TFW academics are academic

So much for integrating into campus life.

Burrow, who will be a top pick in the NFL draft in the spring, didn’t go to LSU for the college experience. He already had that at Ohio State, where he earned his undergraduate degree in three years. With Dwayne Haskins Jr. likely to start at quarterback in the 2018 season, Burrow opted to take his two remaining years of eligibility elsewhere.

Burrow, who was awarded a master’s degree in liberal arts on Friday, acknowledged his laser focus on football in Baton Rouge kept him sequestered. That’s why he decided to spend a few minutes celebrating with fans post game at Tiger Stadium last month.

“I don’t go to class. I take online classes so I don’t get to see any of those people,” he said. “And I kind of just wanted to see them for the first time and just thank them.”

Justin Fields isn’t even doing that much at Ohio State.

Justin Fields rarely has to step inside an Ohio State classroom building because he also does most of his school work online to accommodate his grueling football schedule.

Fields, a sophomore and the Buckeyes’ Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback, said online classes allow him to split his time between studying at home or relaxing with Netflix and the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, where besides football facilities there is a new lavish lounge for players that offers made-to-order meals, massage chairs, video games on big screens and a cryogenic chamber.

“Usually the assignments are all due in the same day, so that makes it easier for me,” said Fields, who transferred from Georgia last January.

I don’t really blame the kids.  They didn’t make the world they operate in; the people running college athletics — you know, the ones who piously proclaim it’s all about the academic experience — did.

Online classes are a fact of modern college life. For football players with immense demands on their time nearly year round, working online helps them fit school in when it’s convenient — especially during travel for road games — and to avoid having to mix it up with a bunch of other students clamoring for a selfie for their Instagram. The arrangement also allows them, if they choose, to spend most of their waking hours around teammates and others associated with the football program.

… Of the 46 Power Five conference schools that responded to an AP survey, 27 have no limits on how many online courses athletes may take. A dozen others have few online course offerings or limit how many athletes may take. Just six have no online offerings or prohibit athletes from taking them, including private schools Vanderbilt, Northwestern, Southern California, Texas Christian and Notre Dame. Michigan is the only public school among the Power Five conferences that doesn’t offer online learning.

It’s not worth the effort to be outraged, in other words.  These kids have a job to do and the main purpose of academics is to keep them eligible by any means necessary.

66 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics.

66 responses to “TFW academics are academic

  1. Those two stories are an absolute shame. I get why Burrow is doing it at LSU as a graduate student. I almost feel sorry for Fields.

    I wonder how many guys in Athens are doing school this way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spike

    How times have changed.

    Like

  3. BulldogGemes

    It’s definitely a new way of life. My daughter has a once in a lifetime job opportunity next semester so she is taking all online classes so she has flexibility to travel. I’d prefer she be in a classroom but we’ll see how this goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tatum

    I don’t know what to call it, but it sure as hell isn’t college.

    Like

  5. tbia

    Folks, this is even happening in high school. My daughter in 11th grade has a “classmate” who has stepped inside a brick and mortar high school for the last time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep … especially those with some type of talent athletic or artistic. I don’t know what the long-term effect of some of these decisions will be, but I can’t imagine they are going to be good.

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    • gastr1

      Wonder how folks feel about home-schooling.

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      • We wouldn’t use that choice for high school, but I understand those who use it for the younger grades. As long as kids are getting the social side of being a school-age kid, home-schooling is a reasonable option for some.

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      • Charlottedawg

        As someone who grew up southern Baptist and knew several families that elected to home school, granted usually for entirely religious reasons, and seeing the effects in adulthood, I would, um…..strongly recommend against home schooling…..for a lot of reasons.

        Liked by 2 people

        • tbia

          Some places have very good home schooling coops who work together to achieve the end result. Those that try to go 100% in house, I agree.

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          • Cynical Dawg

            I am a college professor and I had absolutely zero confidence in teaching my daughter anything except college level survey US history. Based on my experience, parents who home school are either religious fanatics, anti-government types, or have racist tendencies.

