Just a reminder - GT academics for athletes

bke1984

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While I understand this point of view, and agree it is noble to retain a high integrity program, I must completely disagree with the concept that a good athletic program diminishes the value of the degree. Stanford has had The List for its athletes, I doubt it has had *any* impact of the value of degrees issued there, and in fact think that 99.9% of people don't even know that Stanford has helped out their athletes that way. (The List is a posted list in the Stanford Athletics Association for its athlete's use of courses which are easy A's to pad their academic GPA.) I seriously doubt the UNC scandals currently in the news are recognized as issues by ANY corporate recruiters. The world is smart enough to realize that universities treat their athletes differently than the rest of their academic efforts. Heck, even Harvard offers athletes who would otherwise not be accepted into school. Does that diminish your view of a Harvard degree?

In the absence of a single proof of this concept, it is perhaps the single most mis-used argument on these boards. There are many excellent arguments for retaining high academic standards, but I don't think any school has EVER suffered from degree degradation just because their athletics program makes huge exceptions? Univ of Florida has not suffered in its reputation for being the best academic SEC school, yet its football team *average* SAT was in the low 800's (2 part SAT). That's incredibly low. And if you ever heard some of those players speak (Percy Harvin comes to mind) you would be embarrassed. But their rankings have not suffered, nor is anyone else suffering from this. Would you stop doing business with someone you already know just because they graduated from UF? Do you seriously think large businesses would stop recruiting there simply because UF treats their athletes differently?

Sorry, but such arguments need more than general opinions, imho. (This one obviously gets me riled up the most because I cannot fathom how anyone really believes it.)

Fair enough. I understand what you're saying, but a few things:
  1. Offering fluff degrees still has a negative impact. Employers should be able to recognize the difference. In that case, my degrees are not devalued...however, those of the athletes (and any other student that takes that path) are absolutely devalued. If more than 90% of the kids that play football at our school are not going to the NFL, shouldn't we be concerned with their life after football?
  2. I don't think Stanford is as good of an example as people have set forth in the last few years. Prior to Harbaugh they were not very good. They were really an average football team that would poke through every so often with a 9 or 10 win season, but other than that they were very similar to us through the 70's and 80's, only for a much longer period of time. (http://www.winsipedia.com/stanford)
  3. Harvard doesn't offer academic scholarships (http://www.gocrimson.com/information/recruiting/helpfulinfo). Generally speaking, they recruit athletes that can handle the work load
Generally speaking, I'm all for taking measures to help our kids graduate, but I want to make sure that they earn something that's going to benefit them after football. As I said in the original post, if the NCAA chooses to allow part-time or non-students to play, then so be it. When that happens, my opinions on this matter will change.
 

MWBATL

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The difference between UNC and a school like Florida is that UNC sacrificed their academic integrity to promote their sports program. I agree that UNC's reputation probably hasn't been hurt that much, but that's only because it hasn't been a national story. If you look at Penn State, though, their academic reputation suffered a great deal from the Sandusky scandal. If you're willing to sell out your academic integrity for athletics, people are going to start to wonder what else you would be willing to do. The danger isn't having a good athletics program, the danger is in making academic decisions based on what's best for your athletics program.

Ah. so you are saying it is a matter of degrees (no pun intended), that is how far a school goes in its pursuit of athletic success in exchange for academic exceptions? This I agree with. GT clearly accepts student-athletes who would not otherwise be accepted. (Last time it was published, I believe our football teams average SAT score was in the mid 1000 range on the two part SAT, which would never get you in otherwise.) So, as the old joke goes, now that we have established that we are willing to be a whore about it, the only question is the price...i.e., how far are we willing to go. Clearly, Penn State went way WAY too far. I don't think anyone amongst us wants to go that route, or even the route that UF has chosen (my personal view). But I sense (and here I clearly admit I am not close enough to the program to know) that we are being too restrictive.

I don't want us accepting just anyone because they are a good athlete. That's just my own pride talking, nothing else. BUT, I wonder if we shouldn't be making more exceptions, taking more good athletes. There ARE benefits to having an excellent athletics program. Beyond the obvious ($$$), studies have shown that schools who win national championships (and get the recognition and publicity associated with same) get more and better qualified applicants to the university the following year.

This whole area is a dangerous tightrope...too much to one side and you become Tulane......too far the other way and you get Penn State. The realities today however is that there are very VERY few Penn State excesses.....and plenty of Tulane examples. I just think we are dangerously close to sliding in Tulane's direction, and once that really starts, it is VERY hard to reverse.
 

