“Around the O”‘s response to Sara Ganim’s CNN investigative piece on the pressures on universities to admit and pass revenue sport athletes manages to entirely ignore the distinction between revenue athletes, and those in non-revenue sports like women’s tennis. Joe Mosely’s piece – with some disturbingly evasive quotes from UO VP for Enrollment Roger Thompson, just back from his Alamo Bowl junket, is here. Presumably CNN will soon update their database with the numbers that UO and Thompson do not want to show.
1/7/14: CNN: UO delaying release of records on athlete’s SATs
As a local reporter, Sara Ganim broke the Sandusky/Paterno story. Her digging got her a job at CNN. (Take note, UO journalism students, athletics is the bright spot in the reporting job market, and there’s always a scandal to write about. Former ODE reporter Ryan Knutson turned his investigative pieces on the Matt Court arena deal into a WSJ job.)
Now Ganim has been digging into the issue of “special admits”. These are students who do not meet a university’s regular admissions requirements, but get in anyway. At football factories such as the one UO has become, these are often athletes who make millions for the coach and entertain the hell out of the boosters, but enter college as illiterates and leave as illiterates with concussion induced brain damage.
Ganim’s CNN story on this is here. The NCAA lays the blame on college presidents:
“Are there students coming to college underprepared? Sure. They are not just student-athletes,” said Kevin Lennon, vice president of academic and membership affairs at the NCAA.
But he said the NCAA sees it as the responsibility of universities to decide what level athlete should be admitted to their schools.
“Once the school admits them, the school should do everything it can to make sure the student succeeds,” he said. “(Universities) don’t want a national standard that says who they can recruit and admit. They want those decisions with the president, provost and athletic directors. That is the critical piece of all of this.”
True enough, when this issue game up in the UO Senate last year, President Gottfredson said he didn’t want the faculty involved in these decisions. OK, it’s on him and Lorraine Davis, who sits on the committee that rubber-stamps the athletic department’s requests.
So, how bad is this problem at UO? Ganim was able to use public records requests to get data from many schools, including OSU. But not UO:
But you can get an idea by following this link and watching the student videos from UO’s sham FHS 199 course that was being taught by athletic department employees, for academic credit, without faculty review. Here.