Photo

CNN : Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 BSLMikeLowe

BSLMikeLowe

    CFB Analyst

  • Moderators
  • 13,421 posts
  • LocationPortland, Oregon

Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:00 PM

CNN analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders


No shocking revelations, really.

 

Willingham's job was to help athletes who weren't quite ready academically for the work required at UNC at Chapel Hill, one of the country's top public universities.

 

But she was shocked that one couldn't read. And then she found he was not an anomaly.

 

Soon, she'd meet a student-athlete who couldn't read multisyllabic words. She had to teach him to sound out Wis-con-sin, as kids do in elementary school.

 

And then another came with this request: "If I could teach him to read well enough so he could read about himself in the news, because that was something really important to him," Willingham said.


 

In fact, CNN only found one person in addition to Willingham who has ever collected data on the topic. University of Oklahoma professor Gerald Gurney found that about 10% of revenue-sport athletes there were reading below a fourth-grade level.

 

So, after consulting with several academic experts, CNN filed public records requests and concluded that what Willingham found at UNC and Gurney found at Oklahoma is also happening elsewhere.

 



#2 Ricker Says

Ricker Says

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 46,225 posts
  • LocationGermantown, MD

Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:47 PM

You shouldn't be getting a degree if you can't qualify academically... but for the major sports, most of these players are minor league athletes for all intents and purposes. Stop pretending they're not, let them play, let them live on campus... if they want to earn their degree, let them... otherwise, stop wasting professors time, and stop insulting the other students who are earning their way to their degrees.


@0TheRick0 (AKA The Rick)
"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#3 BSLMikeLowe

BSLMikeLowe

    CFB Analyst

  • Moderators
  • 13,421 posts
  • LocationPortland, Oregon

Posted 07 January 2014 - 08:55 PM

You shouldn't be getting a degree if you can't qualify academically... but for the major sports, most of these players are minor league athletes for all intents and purposes. Stop pretending they're not, let them play, let them live on campus... if they want to earn their degree, let them... otherwise, stop wasting professors time, and stop insulting the other students who are earning their way to their degrees.

 

While I agree, I think the fact that these 17-18 year old kids with elementary school reading levels are even graduating high school is a huge part of the problem.



#4 Ricker Says

Ricker Says

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 46,225 posts
  • LocationGermantown, MD

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:05 PM

While I agree, I think the fact that these 17-18 year old kids with elementary school reading levels are even graduating high school is a huge part of the problem.

No doubt. But that's a whole different conversation, and also one with a wholly different solution/foundational impact. I really don't have the answer for that either.


@0TheRick0 (AKA The Rick)
"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#5 Russ

Russ

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 8,992 posts
  • LocationNaughtyham

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:19 PM

Having been a math tutor at a local community college for a couple years, I know that this isn't just limited to athletes. There are a bunch of kids out there with high school diplomas that can't read.

#6 BSLMikeLowe

BSLMikeLowe

    CFB Analyst

  • Moderators
  • 13,421 posts
  • LocationPortland, Oregon

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:29 PM

Having been a math tutor at a local community college for a couple years, I know that this isn't just limited to athletes. There are a bunch of kids out there with high school diplomas that can't read.

 

Definitely. And I'm sure there are cases where standout athletes get a free pass at the high school (and even middle school) level just because of their talents. But I think it happens with a far greater number of non-athletes, for reasons that have nothing to do with sports. But since that's not quite germane to this particular discussion of college athletes, I'll leave it at that.



#7 Ricker Says

Ricker Says

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 46,225 posts
  • LocationGermantown, MD

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:32 PM

Definitely. And I'm sure there are cases where standout athletes get a free pass at the high school (and even middle school) level just because of their talents. But I think it happens with a far greater number of non-athletes, for reasons that have nothing to do with sports. But since that's not quite germane to this particular discussion of college athletes, I'll leave it at that.

 

Yep... that is just a whole different can of worms... but makes for good conversation. It's a topic I'm extremely interested in and want to learn more about.


@0TheRick0 (AKA The Rick)
"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#8 BSLMikeLowe

BSLMikeLowe

    CFB Analyst

  • Moderators
  • 13,421 posts
  • LocationPortland, Oregon

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:36 PM

Yep... that is just a whole different can of worms... but makes for good conversation. It's a topic I'm extremely interested in and want to learn more about.

 

Just re-watch Season 4 of The Wire, and you'll come away knowing quite a bit.


  • BSLMikeRandall likes this

#9 Ricker Says

Ricker Says

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 46,225 posts
  • LocationGermantown, MD

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:37 PM

Just re-watch Season 4 of The Wire, and you'll come away knowing quite a bit.

 

Honestly, I was pretty young when I watched that, and yeah, It was extremely eye opening. 


