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:
- 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?
- 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)
- Harvard doesn't offer academic scholarships (http://www.gocrimson.com/information/recruiting/helpfulinfo). Generally speaking, they recruit athletes that can handle the work load