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            • Otto

              The stereotypes and prejudice. Combined with the High School math classes without an actual text book, teachers who have papers go missing, and teachers who have replied to a student you could have done better when they get their highest test grade of the course are all reasons why people have a growing distrust and distaste for academic elitism displayed by teachers and profs.

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            • I guess the kids in the middle of nowhere that make your food are bad people

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            • Macallanlover

              Funny, people I know who have home-schooled their children, or plan to, have those same views of how they see the teaching professions, and environment. So many are close minded, anti-government, strongly racist, and do not support open discussions of issues. This is mostly an indication of liberals’ positions, but there are some on the right as well. I can certainly see why they fear the indoctrination of their children by our educators in this country. The major downside concern of home schooling seems to be lack of social skill development if one doesn’t take steps to insure this is addressed. Given the concerns of safety, weak educators, and agenda based “teaching”, it is easy to see why some choose to make sure they give their children a better chance. It certainly isn’t for all, but should remain a choice….without any bigoted generalizations, or stigma attached.

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              • Gaskilldawg

                The major downside of home schooling your own kid is that few parents are skilled in teaching and few parents are knowledgeable enough about all the subjects their children need to learn.
                I have met quite a few home schooling parents in my years of law practice in a small city in Georgia and virtually none of those parents knew shit about grammar. I will bet few knew what a quadratic equation was, either. They are limiting their children’s opportunities.

                Liked by 1 person

            • Spike

              You don’t what you’re talking about “Perfessor”. Stereotype much?

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          • Gaskilldawg

            Teaching is a profession involving academic trading and experience. I have a doctorate degree in another profession and I don’t know shit about how to teach children.

            I wouldn’t let my wife and myself put in ear tubes when my kids were young (the thought never crossed our minds.) I used a physician at Emory University do it for both, and I would not expect a local “ear tube surgery coop” made up of laypeople in my community to know how to do it, either.

            I did not care for whom Dr Perlee voted or how he worshipped of if he did when he took care of my children’s ears. All I knew was he had superb trading and experience.

            Liked by 3 people

  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    Joe Burrow has a refreshing streak of candor and gratitude for his second opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mwo

    Florida is doing this with regular students. A friend’s son didn’t have the gpa for regular admission to UF. He lives off campus in Gainesville, and must attain 60 credit hours online before he takes any classes on campus. I think that’s ridiculous. Not eligible for student tickets for athletics. No student benefits whatsoever.

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  8. Many students not just football players are taking online classes. It saves on travel time for them and saves money and space for the university.

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  9. Russ

    I suspect it’s going on everywhere, including Athens. Nolan Smith and Nkobe Dean both are studying engineering, which blows my mind. I asked the Engineering dean how they did it, and he said they work with the kids and the athletic department to help with their schedules (some of the labs later in their studies will be all afternoon). I didn’t think or know to ask about online classes.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 3rdandGrantham

    I might have mentioned this story here previously, but my niece is a T&F athlete at an ACC school with a very good academic reputation. Last year, both her coach and academic advisor assigned to her both pressured her into giving up her intended major (Chemistry) for something far less rigorous with less physical classroom time needed, as persuing chem would require too much academic focus/demand, thus cutting into her athletic focus.

    If a 4.0 GPA, T&F athlete at a school known primarily for it’s academics is being pressured to go the easy/online route, I can only imagine what is being setup for big time athletes like Burrow and such. And yet we still have people today who argue against compensating athletes because ‘they are getting a free education’ (sic).

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    • Normaltown Mike

      That’s interesting. my brother in law was T&F at an Ivy League and he most certainly took all the same classes. What’s more, there were no online or distance based classes. T&F was his “ticket” to get in, but once in he was given no special dispensations (other than free laundry on his training gear – which is why he wore sweatpants 7 days a week!).

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    • Ricky McDurden

      Every school is different. Some absolutely funnel their athletes into majors for eligibility and APR reasons. I know for a fact UGA at least let’s athletes try what they want to try to see if the student can arrive at their own decision about their educational future. I also know that while online course options exist at UGA, they’re not the norm for athletes and if they are they are most certainly not recommended beyond one or two per semester (meaning two or three classes will be on campus).