@0TheRick0 (AKA The Rick)
"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#10 BSLMikeLowe

BSLMikeLowe

    CFB Analyst

  • Moderators
  • 13,421 posts
  • LocationPortland, Oregon

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:41 PM

Honestly, I was pretty young when I watched that, and yeah, It was extremely eye opening. 

 

Just to get back on topic, I think you raise a good point about why more people should be upset about this. If some of these athletes are actually earning degrees while barely knowing how to read or write, then it ends up cheapening the same degree that was earned by the students who did put in the work. Although while I haven't finished reading the piece yet, my guess is most of them get tossed aside once their eligibility is used up or, they otherwise can no longer play at a high enough level.



#11 Ricker Says

Ricker Says

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 46,225 posts
  • LocationGermantown, MD

Posted 07 January 2014 - 09:43 PM

Just to get back on topic, I think you raise a good point about why more people should be upset about this. If some of these athletes are actually earning degrees while barely knowing how to read or write, then it ends up cheapening the same degree that was earned by the students who did put in the work.

 

Yeah - but the way I think about it, would never happen. The NCAA is too high and mighty and prestigious for that. So instead... they cheapen the real value of a degree by watering down the collective pool of people who possess those degrees. 


  • BSLMikeLowe likes this
@0TheRick0 (AKA The Rick)
"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." ~ The Earl of Baltimore

#12 Oriole85

Oriole85

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 26,321 posts
  • LocationNorthern VA

Posted 11 January 2014 - 05:25 AM

ESPN: UNC debating literacy report

 

http://espn.go.com/c...thlete-literacy

 

North Carolina is disputing research by a reading specialist it employs that says 10 percent of UNC football or basketball players read and write below a third-grade level.


@levineps

#13 BSLMikeRandall

BSLMikeRandall

    Sr. Ravens Analyst

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,210 posts

Posted 11 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

The alternative is if you want to do anything with you're life that isn't blue collar (which there's nothing wrong with that either. Practically all the men in my family are blue collar. Mechanics, brick layers, HVAC etc...) then make these kids earn a four year degree to play pro sports. Any pro sport. Doctors and Lawyers can't just skip college. But Ricker nailed it, the NCAA would never go for it. 

 

Scholarships for academic achievement instead of sports prowess. It would drive the parents to raise their kids better which is really a problem in society today. You wanna play pro ball, earn your diploma, earn your degree. I can't remember the exact numbers, but I think HBO or someone did a special on Frederick Douglass high school years ago. In a freshman class of 300-400, about 15 parents showed up to the parent/student orientation. How sad is that? 

 

I say "earn", but really whats to keep teachers and coaches from pencil whipping their grades like they are now. Unless they start cracking down on the teachers. Which maybe it'll make them push their students more to succeed. Who knows?

 

Is it such a bad thing to make your kids wanna do good in school so when the 99.9% of them that don't go pro, they have a chance at being successful as an adult? Would it be such a bad thing if Bryce Harper or Lebron James went to college first? 

 

Probably getting off topic. Bottom line, it's all about $$. If you can hit, throw, catch, dribble, shoot, who cares if you can read. Can you make my college/franchise more $$? It's the sad truth and tit's not going to change in our lifetime.


  • Oriole85 likes this
@BSLMikeRandall

#14 Oriole85

Oriole85

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 26,321 posts
  • LocationNorthern VA

Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:17 AM

The alternative is if you want to do anything with you're life that isn't blue collar (which there's nothing wrong with that either. Practically all the men in my family are blue collar. Mechanics, brick layers, HVAC etc...) then make these kids earn a four year degree to play pro sports. Any pro sport. Doctors and Lawyers can't just skip college. But Ricker nailed it, the NCAA would never go for it. 

 

Scholarships for academic achievement instead of sports prowess. It would drive the parents to raise their kids better which is really a problem in society today. You wanna play pro ball, earn your diploma, earn your degree. I can't remember the exact numbers, but I think HBO or someone did a special on Frederick Douglass high school years ago. In a freshman class of 300-400, about 15 parents showed up to the parent/student orientation. How sad is that? 

 

I say "earn", but really whats to keep teachers and coaches from pencil whipping their grades like they are now. Unless they start cracking down on the teachers. Which maybe it'll make them push their students more to succeed. Who knows?

 

Is it such a bad thing to make your kids wanna do good in school so when the 99.9% of them that don't go pro, they have a chance at being successful as an adult? Would it be such a bad thing if Bryce Harper or Lebron James went to college first? 

 

Probably getting off topic. Bottom line, it's all about $$. If you can hit, throw, catch, dribble, shoot, who cares if you can read. Can you make my college/franchise more $$? It's the sad truth and tit's not going to change in our lifetime.

When I was a Senior in high school, there was an awards ceremony. I got recognition for having over 260 community service hours (I got a certificate or something), the most common award/form of recognition. Anyways, the principal made some off-the-cuff remark about how he was disappointed with the lack of parents in attendance that night. His point was that there should be parent participation and not only when kids get in trouble or there is an issue with a teacher.

