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1.) Swamp Fox - 10/24/2014
Eliminate College Sports?

All this below comes out of the negative reports about UNC-Chapel Hill's handling of student-athletes. Maybe people are interested in it, maybe not. But there isn't anything else going on here today. :tap:

I think the worst allegations (one of twelve UNC football and basketball players reading at or below third-grade level, etc.) are nonsense, and it must be said that the so-called whistle-blower may not be wholly credible. However, it is an interesting story to follow about a very good school in what used to be an athletic conference heavily populated with good-to-excellent schools.

BTW, my only connections to UNC are that I have dated my share of alumnae---a few of whom I wouldn't run screaming from as if my hair were on fire if we ever met again--and I have watched a bunch of basketball, and found my way to a few football games. I applied to UNC as one of my top two choices, was accepted, but somehow wound up going to a better school where the girls weren't nearly as good-looking, a fact that was not made clear to me until it was too late.

I hated UNC when they played four corners. Though they were rivals when I was in college, I always liked the school and never was obnoxious like Dookies would have been (and are). I will root for Tar Heel teams most of the time these days unless they are playing two or possibly three other schools which I have closer ties to, or at least reasons for fandom different from misty watercolor memories of the way I was.

A sampler of the coverage/commentary:

[I]News first broke in 2010 that some “student-athletes” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the flagship institution of the UNC system, were being shuffled into classes where academic requirements were, to put it gently, minimal. A new 131-page report just issued by attorney and former Department of Justice official Kenneth Wainstein displays the true extent of the fraud. Wainstein claims that at least 3,100 students from 1993 to 2011 were funneled into “paper classes,” independent-study-style courses that required nothing except a term paper — which was frequently plagiarized, or written by a tutor. “Students [in these courses] never had a single interaction with a faculty member,” writes Wainstein.


At the Washington Post, Terence McCoy notes that the fraud at UNC is not unique — though in the words of Gerald Gurney, president of the Drake Group, which “defend[s] academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports,” UNC’s cover-up may well constitute “the largest and most nefarious scandal in the history of NCAA enforcement.” But athletes have benefited from administrative sleight-of-hand at Florida State, the University of Michigan, Kansas State, and even Stanford, where student-athletes have a tendency to enroll in “Social Dances of North America III.”


No doubt similar preferential treatment is occurring at universities across the country — because, as Mary Willingham’s research suggests, it is necessary. According to Willingham, one in twelve students playing football or basketball at UNC — so-called “revenue” sports — were reading below a third-grade level. That those students were admitted to middle school, let alone an institution of higher learning, is alarming. That not just Crowder but a whole nexus of coaches, counselors, and faculty thought it acceptable to give those students diplomas is appalling.


But it points to the moral and intellectual rot that has taken hold of the typical university, due in large part to the culture of much college athletics. College football and basketball (to name only two) are de facto semi-professional leagues — and revelations that college players regularly receive “improper benefits” from agents and others suggest that they are treated as such. There is no deference to the “student” portion of “student-athlete,” because, for the most part, they are rarely students. Division I soccer players spend the vast majority of their time on the field. Does anyone believe that the star running back for a Rose Bowl–contender SEC school is spending much time in the lecture hall?

Allow me to submit a provocative solution: End college sports — in the interest of both sports and college...


[COLOR="#FF0000"](^^^^^------The comments section has some interesting tidbits if you're interested in stories from particular schools...Good browsing if you're not out hunting LOL)

Some background:


[I]Three years ago, N.C. State fans put a hurt on UNC-Chapel Hill by discovering that a football player’s term paper largely consisted of passages cut and pasted from several sources. It was the first hint of a long-standing academic scandal involving lecture-style classes that never met.
This past weekend, it was the UNC fans’ turn to tap their computer keyboards and scrutinize a college paper. But this one was written by Mary Willingham, the former UNC learning specialist who later blew the whistle on the misconduct.
They parsed the master’s thesis she wrote in 2009, and posted on the Inside Carolina Internet message board what appear to be several examples in which her wording either mirrors or closely resembles other sources. In some cases, she cites sources but doesn’t put their information in quotes. In others, she did not cite the source.
The paper – “Academics & Athletics – A Clash of Cultures: Division I Football Programs” – helped earn her a master’s degree from UNC Greensboro. Her thesis is highly critical of the NCAA and its member colleges that are bringing in millions of dollars from TV contracts and other sources, and it contends that the stated goal of educating athletes has been pushed aside in the grab for dollars.

Read more here: [url]http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/04/4050924/unc-critic-accused-of-plagiarism.html#storylink=cpy[/url][/I]

[COLOR="#FF0000"]A different argument:

[I]The kill-sports argument is never going to be taken seriously. Nor should it be. Because in fact college athletics are worthwhile, and worth saving. I have spent years teaching student-athletes on both marquee and regular teams—football and basketball, but also tennis, volleyball, and fencing—and, with the exception of one famous football player who had self-professed “senioritis” and a near-constant concussion, these students have been some of my best. And I’m not alone—just about every professor I know has had more positive experiences with student-athletes than issues. I also understand that athletic scholarships—bankrolled, I am aware, by marquee programs—mean for many kids the difference between a college education and a lifetime of poverty.


...No big-time athletic department is ready to embrace and confront its academic shortcomings, and nobody is more aware than I that too many academics turn their noses up at anything less than that vaunted tenure-track professorship.

But if you don’t want to teach football players about Sisyphus all day, that’s your problem—I’d be delighted to do it, and I bet a lot of other Ph.D.s would be, too. Using a rather negligible amount of a powerhouse school’s sports budget to fund a remedial-academics department would help the students, help the programs, and offer a rewarding career option to those either fed up with or shut out of the traditional academy. It’s a win-win. So maybe it’s time for academics to stop clawing at the crumbling ivory tower while lamenting the gleaming football stadium next door—and just go enter the damn stadium.


2.) BULLZ-i - 10/24/2014
[B]Please Take CE's Sunshine Away?[/B]

3.) Swamp Fox - 10/24/2014
I noticed he didn't have a lot to say last weekend when the Cornhuskers beat up on yet another weak sister...This upcoming game against the University of New Jersey should be a tough one, too. :re::wink:p