Revenge of the NerdsOctober 9, 2012
by: Starting QB, CJ Oates
The term student-athlete is a term that is often downplayed due to the fact that the “student” part is not always pushed to be number one. A recent example of this is when Ohio State’s freshman backup quarterback tweeted why should he attend class. Mind you, this tweet had all type of spelling errors. This is why I get frustrated when some say that elite football and academia success cannot flourish but you have players like Myron Rolle being awarded the Rhodes Scholarship. At schools like Stanford and Notre Dame, this is hardly the case. This is a great testament amidst all of the academic scandals that are going on across the college football scene.
Outside of the Ivy League, Stanford and Notre Dame are some of the best when it comes to off the field performance. This performance is based off the graduation success rate which technically is most important. These athletes come to these schools to get a free education and not a gateway to the NFL, which may be contrary to popular belief. For those who do not really get the graduation success rate formula it is, begins with the federal cohort, and adds transfer students, mid-year enrollees, and non-scholarship students to the sample. Student-athletes who leave an institution while in good academic standing before exhausting athletics eligibility are removed from the cohort of their initial institution. This rate provides a more complete and accurate look at actual student-athlete success by taking into account the full variety of participants in Division I athletics and tracking their academic outcomes. Notre Dame’s GSR for the 2010-11 reporting year was 97% and Stanford was at 87%. Both scores are in the top 3 for teams currently in the top 25 (Rutgers is the other).
Notre Dame has never been out of the top 10 in Division I-A football graduation rates and is usually in the top 5. Recently Stanford has been ranked in the top 5 on the field of play and off the field as well. I applaud these schools for not changing what they stand for and not compromising their standards. Stanford’s staff doesn’t watch film of prospects until after it evaluates a recruit’s academic transcript. Many schools these days offer scholarships to kids whose transcripts they’ve never seen and some of those kids never enroll in that school.
With that being said, I am wondering when will the rest of the NCAA be held to a higher standard as a whole? The NCAA claims to care about education, but without a hard-numbers incentive, it’s all talk. Today big-deal college football is borderline corrupt because the incentives are all wrong. Coaches are rewarded with money for wins, but never penalized if players fail academically. For instance, Miami’s coach was fired because they were not winning but his players were graduating at 100%. There’s something seriously wrong with this picture and invokes the question what exactly do we value?