By Professor Doom
So I’m still looking at the fraud at UNC, and considering the case of Rashad McCants, a former star player there who says he took bogus courses there.
Well, of course he did.
In the fall of 2004, Rashad McCants failed half his classes at the University of North Carolina – F's in algebra and psychology. Yes, algebra … in college. Whatever, maybe it was tough.
The above quote, from a mainstream site, is, as always for mainstream media, clueless. The reporter is joking about McCants taking algebra in college, as though taking algebra in college was unusual. I’ve already shown that 90% of the coursework at college is at the high school level or lower…anyone who bothered to look would know that. So, yeah, I’m not surprised McCants was taking 10th grade algebra at university, that would make him an above average student nowadays.
Now, ordinarily, a student failing this badly would go on probation, or just be chucked from the institution. That’s not what happens to a sportsball player, of course. Instead, they’re pushed into bogus courses. The semester after failing his
high school college
work, McCants made the Dean’s list, scoring 4 A’s.
This guy with no reputation for scholastic ability (to put it lightly) goes from F student to A student in one semester, and nobody asks “what’s up with that?” This is not unusual, as I’ve been at state institutions that went from 50% to 85% passing rates from one semester to the next without anybody even a little curious.
The bottom line is, McCants isn’t that special; most everyone in the industry has known sportsball players get bogus educations. But many “normal” students get bogus educations, too…and everyone in the industry knows that, too.
Of course, UNC doubles down on denying the obvious, and other players (with their sportsball careers in jeopardy if they don’t toe the line) also deny it. Much as
I said all it takes is one athlete to come forward to show that there’s fraud at UNC, McCants has issued his own challenge to players that say UNC is legit:
I bet that even if a second and third player shows transcripts (and, UNC is in a fine position to doctor such transcripts), and bogus courses are on them, UNC will just triple and quadruple down with denials.
But the question still remains: are these student (sic) athletes being victimized worse than the usual students? Both get bogus educations, for the most part. At least athletes know they’re in bogus courses, or at least courses more bogus than the usual courses. Students get piles of debt for worthless degrees, while the athletes move on to the big time.
Seems like the athletes get a better deal. They get to go pro, right? Not really:
“…forget about going pro – the NCAA’s own data suggests that while college athletes go pro at greater rates than athletes straight out of high school, the numbers are still exceptionally small…”
Student (sic) athletes are not even given 4 year scholarships. Instead, they’re given scholarships on a year to year basis. If an athlete gets injured and can’t play—a VERY REAL RISK—there goes even his bogus education. Athletes need to be at peak physical condition to be useful; even if injury doesn’t make an athlete useless, simply getting older can do it. It’s pure evil giving athletes year-to-year scholarships, knowing the chance of the athlete being tossed away before he gets his degree is very real (particularly when it takes 6 years for most students to get a degree, and athletes are only eligible for at most 5 years!).
The reality is a student athlete is a sacrificing his body for a slim chance of getting something out of being in college, while a typical student is sacrificing his financial future for a slim chance of getting something out of college. Is your body worth a few hundred thousand to you? In that regard, student athletes get it worse.
But wait, there’s more. The university gets some money from a typical student, but student (sic) athletes provide revenue to the university through their play. They provide more revenue through licensing and a host of other ways, ways that the student athlete gets, literally, nothing for.
Hmm, sacrifice your body so that clueless administrators and coaches can rake in millions. Yeah, that seems a little unfair.
Despite their generally weak academics, student athletes aren’t stupid (honest, academics and intelligence aren’t the same thing), and have tried many times in the past to stop their being abused—this puts them well ahead of typical students, that seem willing to take endless abuse without serious complaint.
The NCAA, eager to protect the great sums of money flowing to it off the backs of athletes, has squelched every attempt to get student (sic) athletes treated like human beings, instead of chattel.
The courts recently got involved, and, shock of shocks, actually made a good decision. The student (sic) athletes made their case that they were employees of educational institutions, and thus were entitled to certain rights, not least of which is the ability to unionize. The union’s goals are worthy enough, and go a long way in explaining just how bad it is for student (sic) athletes:
2. Raise the scholarship amount.
3. Prevent players from being stuck paying sports-related medical expenses.
4. Increase graduation rates.
5. Protect educational opportunities for student-athletes in good standing.
6. Prohibit universities from using a permanent injury suffered during athletics as a reason to reduce/eliminate a scholarship.
7. Establish and enforce uniform safety guidelines in all sports to help prevent serious injuries and avoidable deaths.
8. Eliminate restrictions on legitimate employment and players ability to directly benefit from commercial opportunities.
9. Prohibit the punishment of college athletes that have not committed a violation.
10. Guarantee that college athletes are granted an athletic release from their university if they wish to transfer schools.
11. Allow college athletes of all sports the ability to transfer schools one time without punishment.
I love goals #9 and #11 particularly, as there have been quite a few whimsical punishments meted out, every bit as capricious as the punishments I’ve seen inflicted on faculty, and even experienced myself from time to time. It really is so bad that “please stop punishing us for no damn reason” is a valid request.
The NCAA’s response is so shamelessly hypocritical that I’m solidly in “I can’t make this stuff up” territory:
"This union-backed attempt to turn student-athletes into employees undermines the purpose of college: an education.”
If the NCAA honestly believed that quote, they’d shut down immediately, since sportsball has absolutely nothing to do with higher education. This is some epic hypocrisy here.
The question remains: faculty at institutions of higher education are treated pretty abusively, too, and attempts to seriously unionize have been consistently undermined by administration.
But hey, if student (sic) athletes can successfully ask to be treated with some level of decency, maybe someday faculty will as well?
A guy can hope.