Student-athletes who can’t read well, but play in the money-making collegiate sports of football and basketball, are not a new phenomenon, and they certainly aren’t found only at UNC-Chapel Hill.
A CNN investigation found public universities across the country where many students in the basketball and football programs could read only up to an eighth-grade level. The data obtained through open records requests also showed a staggering achievement gap between college athletes and their peers at the same institution.
Those people all flunked out immediately, right?
Based on data from those requests and dozens of interviews, a CNN investigation revealed that most schools have between 7% and 18% of revenue sport athletes who are reading at an elementary school level. Some had even higher percentages of below-threshold athletes.
Uh, wait a minute.
“They’re graduating them. UGA is graduating No. 2 in the SEC, so they’re able to graduate athletes, but have they learned anything? Are they productive citizens now? That’s a thing I worry about. To get a degree is one thing, to be functional with that degree is totally different.”
There’s a moral question here but there’s also a more-pertinent one, which is that these universities are granting a credential which states, in each individual instance, that the person holding it is competent in their field.
And there is no degree-bearing field in which reading below high-school level will lead to acceptable performance.
So it’s really simple, folks.
If you run a company, and you are presented with a degree from an NCAA school, consider it worthless and tell the applicant that since his college hands out degrees to people who can’t read you cannot accept his or hers as evidence of qualification, because it isn’t. Feel free to evaluate the candidate on the merits, but make sure they know the degree itself is worth zero, and that means you should and will (and indeed, to meet non-discrimination statutes you must) equally consider non-degree-bearing applicants on identical criteria.
The only way this crap stops is when these colleges become an edifice where kids go in, blow $80,000 while go massively into debt and wind up with a piece of paper that industry tells them is worth exactly nothing.
Once that gets back to the douchebags running these so-called “schools” and is reflected in their endowments and alumni “giving” drives going into the tank, then the problem will be addressed.
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