STUDY: NCAA Athletes Are Not Smarter Than a 5th Grader


If you are 60 percent of college athletes, um, NO!

Paging the NCAA Communications Office: Please pick up the white courtesy phone. Your services are going to be needed for some crisis management very soon. It seems a study came from the University of North Carolina that pulls the curtain back on what many, many people who pay to watch college athletics have thought for quite some time.

*SPOILER ALERT* The NCAA has some boneheaded athletes graduating who can’t read past a 5th grade level. I know, right?! Listening to some of those star athletes after a game or a match, you may think Rhodes Scholar material, but evidently, not so much. To wit, something scandalous this way comes.

Based on Scholastic Aptitude Test results: About 60 percent were reading between the fourth and eighth grade reading levels. And, between 8 and 10 percent were reading below a third grade level. (You know, the courtesy phone is still ringing off the hook. Stay tuned.)

Unfortunately for the NCAA who has always maintained that there is no such thing as “ghost students,” “tutors who actually do that tests of star athletes,” or even “preferential treatment” in its chapter universities, CNN is undertaking a nice little trek down academia lane with its own investigation. (Yeah, still ringing.)

To the beleaguered institution, CNN offered this preamble:

This is not an exhaustive survey of all universities with major sports programs; CNN chose a sampling of public universities where open records laws apply. We sought data from a total of 37 institutions, of which 21 schools responded. The others denied our request for entrance exam or aptitude test scores, some saying the information did not exist and others citing privacy rules. Some simply did not provide it in time.

So, why the outcry? Because everyone outside an NCAA Board of Trustee conference room knows this is small sampling of a much larger problem that has been covered up for years. Much like steroids in baseball, there is only so much reporting America can take, eventually, things will get kiboshed. After all, that is what today’s Congress is best at doing. Stay tuned.

(And the damn phone just stopped ringing. I think there must have been glitch. Surely, that wasn’t on purpose. Right?)

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