MWBATL

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Fair enough. I understand what you're saying, but a few things:
  1. Harvard doesn't offer academic scholarships (http://www.gocrimson.com/information/recruiting/helpfulinfo). Generally speaking, they recruit athletes that can handle the work load
Generally speaking, I'm all for taking measures to help our kids graduate, but I want to make sure that they earn something that's going to benefit them after football. As I said in the original post, if the NCAA chooses to allow part-time or non-students to play, then so be it. When that happens, my opinions on this matter will change.

Just to clarify....I do student recruiting and interviewing for Harvard. There is NO doubt that while Harvard does not offer academic scholarships, the requirements for excellent athletes are definitely different than for other applicants. This I know for a fact. Enough said, as Harvard does not like to advertise this.

I do happen to agree that the compelling moral issue around all of this is the kids themselves, and that using them for their athletic prowess hill giving them few or no skill sets to survive after college is NOT something I want to support.
 

dressedcheeseside

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I don't want us accepting just anyone because they are a good athlete. That's just my own pride talking, nothing else.

That's the whole thing. I want a school I can be proud of. Selling out completely like the factories doesn't get it.

BUT, I wonder if we shouldn't be making more exceptions, taking more good athletes. There ARE benefits to having an excellent athletics program. Beyond the obvious ($$$), studies have shown that schools who win national championships (and get the recognition and publicity associated with same) get more and better qualified applicants to the university the following year.

Just as you've pointed out that factory treatment of athletes has no bearing on degree value, the same applies to applications. GT's applications have continued to rise over the last few decades. In fact, the quality our our general student body has increased to the point where GT has the highest differential between students and athletes around. It almost seems farcical to put the two words together anymore (student athlete).

That said, GT still has one of, if not the, highest athlete GPA's in college sports. What does that dichotomy that say about the state of college athletes in general?
 

flounder

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Ah. so you are saying it is a matter of degrees (no pun intended), that is how far a school goes in its pursuit of athletic success in exchange for academic exceptions?

Well, I would argue that it's not a matter of degree. I think letting in a marginal (or below marginal) student and then giving them a real education is fundamentally different than letting him in and then committing academic fraud to keep him eligible.
 

awbuzz

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Well, I would argue that it's not a matter of degree. I think letting in a marginal (or below marginal) student and then giving them a real education is fundamentally different than letting him in and then committing academic fraud to keep him eligible.

AMEN!
Some, when given the chance, take advantage of the opportunity. So it is worth accepting future students that are "marginal" AND have the willingness to try and actually go to class, etc. For those that don't, dump them.

Unfortunately the masses don't' care about the student athlete's ability to do anything off the field/court.
 

Rodney Kent

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I am not suggesting this, but I feel comfortable that the following process often takes place. Many times a student in High School likes certain subjects and does well on them. Other subjects, he does not like and fails them. The problem may not be his learning ability, but his interest. It seems very reasonable to me that some recruits may not have the necessary grades to enter Tech, may be marginal, and has the aptitude to do the work. Since there are tutors available to help the student-athletes learn the subjects, I assume these recruits are exceptions and given scholarships.

I believe these students often appreciate the scholarship and education. They may well become some of the most successful graduates in the business environment because they learned the value of working hard while getting their degree. It sometimes carries over into the business world. It is even possible that some of these student-athletes become wealthy and become some of the boosters who have helped support funding for Tech athletics and educational facilities. No, Tech should not falsify grades to keep a great football player elligible, but they should take the extra effort to help an athete learn his studies.

I have a grandson in college now. He was taking an Algebra/Trig course. He had a hard time with it, but worked his tail off trying to pass it. He wound up with a C in it, but two A's in his other subjects. He told the teacher he worked harder on trying to learn this subject than any other class he has ever attended. He turned in a lot of additional homework on the remainder of the problems that were not marked for homework. She eventually gave him a B for all of his effort, extra work, and trying so hard. He was elated that she changed the grade because he wanted to keep his grade-point average high. This also proved to him that his efforts paid off in the long run. The teacher and the student worked together to produce a win-win situation, a perceptive teacher and a more thanful student.
 

okidoki

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EVERYTHING is not paid for. Granting athletes small stipends along with the scholly's (just like Ph'd students often get) would go a long way to getting rid of the "booster problem"

I am not against player stipends, but that will not even temporarily stop the "booster problem".
 

vamosjackets

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EVERYTHING is not paid for. Granting athletes small stipends along with the scholly's (just like Ph'd students often get) would go a long way to getting rid of the "booster problem"
PH'd students don't get food paid for. Not sure if they get housing paid for ... probably not. Thus the stipend.

