“I was majoring in football.”

Take that, amateurism romantics.

“The NCAA’s primary response to my first report was that students are compensated, in their opinion. They believe that scholarship is adequate compensation for all of the time students put in and all the money they make for the system,” Murphy told HuffPost. “But there are a lot of students who are in the big time college programs where schools are treating them like commodities and not giving them the education that they deserve.”

“You’re obligated at these big kinds of college sport programs to be an athlete first, second and third, and a student fourth,” Murphy said. “It’s a bit of a red herring for the NCAA to say that a scholarship is enough compensation when a lot of these kids aren’t graduating and many others aren’t getting an education that is commensurate to their peers’.”

And that.

In recent years, the organization has celebrated its progress in increasing the percentage of students who graduate, which the NCAA measures with its own metric called the Graduation Success Rate. It developed that metric in 2002 in part to account for the high rate of athletes who transfer to different schools during their collegiate careers ― an issue the federal government’s statistics are ill-equipped to measure.

But the Graduation Success Rate, Murphy said, inflates schools’ success because it credits them when an athlete transfers in good academic standing — but sometimes fails to track them to their next school. From 2006 to 2009, Murphy said in the report, more than 23,000 athletes transferred while in good standing (and, as a result, were excluded from graduation rates). But the NCAA only accounted for the roughly 8,000 of those students who went on to enroll in different schools — so 15,000 individuals, the report states, “went missing,” meaning they dropped out or didn’t return as athletes and are thus unaccounted for.

“These athletes did not graduate, but the numbers account for them as if they did — painting an inflated picture of academic success,” the report says.

“The way that the federal government traditionally measures graduation rates, schools are held accountable for those who drop out,” Murphy said. “But [the NCAA] has rigged their own measure of graduation, so that if a kid potentially drops out of the program, nobody’s responsible for that kid. And that’s not measured in the dozens. As we showed in this report, there are thousands of kids who have dropped out of school who were playing sports, but weren’t counted when it comes to graduation rates.”

And that.

Even if they graduate, athletes often receive inadequate educations, the report argues, citing testimony from multiple former athletes. Athletes, the former players said, are sometimes forced into classes they don’t want to take and majors they don’t want to do, advisers often do their schoolwork for them, and their education often takes a backseat to their true purpose on campus: to play sports.

“The whole time … I felt stuck — stuck in football, stuck in my major,” Stephen Cline, a former defensive lineman for Kansas State University, said in the report. Cline, according to the report, wanted to become a veterinarian but was pushed into a “less demanding major” so he could concentrate on football. “Now I look back and say, ‘Well what did I really go to college for?’ Crap classes you won’t use the rest of your life? I was majoring in football.”

Sounds like a fabulous deal to me.  After all, a shitty education is better than no education at all, amirite?

77 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

77 responses to ““I was majoring in football.”

  1. PTC DAWG

    So the Cline kid that said he was stuck? Was he forced to accept the scholarship? You can’t just go to school to be a Vet? I’m confused…sounds like he had no choices…yet, it appears he did.

    Like

    • LOL.

      Amateurism can’t fail. It can only be failed — by student-athletes.

      Like

    • ChiliDawg

      bUt He hAd A cHoIcE, bLuTo He cOulD hAve WoRked aT mIckDonUlds InStEd

      Liked by 1 person

    • ChiliDawg

      Shorter worldview of PTC and folks like him:

      On fairly compensating players: “They’re already compensated, they get a free education!”

      But they are not getting the same education as their peers and they’re being pushed into less valuable degrees so they can focus on football

      “So? Nobody is forcing them to play football. They could just go get a job and pay for it themselves.”

      But college is expensive

      “Not going to college is also a choice.”

      On raising the minimum wage: “Jobs that pay minimum wage aren’t supposed to be a living income. If they want that, they should go to college.”

      And around and around we go. How many mental gymnastics are you willing to engage in to protect a system that is designed to benefit people who wouldn’t let you eat the crumbs from their table?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Harold Miller

        I would rebut one thing here. You don’t have to go to college to earn a living wage. You do however have to develop a marketable skill.

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      • Paul

        You can train for a whole lot of very good jobs that pay quite well without going to college. Or, if you have the discipline, the military will not only teach you a very valuable career, they’ll pay you to learn it. Or, you can start your own business. And so on and so on. There are many ways to get paid quite a bit more than minimum wage that do not involve college. It’s not a binary choice. In fact, as someone who has worked in higher education for the past twenty years, I believe there are far too many people enrolled in our colleges that have no business being here. Ten years from now they’ll be making crappy wages in a crappy job and struggling to pay off their loans. Their problem is college is not the right choice for them. But their parents or their friends or their spouse or all of the above told them they need to go to college so here they are. I firmly believe in the value of a college education. I’ve invested my life in it. But it’s not the right choice for everyone. We need to quit pretending it is.

