Category Archives: Academics? Academics.

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.


Filed under Academics? Academics.

Save us, Obi Wan SCOTUS. You’re our only hope.

Former head of the NCAA openly pleads for the US Supreme Court to grant the NCAA an antitrust exemption in order to “limit financial influence on student athletes, whom he believes should prioritize their education.”

Maybe he’s got a point.  It’s not like the schools are going to prioritize their education.

He goes on to say,

“There are a number of schools that pay $30 million to $40 million a year in amortization of the facilities that they have built,” he explained. “We have become so obsessed with the money aspect of overbuilding costs and inflated salaries, it has become very difficult to control.”

California’s new law will only complicate the situation further: It basically turns student athletes “into professionals,” Dempsey said. “We would certainly need a new description of amateurism.”

I’d like to say you can’t make that shit up, but the NCAA pumps it out by the barrel.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Political Wankery, The NCAA

Scenes from inside the sausage factory

One of my favorite side diversions in our regular debates on amateurism is the desire expressed by some of you that one day, the NCAA and its member schools will wake up and once again embrace the purity of the academic mission, returning college athletics to their intended pristine state.

To which I say:  Not. Gonna. Happen.

Newly released NCAA records show a Pac-12 president came up with a way to help the NCAA catch schools who fraudulently help student athletes stay eligible and avoid complaints of NCAA enforcement overreach.

But his proposal failed after an NCAA committee found little support from athletic conferences.

University of Oregon President Michael Schill made the proposal for a panel of university presidents who are not serving on NCAA committees to identify egregious academic fraud. He said having a panel of academics making that decision would address long-standing opposition member schools have had toward letting NCAA officials determining what constitutes academic fraud. NCAA rules currently leave that decision to the members.

But Schill’s proposal didn’t survive. It was dropped despite two special NCAA committees’ recommendations in the wake of the UNC-Chapel Hill academic-athletic scandal that the association step up policing of academic fraud in egregious cases.

Bad for business, peeps, bad for business.  But you keep dreaming…


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

“Tech can’t out-brag us on any of that.”

One of the best owns in this state this century is Georgia expanding its engineering offerings.

It wasn’t until 2012 that UGA decided to jump in with both feet and make engineering a truly interdisciplinary undergraduate program. Since then, the university has been pouring money into the College of Engineering.

It’s not that Georgia is going to overtake Georgia Tech as the state’s premier engineering school.  It’s that it’s turned out to be an effective way of undercutting the bullshit academic argument Tech pushes as to why it can’t draw the same quality of athletes that wind up in Athens.  Not to mention that, for those few out there wanting to pursue an engineering degree, they’ve now got a legitimate set of options.

Hey, don’t take my word for it.  Check out the reaction at StingTalk.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

A pay for play buffet

A few morsels rounded up for your reading pleasure:

  • A reminder about the value of that free education the NCAA touts:  “According to 2018 report from USC’s Race and Equity Center, just 55% of black athletes from the Power Five conferences, which include college sports’ most profitable programs, graduate in six years as compared to 69.3% of all student-athletes.”
  • This is a detailed breakdown of how we got to California’s Fair Pay to Play Act, as well as what we might expect to see if there’s a court challenge (assuming it passes, of course).
  • Scratch Mike Leach on the subject of paying players and he sounds a lot more like Dabo than Mike Leach.
  • For those of you who don’t get how antitrust law and cartels work, remember that you don’t have to buy tuna fish.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Mike Leach. Yar!, Political Wankery, See You In Court, The NCAA

Today, in “academic integrity is a core value”

It’s the SEC, peeps.  If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.

… Mississippi State is being placed on NCAA probation for academic misconduct by student-athletes in two sports: football and men’s basketball. This penalty results from rules violations self-reported by Mississppi State, where a part-time student tutor is alleged to have completed some on-line coursework for student-athletes in those sports.

MSU is getting slapped pretty good, but managed to avoid postseason bans in either sport, unlike what Mizzou is facing.  The difference?

While the cases have some similarities, the Missouri case involved a University staffer. This case at Mississippi State centered around a student tutor as part of a work study program.

Hairsplitting, for the win.


Filed under Academics? Academics., SEC Football, The NCAA

But they seemed so sincere.

It looks like academic reform is the bridge too far for schools and the NCAA to cross.

The NCAA this week quietly dropped a recommended reform that would have given the association more authority to handle the kind of academic misconduct that left dozens of athletes at UNC-Chapel Hill with subpar educations.

Two NCAA panels, including one led by former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, had called for the NCAA to reform a rule that lets member schools make the call on what constitutes academic fraud on their campuses. UNC cited that rule to escape NCAA sanctions by contending classes that never met and had provided high grades for term papers regardless of quality were legitimate.

That outcome in October 2017 drew sustained national scorn. Months later, the NCAA formed an academic integrity working group that recommended the NCAA create a bylaw that expanded its infractions committee’s reach for egregious academic misconduct cases.

But at a meeting this week, the NCAA’s board of directors for the Division I schools that include big-money conferences such as the ACC and SEC decided not to pursue the reform. That decision wasn’t included in an NCAA news release Wednesday that announced the board “seeks to shore up academic integrity rules.”

In related news, the NCAA announced it has a bridge in Brooklyn it seeks to sell.

Also, this.

Too bad this isn’t about the kids.


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA