a kicker, I think Saban is giving kids plenty of time to acclimate to his program – at least three years (one spent redshirting and a couple trying to get on the field).

        During that time a kid has the assimilate into the program and get the job done. If not, it’s time to pursue other opportunities.

        At this time, a person could point out the couple of WSJ articles. I would reply that the articles are one-sided and don’t really detail the complete story. You will never hear the other side of that story from Saban, so I guess everyone can assume the worst. The kids in question had some issues. Maybe they really didn’t think they did anything wrong. Maybe that was part of the problem.

        I could also list for you a lot of guys that the average fan would nominate for displacement, but somehow the coaching staff doesn’t agree.

        I understand that this is a sensitive issue for some. Some view it as completely unethical, black and white, end of story. I am open to considering that view, but right now I don’t.

        Have a good day,


        • Hackerdog

          Fine. So kids get 3 years to perform. Why not come out and say it? Why do these nonperforming redshirt sophomores suddenly develop career ending injuries at the exact rate that Saban needs to get to 85 scholarships, and then transfer out to play at another school? What is in the water in Alabama that these players can consistently play football after career ending injuries?

          I understand that you have no qualms about admitting that some kids weren’t performing, so they’re off the team to make room for other kids. So why can’t Saban, et al., admit what they’re doing?

  19. Chadwick

    I heard Barnhart interview an attorney close to NCAA cases say that two things will be certain:
    – the NCAA will lose the O’Bannon case involving a player’s likeness or they’ll settle
    – they are going to be sued and succesfully forced to abandon the one year scholarship as it’s a one sided contract.

    To me, these two suits couldn’t go foward soon enough.

  20. Thom Brennaman

    “You know in a cynical sarcastic society where often times people are looking for the negative in every body or every thing, if you are fortunate enough to spend five minutes or twenty minutes around the Auburn program, your life is better for it.”

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