        Liked by 2 people

        • MDDawg

          I agree with you that there are many other options besides college for making a living, but this kid wanted to be a veterinarian so his choices were somewhat limited. And starting a business would probably be easier with some sort of degree or higher education.

          And speaking as one of those people who had not business being in college, and someone who later joined the military as a result, I don’t think you should have to go into the military just to make a living or to afford higher education.

          Like

        • Cojones

          Saw today that the military is paying 40k bonus for new enlistments. That’s not bad starting pay that you can receive along with your military pay. That’s what they used to pay for REenlisting after several years in the service.

          Like

          • MDDawg

            Those bonuses aren’t available to everyone. Sure, you can get an enlistment bonus of up to tens of thousands of dollars, but I’d bet the average recruit isn’t qualifying for that.

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        • ChiliDawg

          This argument has nothing to do with ability – you’re engaging in classist bullshit. If the kid in question weren’t capable of being a veterinarian it would be one thing, but you’re essentially making the case that anyone who doesn’t have the money to put themselves through college should just go to trade school or join the military. You and that opinion can fuck right off. A person should have a CHOICE in what kind of career they want to pursue – they shouldn’t be pigeon holed into one because of how wealthy their parents were or were not.

          Like

        • PTC DAWG

          Well said.

          Like

        • Mary

          The military is definitely not the answer. There are also far too many young people in our military that should not be there. There are also far too many young people that come out of the military without any useable skills to make a decent living after leaving the military. There are also far too many young that come out of the military mentally destroyed. The military does not train these young people to think independently, but to follow orders. Most are directed to infantry. So when these young people get out of the military, many have problems adapting to working in civilian life because they are unable to think independently. Finally, or they just come back in a box dead. The only answer is to fix our broken education system by bring vocational training programs back to all public high schools for those that do not see college as an option.

          Like

      • Possibly only tangentially related, but did anyone else see this fidure on the minimum wage: based upon the productivity of the US economy today’s minimum wage would most appropriately be just under $21/hr.

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      • PTC DAWG

        WTF are you rambling about?

        Like

    • Ricky McDurden

      The problem isn’t that he can’t be a Vet and receive a football scholarship but that coaches across the board almost always sell the educational opportunities of a university in recruiting as attainable to athletes when that’s flat out untrue. There are programs like Engineering that through sheer hours required and timing of classes are not possible for football players because it interferes with practice, weight lifting, etc.

      It’s the lack of honesty by coaches and the NCAA that’s galling. Just tell prospective students what is and isn’t possible before they sign and inform the general public that a Communication Studies or Sociology or Housing degree are suitable compensation for 4-5 years of spending 40+ hours a week playing football on behalf of the university.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ChiliDawg

    Cline, according to the report, wanted to become a veterinarian but was pushed into a “less demanding major” so he could concentrate on football.

    That is really sad. And I’ll bet it happens more frequently than most of us realize. Even if his case is a minority one, it still completely destroys the amateurism argument. He was there to play football, not pursue an education. The scholarship is just the window dressing.

    Like

    • Russ

      That IS sad. We have a couple of high profile recruits (Nolan Smith and Nkobe Dean) who want to study engineering. I talked to the dean about how that worked and he said they worked with the athletic department to help the kids with scheduling as much as possible. But at some point the rubber meets the road. Engineering is hard enough when you can focus on it full time. I hope these kids can do it. I know many do, but it will take the full commitment of everyone involved, student, teachers, coaches, administration.

      Like

    • Patrick

      Definitely sad.

      And I bet the inverse happens even more frequently. A kid doesn’t really have the academic chops to get a college degree. But instead of applying any money into modifying the education and life skills that he actually needs, we just force him into some BS athlete major that just checks a box.

      Fewer locker room sleep pods, more customized career plans for 18-22 year olds.

      Like

      • Russ

        I also agree that there should be more sports-related majors if we’re going to keep going after kids for their athletic prowess and ignoring academic prowess. A kid should be able to major in “Football” in some meaningful way that will prepare him for coaching or sports administration or training. Or tailor it toward sports financial management (which all athletes should have to take anyway). That way, if (when) the professional dreams don’t pan out, they can still pursue a meaningful career in an area they enjoy, and that’s a multi-billion dollar business. That would be much more useful than a “Consumer Studies” degree, or a “History of Technology” degree.

        Like

  3. Classic City Canine

    I recently looked over the Georgia roster and was glad to see we didn’t have a ton of players in trash majors. Hopefully we treat them better here than in some other places, but I certainly will avoid any moral posturing.