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Andrew

    Let them go pro right out of HS. The NFL should have a developmental program.

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    • “The NFL should have a developmental program.”

      They have one now they don’t pay for. It’s called college football.

      If the NFL could figure out how to make money on a minor/developmental league, they would be in it in a heartbeat. The fact that the NFL whose owners are some of the richest people on the planet hasn’t move in that direction should tell you volumes about the market for that product.

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    • Coulda, woulda, shoulda don’t mean shit here. The NFL ain’t paying for what it gets for free.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I don’t think the NFL loves this situation. The reason they accept it is the owners don’t have to make the capital investment in what would be an absolute money loser.

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        • JCDawg83

          I think the NFL loves the current situation more than anything they could imagine. How else could they get to see a three or four year audition by players without spending a penny? I don’t think they “accept” it, I think they embrace it.

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          • Don’t you think they would love to get their hands on the money the colleges earn (even if they had to share it with the players)? I do … that’s why they accept it. If guys like Jerry Jones and Arthur Blank thought they could make money off minor league football, they would do it so quickly the colleges wouldn’t know what hit them.

            The reason there is no D-NFL or AAA minor league football is there’s no money in it to make the investment worth it.

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  12. David K

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these guys aren’t even doing the classes. When it’s all online why not have a surrogate take the tests and turn in all the work for you? The University certainly wouldn’t care and there’s no one else to audit the situation. How could someone like Jan Kemp even raise a flag?

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    • ciddawg

      Wonder what the differential in GPA and Graduation rates are between schools that allow players to take online courses and schools that don’t…Big Ben could have used a few “online” classes this semester…

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      • Illini84

        Find me a school that doesn’t.

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        • The Dawg abides

          Vandy, Northwestern, TCU, USC, Notre Dame, and Michigan would be my best guess.

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          • Illini84

            And you would be wrong. The google is your friend.

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            • The Dawg abides

              Eh, I don’t really need to google it when it’s provided in the Senator’s post above. Ciddawg’s question was about the schools that don’t allow athletes to take online classes, not whether the schools offer them.

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              • Student are students, why would an athlete not me able to take a class that the rest of the student population could?

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                • Ricky McDurden

                  Athletic departments can set stipulations on their students scholarships. Also, online degrees don’t satisfy NCAA requirements. Online courses can buy the degree must be based on the campus where they’re competing

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          • Illini84

            Almost all of the eight ivy league universities offer some form of online courses, certificates, or degree programs. Find out how you can get a top-notch online education from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, UPenn, or Yale.May 6, 2019

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            • Illini84

              Apr. 14, 2017—The Vanderbilt Institute for Digital Learning (VIDL) offers support for faculty for research and instructional improvement, and support for students in the form of fellowships and internships. Support takes the form of limited monetary support, technical consulting, equipment loans and production services. Faculty Programs MacroGrants (Deadline April 28) VU faculty and staff may apply for a seed-funding…

              Like

  13. ugafidelis

    “…I don’t get to see any of those people,” he said. “And I kind of just wanted to see them for the first time and just thank them.”

    They love him like he’s a native son. College football is the best.

    Like

  14. Charlottedawg

    The power 5 are profit generating development leagues that are affiliated with and leverage the brand name and regional loyalties of local state universities. The Georgia football team and the sec have nothing to do with the academic missions of their charter universities.

    There’s nothing wrong with that, I enjoy watching the best athletes in the nation donning the red and black and it’s a great way to maintain a form of connection with my Alma mater. But the sooner we just acknowledge that these are businesses and more importantly that as fans we’re willing consumers of college branded sports entertainment (because that’s all college football and basketball are), the sooner we can drop these delusions that we shouldn’t pay these kids or that they have some false obligation to the school, or that we should restrict their abilities to transfer or number of obligations beyond what an employee owes their employer because that’s all these kids are: employees.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ricky McDurden

      Because romanticism is one helluva drug and the NCAA/Disney aren’t as naive as we often make them out to be.

