College Athletes

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Jezebel
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College Athletes

Post by Jezebel » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:21 am

So once again I'm in a position of failing just about all of the football players in my class (about half a dozen). Several have already come by my office today to see if they are going to pass, because suddenly they need that C to stay on the team or transfer to a 4 year university.
It's frustrating. They're here to play football, they don't care about college, and their coach doesn't care about their college education, either. So why are they forced to take classes, in which they make asses of themselves because they really don't want to be there? My biggest attitude problems are football players.
Take Cam Newton, newest recipient of the Heisman Trophy. He went to my college before transferring to Auburn and cared so much about biology that he had to ask the instructor, during finals week, what his biology textbook looked like because he didn't know. Why are we pretending that we are giving these students an education? Make up some B.A degree in Football or something and be done with the pretense.

My rant of the evening. Now it's back to grading :(

To be fair, I don't have a problem with other athletes. Baseball players are respectful and usually get good grades. Hell, some of my best students were baseball players. Softball and volleyball players are the same way. The only issue is football and basketball, and it frustrates me.

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Nether
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Re: College Athletes

Post by Nether » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:09 am

Do they force you to pass them?
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Re: College Athletes

Post by owly » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:28 am

Good question, i could see that if they do and if they don't that would surprise me. All these guys flunking don't know there's guys like me who would die to go to school, bah........
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Re: College Athletes

Post by Jezebel » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:35 am

No - the school doesn't force me to pass them. Coach sometimes pressures profs, but I tell students the first day that coaches could grovel over broken glass, and I'm still not going to hand out grades like they were coupons.

But for the last three semesters, I've had football players whining and begging for a passing grade. Two days after the final is too late - there's no amount of extra credit that would help them by this point. It's getting old.

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Re: College Athletes

Post by owly » Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:25 am

They think they could breeze thro school, but when they learn when they can't they get all dramatic about it they should of took the class more seriously........

i really want to learn about the biology of viruses myself and really thinking about it, i mean going to school for it :o :shock:
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Re: College Athletes

Post by asoc » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:27 pm

Well, I don't think it is right for people to force kids into college just so they can have a shot at playing professional sports.

Unfortunately that is the culture of basketball and football in the US though.

Both the NBA and NFL have age requirements.

I can understand that with regards to the NFL the player needs to have developed physically enough to the point where they can take the abuse. But with the NBA this isn't a health risk as much as it is a performance issue.

In either situation, there are freaks of nature, where individuals develop earlier than others.

If a player is good enough, they should be able to play professionally.

They shouldn't be forced to go to College if they don't want to. The Schools themselves use their football programs and basketball programs to make themselves money.

But again, the NBA and NFL like the set up the way it is, and the colleges and NCAA like their revenue generators.

Honestly, I like way Soccer is headed in the US in terms of player development.

MLS teams each have their own youth development system/program. Each MLS team has a U16 and a U18 academy team that plays in the USSDA league (US Soccer Development Academy) http://www.ussoccer.com/Teams/Developme ... rview.aspx

Some of the MLS teams are making their programs residential academies.

The kids basically train like professionals and are given the same resources as the actual professional teams.
They also are required to go to school as well as held to behavioral standards. If they fuck up, they can get kicked out.

With recent NCAA rules changes, it is ok for these kids to play with professionals as well and not lose NCAA eligibility. Which is very important, because the top players will train with the 1st team on occasion and will play in reserve team games with professionals who did not make the game day roster that week.

If a kid is good enough, the MLS team can sign them to a professional contract. If they aren't ready, they can still go play in College and continue working on their skills.

And one thing MLS does that also benefits athletes, is that they offer the top collegiate underclassmen a special contract that gives them money to finish their schooling if they leave college early to play in MLS.

I would love it if the NBA specifically took a similar approach.

If a kid really wants to play professional sports, get them into a professional environment as as reasonably possible.

It will force some of these kids to grow up quickly and take their future education more seriously.

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Re: College Athletes

Post by Captain Ron » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:50 pm

Jez, I can tell you as a former (terrible)college football player, that most of those guys at Division I schools have been given just about anything they want. It is really just an attitude thing. They are driven enough to be near the top of their sport, can't you use some of that drive to get a decent grade in a biology class?

While I don't like you painting all football players like that, you obviously have some decent data to back you up. I am guessing to teach at the school he went to between attending Florida and Auburn. Almost any football player at a school like that is just looking for their shot at going to a big time school. At most you might get a good semester's work out of them. I am not saying it is right, but it is how things are. Both of my parents are teachers. I know how easy it is to get a C in a class. Keep failing them if they deserve to fail. If a coach is pressuring you to give them a better grade he is only concerned about football and not about the type of citizens these kids could be.

I went to a small school of about 2400 students, I played football, but I was there for my degree. I played(poorly) for four years. I wanted to play for a fifth year, but I looked at my financial situations and realized I could not afford an extra semester just to play football and take a few classes. I had to take on an extra heavy load and get out of there. I saw guys who were just there for football, I honestly knew someone who had a 0.0GPA. I thought that only happened in Animal House. It would have been funny except I saw him working at the Burger King down the road a year later.

