Column rebound: What you said in message boards (the bold items) and what I say:
Athletic scholarships deny other students admission
Nice theory but it isn't so. Admission requirements are set by each university according to its mission. This isn't the little red school house that teaches reading, writing and arithmetic. It's a dynamic force that prepares young men and women in up to 15 or more different colleges, all of them a foundation for more specialized study if that's the goal.
|Doug Flutie leads a foundation supporting UF's research on autism. (Getty Images)|
According to Ed Commeaux at UCLA, a former scholarship athlete who earned his Ph.D. at Cal Berkeley, a disproportionate number of athletes' scores are equal or above the general student population. A small number of athletes who do not meet UCLA's strict requirements are admitted if they demonstrate potential.
All scholarship athletes -- basketball, track, rugby, lacrosse, baseball, golf, volleyball, and aquatic sports add value to the university. Regardless of a university's standards, scholarship athletes have to meet NCAA requirements.
College Football Players are selfish and indulgent.
Of course they are. We also know that math and engineering majors are nerds, many of them missing a personality, business majors are metrosexuals headed for the cover of GQ, and agriculture majors are farmers dressed up in student's clothing.
If you come up with more clichés, let me know.
If football players can't graduate in four or five years, then their best bet is to enroll where academic standards are lower.
Now that's a good one. It's hard to take a full course load and play football, just as it's difficult for some students to focus on academics and fraternity life, hang out in bars and avoid study like the plague.
They're on parental scholarships, with a car, an apartment and credit cards. A lot of them flunk out or scrape by with lousy grades. And, by the way, nothing says these deadbeats won't go on to be multimillionaires. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to make money.
How about working and going to college? It's an excellent point.
At a major university a large number of young adults are working and going to college, many hours aside from study and take advantage of financial aid. It sometimes takes five to six years to get a degree. Students who grind it out learn lessons in hard work, perseverance and dedication.
The comparison is a good one for college athletes.
The only difference is that football players are on the field everyday and playing on Saturday's risking debilitating and life threatening injuries. And if you think playing football comes naturally, most football players I know started playing in pee wee leagues went to summer football camps and worked their way from freshman to varsity if they had the talent.