    Like

  4. ApalachDawg

    Just because you said that you wanted to be a Vet doesn’t mean that you had the grades to be one.
    I am in the camp to pay these guys more than the current stipend but how will the girls volleyball also be paid when they are stroking checks?

    Bigger issue is some kids are in college whether an athlete or not but should really be in a trade school. Not everyone is cut out for college.
    We have a major shortage in this country for skilled laborers.

    Like

    • ChiliDawg

      I wonder how many of you who are always on the “trade school” narrative would actually want to be plumbers yourselves?

      How do you know he didn’t have the grades? Or are you just assuming that because it helps you dismiss the ugly truth?

      Like

      • Mike Cooley

        Me. Maybe not a plumber but I have a college degree, realized it wasn’t going to earn me as much as I could earn with a skilled trade so now I’m a pipe welder and iron worker. I also served my country in the Marine Corps. I do not come from money either. As much as some people love to bitch and whine and belly ache, in this country it’s out there for you if you’re willing to go get it. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. But easy is bullshit anyway. I’m for these boys being paid btw.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Got Cowdog

        I’m a Plumber. I Worked my way through high school and college with it. I had my card before my degree. Construction Plumbing is hard, physical, dirty work. I came up poor. I sold my car to finance my freshman year at UGA. After that I went to school at night and worked for my uncle’s plumbing company during the day to pay for it.
        Most people aren’t tough or smart enough to succeed in the trades. I fucking loved it. Still do.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mike Cooley

          Fundamentally there are two ways of approaching life. You can whine and cry that the deck is stacked against you, the game is rigged, and you can’t succeed and you can be bitter that there are people who have more than you. Or…you can decide that you ain’t going out like that and that you will succeed somewhere in life knowing that it will not be easy but that it will be worth it. And you can do this knowing that you may have to fail at a few things before you succeed. One leads to success and peace. One leads to failure,anger, bitterness,and resentment. We all make a choice one way or the other because most of us aren’t born into wealth. And if you think this country isn’t fair and that you can’t succeed because of “rich people” or “white men” you either need to learn more about the world or just admit that you think it’s too hard and would rather just bitch.

          Like

          • Classic City Canine

            Don’t be so self-righteous. People can only control one third of the equation that determines our outcome in life. They can control effort but they don’t control genetics or family background/life circumstances. Success is a mixture of individual work and systemic fortune not one or the other. Don’t discount people who didn’t make it as far as you did because they may have worked hard and life just didn’t deliver the goods and humble yourself because you had some good fortune at some point to go with that hard work.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Got Cowdog

              I’m going to speak for Mike, and myself.
              There’s a lot of fuckers stuck in cubes, classrooms, and offices that are miserable because they were told that getting dirty was beneath them.
              Cool beans CCC

              Like

              • Russ

                I’m an engineer/cubical dweller. I really enjoy my work, but I know who really makes the train go. It’s the men and women on the line figuring out the crap that we engineers put on paper. They’re the ones that make it real. Sure, it takes all of us, but no one link is more important than the next. Like I tell people, I went to college so I wouldn’t have to work for a living.

                Like

              • RandallPinkFloyd

                I don’t think Classic City was referring to people stuck in office jobs that could have learned trades and possibly had a better life. I believe he was referring to people in general only being able to control so much. You can’t control the situation you are born into nor for the most part your upbringing. And unfortunately, a lot of people in our society get stuck through mostly no fault of their own. America fails a lot of these folks. It’s great that it worked out for Cooley and others on here and I’m eternally grateful for anyone who served our country, but let’s not piss on everyone who didn’t have the opportunity to make it happen.

                Like

  5. ATL Dawg

    UGA’s Consumer Economics and Sport Management majors immediately come to mind.

    Like

  6. AJ

    So…they would’ve gone on to be rocket surgeons but someone made them come play college football? Made them follow their dream to play college football and enjoy the perks of being a college athlete…and then football prevented them from becoming a rocket surgeon?

    Like

  7. Isolated instances happen in most every organization. The bottom line is Cline chose his major like Jakr Fromm chose finance. If Cline thought he was getting a bad deal he could transfer wherever else he wanted to go. It would not surprise me to learn Cline is one of those that would not have been in any college but for athletics. If so he took the spot of someone else.

    Like

    • The bottom line is Cline chose his major like Jakr Fromm chose finance.

      And you know this how, exactly?

      Liked by 1 person

      • He didn’t mention being held at gun point. He certainly could have transferred. I happen to know someone that went to KSU in 2015 on a football scholarship. He didn’t have those problems or concerns. This is just sour grapes from his own poor choices.

