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How can an athlete understand a playbook if he can't read?

Discussion in 'Sooner Football' started by Jacie, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Jacie

    Jacie SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    CNN analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders

    By Sara Ganim, CNN
    6:44 PM EST, Tue January 7, 2014


    (Long article, skimmed it for some highlights only here)

    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.

    . . . 183 UNC-Chapel Hill athletes who played football or basketball from 2004 to 2012 . . . 60% read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels. Between 8% and 10% read below a third-grade level.

    . . . athletes, were given grades for classes they didn't attend, and where they did nothing more than turn in a single paper.

    . . . fake classes were just a symptom of the bigger problem of enrolling good athletes who didn't have the reading skills to succeed at college.

    CNN only found one person in addition to Willingham who has ever collected data on the topic. University of Oklahoma professor Gerald Gurney found that about 10% of revenue-sport athletes there were reading below a fourth-grade level.

    Former and current academic advisers, tutors and professors say it's nearly impossible to jump from an elementary to a college reading level while juggling a hectic schedule as an NCAA athlete. They say the NCAA graduation rates are flawed because they don't reflect when a student is being helped too much by academic support.

    Gurney, who looked into the situation at the University of Oklahoma, put it bluntly: "College presidents have put in jeopardy the academic credibility of their universities just so we can have this entertainment industry. ... The NCAA continually wants to ignore this fact, but they are admitting students who cannot read.

    All of the university representatives we talked to deny that their tutors do too much work for student-athletes who come in at such low reading levels.

    "I lose sleep about a lot of things; I don't lose sleep about writing tutors. We are extremely strict," said Brian Davis, associate athletics director for football student services at the University of Texas
  2. PrideMom

    PrideMom New Member

    I would question the secondary level education records. If the student cannot do the required level when graduating high school, then they should not be able to qualify to get into college. It smacks of "doctoring" the grades to me.
  3. yermom

    yermom Stayatworkdad

    not sure i like seeing my alma mater mentioned here...
  4. HateTheWhorns

    HateTheWhorns Active Member

    Playbooks more closely resemble a childrens picture book than a high text book :cower:
  5. yermom

    yermom Stayatworkdad

    i got through high school without really needing to read or write very much at all. and i was taking hard classes.
  6. jkjsooner

    jkjsooner New Member

    I was going to post this as well.

    We are all living in a state of delusion when it comes to college sports. We want to believe we have true student athletes on the field and that delusion is shattered every time we hear some of them being interviewed.

    I love college sports but I do wonder if we're all just being huge hypocrites.

    The NCAA and school administrators are not going to solve this issue as they have a strong financial incentive to keep the status quo. I think the solution lies within the accreditation bodies. If they threatened to reject accreditation of universities that have such a huge gap in performance the schools would be forced to take notice.
  7. jkjsooner

    jkjsooner New Member

    It's not great being mentioned but this goes on everywhere. UNC is a great school yet they have a huge problem here.

    Sure, I'd bet UT and OSU students are going to pick this up and run with it but we were only mentioned because we have a professor who was willing to study it.
  8. picasso

    picasso SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Wow, what a ground breaking report.
  9. fadada1

    fadada1 SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Saw this while on faculty at a Texas state school... not only with athletes, but the general student population. Texas, at least at the time, had guaranteed admission to Texas state universities if you finished in the top half of your high school class. Stupid policy, IMO. Nevertheless, I had student-athletes that had miraculous jumps in quality of work once they figured I wasn't going to pass them because they were athletes (I was also coaching, so there was no bias, as we required our guys to make their grades and go to class). While I could never prove it, I knew I had work being turned in that wasn't their own.
  10. lexsooner

    lexsooner Well-Known Member

    Yes, it goes on everywhere. OSU had a student-athlete who could not read at all. And, of course, UT had Vince Young.
  11. Jacie

    Jacie SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Dexter Manley is mentioned in the article.
  12. Mac94

    Mac94 New Member

    I think it's top 10% ... not 50%.
  13. One4OU

    One4OU New Member

    Getting an education is becoming the responsibility if the student and and their families. If a college bound student cant read to an appropriate level it is up to them to get help. The colleges can provide the help but it is ultimately up to the student.

    Besides, why should the blame be directed at the college? Shouldnt it be directed at either the prior school system or the family involved?

    I know when my children have reading/school issues my wife and I are the ones that basically become the teacher and make sure they are doing the necessary work at home to improve.
    winout likes this.
  14. jkjsooner

    jkjsooner New Member

    Why can't blame be directed to all of the above?

    Nobody blames the university for a kid not learning to read. That's clearly the fault of the prior school and family. They blame the university for allowing a kid who reads on a third grade level into the university.
  15. KantoSooner

    KantoSooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Question: In the 1950's and 1960's, students learned, in addition to math, science and English, a broad range of social studies, art, music, phys ed. Hell, they made the little brutes of whom I was one SING for 30 minutes a day on the basis of some research that seemed to indicate that it stimulated our noggins.
    Since that time, we've shovelled money into education and added masses of oversight. And today our teachers say that there is no time to teach anything beyond math and science and maybe, if you're damn lucky, somebody can squeeze in an English course here or there. And we're utterly short of funds, apparently.
    How come we no longer have the time, when we had the time 50 years ago? How come more money is insufficient when less money was sufficient 50 years ago?
    Reading is THE key educational acheivement. If you aren't reading at grade level, frankly, all other instruction should immediately stop and you should concentrate on reading for the entire classroom day. It's stunning that this is not grasped.
  16. picasso

    picasso SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    Do some research on Common Core. It's aptly named.
  17. Sooners78

    Sooners78 New Member

    Do students still have to take tests in colleges courses to pass the course? You can have tutors writing papers for you, but for almost every college course that I took at OU in the early 90s, I couldn't pass the course without passing the tests. And, we have football players who can't play because of grades, so I'm assuming that is what's happening to them. Whether or not athletes are academically ready for college, the courses themselves should be disqualifying them from playing if they're not able to do the work.
  18. jkjsooner

    jkjsooner New Member

    I'd bet 50 years ago kids who couldn't read at grade level just dropped out of school.

    We're also talking mostly about kids from poor socioeconomic backgrounds here who live in areas where the schools are poor. (And in a lot of cases I don't think the schools are to blame as they have an impossible task.)

    I'd also imagine that 50 years ago there was more emphasis put on academics in these poor neighborhoods.

    As for stopping everything and reading, what if your kid is a high performer? Do you want to stop everything for six months to teach the lower kids to read?
  19. jkjsooner

    jkjsooner New Member

    I think if the truth were told, almost every school shuttles these kids to professors who will give them a break. Once they're past the basic courses, they get shuttled into programs that were design for student athletes.
  20. KantoSooner

    KantoSooner SoonerFans.com Elite Member

    I do not blame the teachers, or the schools, per se. But there is something very wrong. Kids were held back, repeatedly if necessary and, yes, some simply left when they were 16.

    And, yes, more emphasis was probably placed on academics by parents and communities in general. But there was plenty of anti-academic bias in society then, as well. In fact, with the relative plenty of blue collar jobs then, there was more justification for saying that one didn't need much of a formal education then.

    You don't have to stop the entire class for one person. But that one person had better be pointed at reading or the rest of the program is a giant waste of time.

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