I coach high school football and our banquet is tomorrow. in grades 10-12 the football team's average gpa is 3.2. It has been that way for a long, long time. My point is, if you teach them when they are younger to work hard in all aspects of life, you don't have as many issues like the one you are running into.

I love football, but what I love more is what you can do with football to teach kids about life. Unfortunately, not everyone has that in mind. Keep doing your best with them. You never know when you will make a breakthrough with one of them.
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Re: College Athletes

Post by Jezebel » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:12 pm

Captain Ron - I understand your concerns about overgeneralization, and you are right - I'm a professor at a stepping stone junior college for the football players. To make things worse, the coach couldn't care less about their academics. I'm on my 4th semester here, and I've passed >1< football player, out of 15 or so that were in my biology class. Cam Newton was not in my biology class, but he was in my colleague's class, and he truly did not know what his biology textbook looked like and had to ask the instructor during finals week. the one player I passed was really a sharp student - A student if he tried - but he didn't do his best in part because his football buddies (there were 6 in the class) razzed him every time he received a good grade. I feel that if we bring players like that to play football and not give a damn about anything else, we should stop the pretense of giving them an education and stop forcing professors to have to put up with their couldn't care less attitude.
Several of my students have told me stories about a friend of theirs that came to Blinn to play football, after being good students in HS, only to get the Blinn College football attitude, flunk out of school, and end up at their small town's gas station or fast food restaurant with few other opportunities. It's really sad.

Take that in comparison to the baseball coach here. We have an agreement that when his players slack - I call him, and he reads them the riot act. His best player slacked this semester, I reported it to his coach, and that player shaped up and never missed another class, and actually received pretty good grades. This kid was recruited heavily, and will probably make the minors. But his coach made sure that he was in class and getting passing grades anyway.

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Re: College Athletes

Post by Captain Ron » Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:27 pm

Jez, I understand your frustration. It frustrates me that things are the way they are and you have to deal with it. I have worked with enough coaches and educators to know that that behavior should not be the norm. Kids at JC's that are using it as a stepping stone to get to a bigger school are there because they did not have the grades to actually get to a State school. Football is a problem because of the rules to get to the NFL. Baseball, basketball etc are not nearly as strict, so usually you get kids that actually want to be there.

Until there is a change in culture you will keep getting the same types of kids from the football team. It is sad, there needs to be change.
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Re: College Athletes

Post by owly » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:08 am

So...... how many football players passed :?: lol i'm just wondering :geek:
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Re: College Athletes

Post by Wretch » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:22 am

Perhaps I'm biased by having just finished with finals for the term, but I am entirely unsympathetic to the plight of athletes who are academically complacent. If they have limited aptitude but make a golden effort, I can understand a degree of mercy. Laziness is just not something I can abide, and awarding good grades to the undeserving devalues the course, the degree, and the institution.

Regarding Cam Newton, I am entirely galled that the NCAA is ignoring the issues of stolen property, three seperate instances of academic cheating, and the solicitation of a six figure bribe for his 'services'. What the NCAA has done in the interest of improved television ratings for their championship football game diminishes the integrity of everyone involved, and is generally disgraceful. I just hope that Newton's receipt of the Heisman is only an award of temporary custody.
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Re: College Athletes

Post by Nether » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:35 am

**coughregiebushcough**
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Re: College Athletes

Post by Jezebel » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:44 am

Well, the football players ended up with 3 Fs (including a cheater), 3 Ds (including a player who should have had a B - smart, but chose to act dumb), and one C. Most were attitude problems.

Contrast that with my baseball players - two As, four Cs. All were polite, and when they were caught slacking off (on an exam day no less), came to class shamefaced and apologized for their bad behavior. Even told me after they were finished with the exam that there was no excuse for them being 15 minutes late to the exam.


if only more students held themselves accountable.

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Re: College Athletes

Post by Appolyon » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:16 pm

asoc, if soccer goes the way it has in england it'll just end up so you have to be rolling in cash or have an uncle who used to play or coach professional football for a particular club to have a hope in hell of getting into the training programme in the first place. There's plenty of that in all sports, but it's pretty gross in english soccer.

The championship and lower leagues have a generally better attitude towards youth development than the Premier League teams but that's largely through necessity.


Imo the american football system is great.
Everybody is pretty regularly reminded of their privileges, rights & responsibilities.
Kids are still encouraged to edumacate themselves so should they fail to earn bucks in the league they aren't a lost cause.
The community is entertained by and involved with their colleges, the education system in general receives funding for the other students.
""If a player is good enough, they should be able to play professionally."" What in NFL is stopping them?
It's not like only scholarship kids play on college football teams anyway now, is it.

At any rate, I think the more people that goto college and get taught that what they got taught in highschool was mostly bullshit, the better.

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