 

To answer your question, I don't think from an academic or social standpoint it be bad if LeBron or Bryce (who spent a year in JUCO) went to college. From an athletic standpoint, particularly in LeBron's case, those types could be overqualified. How would going to college have helped LeBron from a professional standpoint, since college is after all to prepare you for the "real world?" Doesn't it make a bigger mockery of the system when someone like LeBron goes to college with no intention of getting a degree?

 

Bryce's father actually said in a book about his son, he wouldn't recommend Bryce's path (getting his GED, JUCO, enter the MLB Draft early) to anyone. He empathized everyone sees the success that Bryce has had, but they don't see his struggles through the process. I've noticed that Bryce seems to be a slow starter at every level, but he's found his way through every time.

 

Agreed with your last point. College sports has become too big for it's own good. But like you said it's unlikely to change.


@levineps

#15 BSLMikeRandall

BSLMikeRandall

    Sr. Ravens Analyst

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 21,210 posts

Posted 11 January 2014 - 11:41 AM

When I was a Senior in high school, there was an awards ceremony. I got recognition for having over 260 community service hours (I got a certificate or something), the most common award/form of recognition. Anyways, the principal made some off-the-cuff remark about how he was disappointed with the lack of parents in attendance that night. His point was that there should be parent participation and not only when kids get in trouble or there is an issue with a teacher.
 
To answer your question, I don't think from an academic or social standpoint it be bad if LeBron or Bryce (who spent a year in JUCO) went to college. From an athletic standpoint, particularly in LeBron's case, those types could be overqualified. How would going to college have helped LeBron from a professional standpoint, since college is after all to prepare you for the "real world?" Doesn't it make a bigger mockery of the system when someone like LeBron goes to college with no intention of getting a degree?
 
Bryce's father actually said in a book about his son, he wouldn't recommend Bryce's path (getting his GED, JUCO, enter the MLB Draft early) to anyone. He empathized everyone sees the success that Bryce has had, but they don't see his struggles through the process. I've noticed that Bryce seems to be a slow starter at every level, but he's found his way through every time.
 
Agreed with your last point. College sports has become too big for it's own good. But like you said it's unlikely to change.


Right. A certificate. What kind of motivation is that? You should have gotten some kind of scholarship for that work. A few thousand bucks. Something. When I graduated I think the minimum was 75 hours, and I like most probably did the minimum So 260 is clearly above and beyond. Yeah, Lebron and Bryce don't need college now. But I'm sure for every Lebron there's hundreds of athletes who are tops at their school, and some freak accident leaves them unable to play sports. Or they get into trouble and kicked off teams. They go pro and arent as good as they thought and are back living at moms house in a couple years. They need an education to fall back on. Look at how many athletes go broke because they simply have no accounting skills. Something that they could have picked up in college.
@BSLMikeRandall

#16 Oriole85

Oriole85

    HOF

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 26,321 posts
  • LocationNorthern VA

Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:00 PM

Right. A certificate. What kind of motivation is that? You should have gotten some kind of scholarship for that work. A few thousand bucks. Something. When I graduated I think the minimum was 75 hours, and I like most probably did the minimum So 260 is clearly above and beyond. Yeah, Lebron and Bryce don't need college now. But I'm sure for every Lebron there's hundreds of athletes who are tops at their school, and some freak accident leaves them unable to play sports. Or they get into trouble and kicked off teams. They go pro and arent as good as they thought and are back living at moms house in a couple years. They need an education to fall back on. Look at how many athletes go broke because they simply have no accounting skills. Something that they could have picked up in college.

I think the person who did like 900 hours got something. It was 60 hours when I was high school, I know all MD public school students have to do a certain minimum, yours might've been more. We got 30 for graduating from middle school with built-in activities (so if you went to a Montgomery County middle school for 3 years, you got that). Despite knowing the requirement for over 90% of the student body for about 7 years(going back to middle school), there was a fair amount of 2nd semester seniors who hadn't completed their 60.

 

Not trying to toot my own horn here. I was more than happy to get it, add it to my resume at the time. There were plenty of more prestigious stuff than what I got -- I wasn't an "elite" student after all. The point the principal was getting at here is how parents should be showing up to "good" things not only bad ones. I thought it was a great thing he said, how even at a celebratory event, he wanted to point out it be great to see this being made a bigger deal from parents. And a parent/student orientation wouldn't necessarily be a good thing, but it's not a bad thing.

 

LeBron is the rare athlete who even Dickie V said was NBA-ready and not just from an athletic standpoint.

 

Yeah it's sad how many athletes have financial difficulties. They definitely need to surround themselves with the right people. Joe Gibbs spent time at Redskins Park a few years ago just talking to the players about their finances. I know John Callipari has made this a big point to the players who go pro -- to put a certain amount aside.


  • BSLMikeRandall likes this
@levineps




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Partners