Friday Five: Top 'this has to be fake, but it's actually real' classes on a college campus

The NCAA announced on Friday that after years of investigating North Carolina for academic misconduct, the school would not be punished. While you can read about everything here, essentially the entire thing boils down to this: the NCAA can't punish North Carolina for putting its players in "phony courses" when those same classes were open to regular students.

I was thrilled by this because I'm always happy to see the NCAA making a fool of itself, or seeing it appear powerless. I'm just not a big fan of the NCAA.

Well, as you'd expect, this decision led to a lot of the customary hand-wringing over the sanctity of education and the student-athlete, won't somebody think of the children, blah blah blah.

So I took to Twitter with a simple question for my followers. North Carolina had "phony courses" for its players, but what were some of the most ridiculous courses you -- the non-student-athlete -- took while in college. Because, after all, if you don't play on the football team, you can take any dumb class you want. But if you are on the team, you must choose only the most serious courses to preserve the foundation of American education.

I received a lot of responses, and in this week's Friday Five, I'm merely ranking the five best. These are the classes I want to go back to college so I can take myself.

5. Billiards

This is something I practiced a lot myself, as well as darts, but I never received college credit for it. What a tragedy.

Just think of all the real-life benefits of taking billiards. You learn about angles and geometry. You learn strategic thinking. You learn how to dangle a cigarette in your mouth in a way that won't let the smoke get in your eyes while you're lining up a shot. These are all valuable life skills.

4. Scary Stories

Oh man, I'm not sure there's even an end to the benefits that a class like this provides. I mean, life is scary, and college is just the beginning of your real life. Yes, when you're a child, there are plenty of things that make you nervous and can be intimidating, but you're pretty safe.

But college is when you're preparing to enter the real world and do so on your own. You have to take responsibility for yourself at that point, and make sure you're dragging your hungover butt out of bed to get to your billiards class. You need that A.

So reading scary stories helps you get some of those goosebumps out of the way and teaches you that you can overcome your fear. The only monster in your closet is your self-doubt.

Whoa, that's heavy.

3. Cruise Operations Management

Listen, we've all been there. One minute you're at the grocery store with a list from your significant other, scanning the aisle for that damn can of garbanzo beans you can't find. At this point, you're not even sure they exist.

"Maybe she just wrote 'garbanzo beans' on the list to mess with me," you think to yourself.

Then -- BAM -- it happens. You're suddenly on a cruise ship, and it is heading right toward an iceberg. This is a real Titanic situation we're talking about here, and everybody on the boat is looking to you to save them.

I bet you wish you'd taken that Cruise Operations Management course now, don't you?

2. Healthy Lifestyles

The importance of a healthy lifestyle cannot be overstated. It's easy to just write this off as a throwaway course, but I think it's essential.

I remember when I was in high school I had the option of opting out of gym after my sophomore year. I did it because I figured gym was a waste of my time at that point. I was there to exercise my brain, not my body.

You know what I realized as a junior and senior? I realized I wished I still had a gym class to go to. There's nothing like getting away from it all with a friendly game of kickball or basketball. Maybe a lap or two around the track.

Now I'm an adult that hasn't been in a classroom for 15 years, but I'm always looking to go for a walk, or get on the rowing machine, lift some weights, shoot some hoops. Life is the never-ending search for a gym class to go to.

1. Philosophy of South Park

I have been taking this class on my own since I was in high school and the show debuted. I don't want to take this class; I want to teach it.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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