Shame on Higher Education: Semi-Literate College Athletes


One of the biggest scams ever foisted on the American public is the concept of the student-athlete. There may have been a time when most college athletes were legitimate students, but that time has long since passed. The money that can be made by colleges and universities with winning football and basketball programs has changed the whole nature of college athletics, and not for the better. While there are still college football and basketball players who are excellent students, over time this group has become a distinct minority in college sports.

Some have attempted to refute my contention that a high percentage of college athletes no longer qualify as legitimate students by trotting out the GPAs of selected athletes, but this tactic is nothing more than a clever ruse designed to dupe people who don’t know how the system works. The GPAs of college athletes for the most part are indicative of nothing. Why? Two reasons: 1) So many college athletes are majoring in do-nothing degrees that were created to compensate for the lack of academic skills among their athletes that GPAs in these degrees are meaningless; 2) Much of the work turned in by college athletes is done by so-called tutors who are on the payroll of the college in question, tutors whose jobs depend on athletes passing all of their courses; and 3) Many colleges and universities have a small minority of sports-friendly professors who are willing to give grades to athletes who did not earn them in phantom courses developed specifically to accommodate athletes.

The pressure to be supportive of athletes applied to those people who work on the periphery of college football and basketball programs is intense. Consequently, even the most dedicated tutors often find it is easier to just do the work for their athletes than try to convince them they should study, do their homework, attend classes, and take notes. A high percentage of college athletes are in college only because they are gifted athletes. Frankly, if they had no athletic skills few of them would even be admitted to the colleges or universities where they are now treated like royalty. In short, the student-athlete concept has become a charade in many big-time college programs, and even in many of the smaller programs.
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