Category Archives: Academics? Academics.

Not as smart as they used to be

Seth Emerson gives a straightforward rendition of why Mark Richt has lost control of Georgia’s APR:

Georgia’s APR score this year is 960, which ranks ninth among the SEC’s 14 football programs. But the program is still well clear of any potential penalties, which begin only when a team’s score is 930 and below.

The APR formula measures a team’s ability to retain student-athletes and their progress towards graduation. A team’s score is hurt when a player leaves early, particularly during a semester, so last year’s departures (such as Josh Harvey-Clemons, Tray Matthews and Shaq Wiggins) did not help.

I blame Pruitt, of course.

By the way, nameless AJ-C editor, what’s with the header?  “Early departures hurt Georgia’s APR rate”?  What kind of click bait is that?

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football

“Just the genuine feel I got from them.”

Can’t wait to find out what graduate studies Blake Countess intends to pursue at Auburn.

I have to admit I hope this gives Jim Delany heartburn, though.

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Today, in things the NCAA does that make you go hmmm…

If, as the organization claims, the NCAA’s enforcement model “creates no legal duty to prevent NCAA members from violating NCAA rules”, then what’s this all about?  I mean, why even bother with it?

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Jim Delany’s tactical retreat

It’s stunning to think that no one outside the Big Ten has joined Jim Delany’s Merrie Crusade to bring back freshman ineligibility.  I mean, he wrote a 12-page paper on it!  Here’s a guy whose entire career has been devoted to sweet reason and the world just gives him the back of its hand.  If only it was Karl Benson alone he had to convince.

But, alas, such is not the case.  Selling dumb ideas is hard work.  So what do you do when it’s not working?  That’s pretty obvious:  you change the label.

Three months after the league created waves with its reintroduction of debate over a practice eliminated more than 40 years ago, commissioner Jim Delany is backing away from serious talk about his “A Year of Readiness” document.

“That is not a proposal,” Delany said Wednesday. “It may never be a proposal. But is a great pivot point to have this discussion.”

What discussion?  Nobody’s talking to you about freshman ineligibility, Big Jim.

“The most important thing is there be a discussion about how prepared the student is,” Delany said, “how the school accommodates that preparedness and how it all works.

“There’s no simple answer. There’s no one answer. This is not an answer standing by itself. And it’s not ready. It’s not mature enough to be a proposal. If it were, it would be a proposal. Instead, it’s an effort to encourage a discussion about the importance of education. And it’s happening, so for that, we’re happy.”

Well, I’m glad you’re happy, because it sounds like not even everyone in the Big Ten was on board with your proposal pivot point.

“It’s really a discussion piece,” Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said. “I think it’s a good thing. I’m personally not sure I’m a fan of [freshmen ineligibility] ultimately, but I’m a fan of having the conversation. I’m a fan of talking about ways to make sure academics is front and center.

“I think it begs a broader conversation about other ways we could make a student who plays sports have a more college-like experience.”

Meaning the student-athlete isn’t exactly having one now, Fred?  Sounds like another pivot point coming in 3… 2… 1…

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NCAA: pay no attention to the organization behind the curtain if schools misbehave.

The NCAA’s defense in the the UNC academic fraud litigation is flat-out embarrassing.

The NCAA reiterated there’s no “viable legal claim” against the association when schools break NCAA rules. The NCAA wrote that it “did not voluntarily assume a legal duty to ensure the academic integrity of courses offered by its member institutions,” and that its enforcement model “creates no legal duty to prevent NCAA members from violating NCAA rules.”

Which totally explains why Mark Emmert went medieval on Penn State’s ass.

Look, I get that lawyers gotta lawyer and all.  That’s not the NCAA’s problem.  The NCAA’s problem is that it’s fighting so many wars on so many fronts that it’s contradicting itself from court to court.  And that’s not the lawyers’ fault.  It’s the result you get when the client is stubborn to the point of idiocy.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., See You In Court, The NCAA

Doin’ it for the children.

As much as the grand poobahs who run college athletics try to insist the impetus to restrict the graduate transfer rules comes out of a sincere concern for academics, we all know what it’s really about.  Take it away, (who else?) Bob Bowlsby:

Still, that seeming disincentive has not managed to curb the ever-growing list of transfers in men’s basketball in particular. According to 2013 research by Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn, 34.3 percent of top 100 recruits who entered college from 2007-11 wound up transferring at some point in their careers.

“I think it’s a very poor comment on the relationship between the sport of basketball and higher education,” said the Big 12’s Bowlsby.

Told that those numbers mirror the number of transfers among all college students — reported to be around 33 percent — Bowlsby replied, “Those other students aren’t on full scholarship.”

It’s the naked moments of honesty I cherish.

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“The transfer process needs a lot of work.”

“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.”

When it comes to the debate about changing the NCAA’s graduate transfer rule, Humpty … er, Larry Scott wants us to know it’s all about the children:

“There’s so much focus on professionalism and question about whether student-athletes are being exploited; in some cases it feels like it really is only about the athletics (with regard to transfers),” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “That’s concerning to some of our (administrators).

“If you come at it from the point of view of, ‘Why should you care?’ and your view is student-athletes don’t care about academics, you won’t be persuaded by this, but there’s a lot of data that shows transfer student-athletes don’t do as well. It doesn’t relate to positive outcomes from an academic standpoint. If you don’t care, I won’t persuade you that it matters but people who make decisions on our campus care.”

Only in the world of collegiate athletics can someone claim with a straight face that a kid who graduates is being exploited by graduating.

And then there’s Bob Bowlsby, who doesn’t have this whole “mastering” thing under his belt quite yet.

“It sort of smacks of ‘hired gun,’” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “You wonder about kids leaving their teammates and going to a better offer. For me, I look at it from a player standpoint, and I think of the kid at Eastern Washington (quarterback Vernon Adams) who transferred to Oregon. What message does that send to his teammates that have been sweating and bleeding with him for three years? He gets a better offer and jumps ship. I’m not sure that’s a great message to send to a group of teammates.”

What message does it send when a coach leaves players who have been sweating and bleeding for him for three years?

“That’s true,” Bowlsby acknowledged. “There’s not any doubt about that. I don’t have a lot of experience (with the graduate transfer rule), so I’m going to have to listen.”

Oops.  Good plan, Bob.

It’s hilarious to hear the people who have the least amount invested in the academics side and the most on the athletics side – conference commissioners and coaches – struggle to spin the graduate transfer rule as problematic for student-athletes academically.

Like this, from the concerned Mr. Scott, who tries to explain why it’s now suddenly important to be concerned about whether kids who graduate from college and transfer are progressing towards that postgraduate degree:

… What about players who graduate and stay at their school with immediate eligibility left? Are we to believe they all seriously pursue a graduate degree instead of simply taking enough classes to play until their eligibility expires? Should those players sit if they stay at their school but are not truly progressing toward a graduate degree? Why is it academically OK for those graduates to continue playing but not transfers?

“Um, I don’t have a good answer for you, because I don’t know that we’re tracking that,” the Pac-12’s Scott said.

Yes, this is such a big deal that the schools haven’t even made the effort to figure out how big a deal it is.  That sounds like a real crisis.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, The NCAA