Athletes get everything they need paid for including the best personal training and medical care in the world. What don't they get paid for? We even got a bunch of extra toys from bowl games every year and many times we get spending money as well.

And, athletes CAN CERTAINLY get jobs. In fact, GT got us all jobs at Delta (Thanks Lucious Sanford). And, every athlete got to make their own schedule however they wanted and could work as many or as few hours as we wanted. It was awesome. We made above minimum wage and even got flight privileges. A football player probably can't work much if any during the season, but can work plenty if he wants to the other two-thirds of the year, especially the summer. And, I and plenty of my teammates did that.
 

ATL1

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Just to clarify....I do student recruiting and interviewing for Harvard. There is NO doubt that while Harvard does not offer academic scholarships, the requirements for excellent athletes are definitely different than for other applicants. This I know for a fact. Enough said, as Harvard does not like to advertise this.

I do happen to agree that the compelling moral issue around all of this is the kids themselves, and that using them for their athletic prowess hill giving them few or no skill sets to survive after college is NOT something I want to support.

From what I understand Harvard gets around the not offering athletic scholarships by basically paying for tuition on a needs based measurement. So while a football player may not get a scholarship they are not having to cover the cost of tuition either.
 

Animal02

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From what I understand Harvard gets around the not offering athletic scholarships by basically paying for tuition on a needs based measurement. So while a football player may not get a scholarship they are not having to cover the cost of tuition either.

Had I known the Ivy League work arounds (heard alumni give cushy jobs to athletes in need) I probably would have played there. (Was heavily recruited by most of the Ivy League) That was before they split off into D1aa. At that time Dartmouth was 8k a year, Harvard was 10k........meanwhile out of state tuition at Tech was 2100 yr. It was a no brainer to choose TEch based only on $$$$
 

Boomergump

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From what I understand Harvard gets around the not offering athletic scholarships by basically paying for tuition on a needs based measurement. So while a football player may not get a scholarship they are not having to cover the cost of tuition either.
Right, pretty much all of the IVY's have enough endowment that EVERY student has their financial needs met regardless of sports or not. So it is basically the same for IVY athletes, in terms of coast to them, vs scholarship athletes at big schools.
 

ATL1

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Stanford's endowment is 18.7 Billion
There athletic department has an endowment alone of $450 million and $500 million that pays out at 5.5% each year
That's as mush as UGA's as a school.
Very good article on how Stanford finances their athletic department that GT could easily mirror.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304672404579181803355000052

Interesting nuggets in this article like;
"The normal revenues Stanford receives from football are so low, in fact, that its 36 varsity sports teams depend on something no other school has, or would dare rely so heavily on: an athletics-only endowment worth between $450 million and $500 million that pays out at 5.5% each year, people familiar with the matter said."
 

OldJacketFan

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"The normal revenues Stanford receives from football are so low, in fact, that its 36 varsity sports teams depend on something no other school has, or would dare rely so heavily on: an athletics-only endowment worth between $450 million and $500 million that pays out at 5.5% each year, people familiar with the matter said."

And where is that $450-$500 million going to come from the fund the athletic programs at Tech?
 

awbuzz

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Stanford's endowment is 18.7 Billion
There athletic department has an endowment alone of $450 million and $500 million that pays out at 5.5% each year
That's as mush as UGA's as a school.
Very good article on how Stanford finances their athletic department that GT could easily mirror.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304672404579181803355000052

Interesting nuggets in this article like;
"The normal revenues Stanford receives from football are so low, in fact, that its 36 varsity sports teams depend on something no other school has, or would dare rely so heavily on: an athletics-only endowment worth between $450 million and $500 million that pays out at 5.5% each year, people familiar with the matter said."
Wow!
 

ATL1

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Not saying Tech could equal Stanford in the size of their endowment but it would be a great way to augment the athletic budget that is already appropriated.
 

dressedcheeseside

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Not saying Tech could equal Stanford in the size of their endowment but it would be a great way to augment the athletic budget that is already appropriated.
There's no way we match Stanford dollar for dollar and that explains how they are able to recruit nationally and we can just pretend to. ND is probably on the same order.
 

OldJacketFan

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"The way Stanford keeps up in the college-football arms race is to lean on private donations."

If Tech can raise the funds solely for the funding of the athletic programs then by all they should. But when you look at the number of donors available to Tech it's a long row to hoe to approach the endowment needed to fund. As of 2012 Tech's total endowment is $1.6BB versus $17.06BB for Stanford so using the same ratio for the athletic program would yield $45-50MM for Tech.
 
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