        Like

    • MDDawg

      Even that argument works against the amateurism claim. If you’re lowering academic standards so that a player can get admitted to play a sport for the University, then he’s an athlete first and a student second, not the other way around as the NCAA would have you believe.

      Like

  8. Coach Swinney

    Just take your Ostarine on cycle, give your all to lil’ ol’ Clemson for the full four years, and we’ll place you in a high school coaching position so you can recruit for us.

    That’s all we ask. #ALLIN

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Husky Jeans

    Senator, out of curiosity, what do you think should happen with respect to college player compensation? How would it work? How do you foresee it impacting the current college game? This is an honest question.

    Like

    • chopdawg

      The Senator won’t answer this question, so I’ll answer it for him. He wants us to pay college athletes even more than they’re being paid now, let them transfer as they so choose, then make sure they graduate in their chosen fields whether they want to study or not.

      But we can still call it “college” athletics, right, Senator?

      Like

    • HJ, I don’t really care what the end result looks like, as long as the process to get there is a fair negotiation, rather than something dictated that violates antitrust law.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Husky Jeans

        I agree that the hypocrisy and inconsistency of it all is laughable, and players like AJ Green or Gurley getting suspending for what they did is truly stupid. I just have no idea how doing away with the facade of amateurism would really work. Seems like it could completely blow up the college game as we know it.

        Like

        • ChiliDawg

          It’s stunning that there are people who think the college game isn’t already blown up. Coaches are getting paid more than their NFL counterparts and college administrators are swimming in money. There are fewer than 10 teams who realistically have a chance at competing, and they do so because they spend more money than anyone else. TV networks, apparel companies, everyone is making bank off of this venture except the people with skin in the game.

          Where were you for conference re-alignment?

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  10. Mayor

    http://www.ncaa.org/about/who-we-are/office-president/ncaa-leadership-team The video is good except for the part about “greedy rich white guys.” See above for photographs of NCAA top management. Equal opportunity greed at work at the NCAA.

    Like

  11. Mary

    The military is definitely not the answer. There are also far too many young people in our military that should not be there. There are also far too many young people that come out of the military without any useable skills to make a decent living after leaving the military. There are also far too many young that come out of the military mentally destroyed. The military does not train these young people to think independently, but to follow orders. Most are directed to infantry. So when these young people get out of the military, many have problems adapting to working in civilian life because they are unable to think independently. Finally, or they just come back in a box dead. The only answer is to fix our broken education system by bring vocational training programs back to all public high schools for those that do not see college as an option.

    Like

  12. This thread ….just…

    Like

    • Got Cowdog

      I have to respond to Mary:
      I had a plumbing company for 20 years. My policy was to hire any ex military person that applied. Why? They were always punctual. They were always clean. They were always respectful of customers. They say “Yes Sir” and “No Ma’am”. They follow directions with minimal observation within their abilities. They understand teamwork. Their kit (Tools, truck, etc) is always clean and organized. Always. If yours is not they will do it for you if they aren’t busy, without being asked.
      I hired probably 50 or so guys with military experience. Maybe a half dozen were 11Bravo. The biggest issues I had with any MO were occasionally them getting into trouble with alcohol and girls on the weekends. Well, that and a lot of them stayed in the reserve and would leave for long periods.
      They all bitch about their service and square up with pride when they talk about it. My youngest wants to join and learn to work on diesel motors. He figures to use the GI bill to pay for a business degree after his enlistment and use the fund we have to live on.
      I think it’s a great idea.

      Like

      • I’m a vet, and now a remolder. Finding a builder of any trade that ain’t a drunk, is rare, and has nothing to do with military. “Trouble with girls and alcohol ” sounds like life.”bitch about service and square up with pride” that statement makes me see how far from service you are.

        Like

        • Got Cowdog

          I never served. I did not mean to give the impression that I had. I do have a great deal of respect for those who did/are. My post was regarding “Mary” who doesn’t seem to think the military provides marketable skills, and why she’s wrong.

          Like

      • I need to follow up, and hope you hear me. I read this comment on phone and missed more context. Just re read it, and apologies for being more harsh. The GI bill is an amazing thing and great for our country. This comment has good stuff, but you’re first comment about your perceptions of vets put me sideways.

        Anyhow, this is turning bettervthan this train wreck thread.

        /hattip

        Like

        • Got Cowdog

          My perception of Vets is I would put them on the crew without question. The alcohol and girls? Yeah it’s life. Mostly it was picking one of my guys up at a bar where they’d had too much, or came on to a young lady who’s date took offense to it. I would be a huge hypocrite if I said it had never happened when I was their age. No worries.

          Like