Tuesday, July 21, 2015

NCAA rant Part II: How much blame goes on the faculty vs the coaches?

It may be the job of the NCAA to ensure academic eligibility. It is the job of the academic institution to provide quality education.  I think the coaching staffs should put more pressure on the public schools to make sure talented athletes are prepared to enter college academically. There are many ways to learn and many ways to be "brilliant", "gifted", or "smart" [See Disrupting Class ISBN-10: 0071592067].  From grade school to graduate school; from coaches to NCAA advisory boards; we can all do better for the kids.

Once in school, the university provides advisers and tutors for all students, including the student athletes.  The coaches should be reviewing the measurable stats - how many credits, completion of required classes, and grade point averages. Most also review stats such as attendance in class and at study hall or tutoring sessions.

Critics believe that the coaches should have known that the classes were not up to standards.

The coaches should be checking in with the student athlete that they are being given the opportunity to learn what they want to learn. During the same time period that is being investigated, women's basketball athletes completed degrees in a variety of departments including sciences (pre-med). A student approaching the staff (both coaching staff and academic adviser staff) with a particular goal was assisted in achieving that goal. For those students unsure of options outside of sports, everyone - parents, students, coaches - rely on the provided faculty advisers for guidance. How would a coach, who is provided with an faculty adviser for the team, be expected to realize that there were classes given that did not meet the expected standards.

There was misconduct at the university. It has affected the accreditation status of the institution. That decision was "probation". Does the NCAA really have the need (or even the right) to pile on punishment? Especially when that punishment will have the greatest impact on student athletes that were not even enrolled in the university at the time of the misconduct. Additionally, if it the academic side that was offering bad classes, why is the university athletic department not backing all of their coaches?

I'm not the only person wondering.

I can actually understand the university holding off on a contract extension, but purely as a financial decision. There are plenty of reasons to extend the contract. There is a big question about the amount of monetary fines that may come from the NCAA which could have an affect the salary of the contract renewal. Too bad the department cannot comment in ongoing investigations. Like I previously posted in part I of my rant... the extended time frame involved in this investigation only hurts the next class of students. 


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