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  15. Gurkha Dawg

    As I’m sitting here in my favorite chair, in front of a cozy fire, with my trusty German Shepherd at my feet, with Christmas music playing softly in the background, in my beautiful house, I can’t help but think how much nicer it would be to go down to the local “brick and mortar ” bar and find a couple of Ga fans to talk football with. That would be such a better use of my time and would be a far more enriching experience.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. FlyingPeakDawg

    Eureka! Here’s how Jerry, Arthur and the rest of the NFL get the college TV money, players get paid, and fans get expanded playoffs: the NFL expands by another 64 teams, all sponsored by P5 Universities. Just imagine January Madness or Kirby trading top recruits for Patrick Mahommes while Todd Gurley and Nick Chubb come “home” to play for the Dawgs!

    Coming soon to an ESPN theater near you.

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  17. Illini84

    I spent a decade building online courses for the USG eCore Program. We used a collaborative course development process using 4 or 5 faculty ion a content area. The credits for these courses transfer to any of the USG institutions and the enrollment in the program places it i the top third of schools in terms of enrollment . The program has a very strong student support system that work closely with the student and faculty. Online courses are not for everyone but for those who commit themselves they provide and opportunity that they would not have otherwise .

    Liked by 1 person

  18. MGW

    Tell me again about the onerous cost of the scholarships the schools are so generously providing?

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    • Illini84

      Do you think there are not tuition and fees associated with online courses?

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      • MGW

        Do you have to turn away a traditional student to give an athlete a damn login and password for an online course?

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        • Ricky McDurden

          Yes, actually. Online courses are only supposed to be different in medium and format. Otherwise, papers and exams need to be graded and course content led. So, there are still caps on how many students can take the online classes.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      I figure the margin cost of 85 extra desks isn’t much. The school is still paying for books, tuition, living space and meals.

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      • MGW

        Aside from the books, all the rest of that is necessary to keep an athlete on campus even if he weren’t getting an education. So it is not some extra educational cost to the school any more than it’s an extra cost to add a slide to a weight room or to remove seats and add luxury boxes. Those are athletic costs. The point is no, it isn’t some burden for schools to educate athletes who bring millions into a university. Even less so when that kid never sets foot in a classroom and therefore doesn’t even bump another paying student from the classes he takes. So tuition isn’t a cost to the school. If there was a 15 seat classroom with an athlete in it, theoretically that’s one paying student lost. Not so with online classes, or frankly most lecture halls at large universities.

        It’s good that these athletes get an education and aren’t just there to play. But schools can cry me a damn river with that “it costs us $100k+ to educate him” shit. He’s there to play ball, and you have to educate him per the NCAA rules. Acting like it’s some grant gesture and some huge cost to educate these kids who do so much for the schools is absurd.

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        • Gaskilldawg

          Amen. When schools day that the scholarrship pays full tuition for the starting QB is nothing more than an accounting technique.

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  19. The Dawg abides

    If a player graduates, has eligibility left, and stays at the same school to exhaust that eligibility, do they have to enroll in a graduate program? Or can they just take random classes until their eligibility is up?

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    • David K

      I would think with the opportunity to double major you could continue to just take undergrad classes.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Yes. We had a scholarship basketball player who earned 2 degrees then 2 masters degrees while playing for UGA

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    • Ricky McDurden

      They have to pursue some sort of degree to keep competing but it doesn’t have to be grad level; a second undergrad degree is fine. Within that second degree, though, you still have to take degree applicable courses and since most electives would have already been eaten up with the first degree, taking random classes probably wouldn’t work.

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  20. Junkyardawg41

    If I triply believed that 4 year degrees had any sort of rank order, I would be more inclined to agree with you. The fact of the matter is, college education theses days is less than good for the price students pay. Keeping them around for 5-6 years is the key. I work with a girl who completed her entire business degree online. Do employers care? 95% don’t. Do you or do you not have a degree is the question most employers ask.

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  21. 123fakest

    “Don’t let college get in the way of your education.” – Mark Twain

    The most important thing I ever learned while getting a business degree was to learn how to socialize. I use those skills in a business setting to gain more clients every day. My boss couldn’t care less about my business degree.

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