Posted by Ashley Shay
In college athletics, there are many athletes who do not graduate, get grades changed for them, or who fail classes because they cannot do the work. There have been many studies done about this and it unfortunately happens at all schools. Mary Willingham who worked as a learning specialist at University of North Carolina has experienced many of these student athletes who cannot even read or write. She met a student who could not read multisyllabic words so she had to help him sound out words like you do when you are first starting to learn to read. Then she had another odd 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”. This to me is sad, but the athletic departments at schools allow this to be okay.
In 2014, the president at University of Michigan, Mark Schlissel, was interviewed about the admissions process for athletes. He candidly stated, “We admit students who aren’t as qualified and it’s probably the kids that we admit that can’t honestly, even with lots of help, do the amount of work and the quality of work it takes to make progression from year to year”. Schlissel and many other school officials at universities across the nation know that student-athletes are being admitted even when their test scores are not at the same standard as they need to be for students who are not athletes. This is largely contributing to the low graduation rate for athletes. We are doing a disservice to these students by allowing them to be admitted into a college where they cannot succeed academically. Most of them will not play professional sports and they also will not have a good education to fall back on.