Make ‘em Pros, End the System

The system is that American universities and (semi-)professional sports are joined at the hip, and (for some) the right hip of sports makes so much money for the university the system has no conscience about academic entrance requirements. The solution, in my view, is to remove the athletic programs from the universities and colleges, keep the sports teams in those towns but make them professionals, and make universities about education. That way the university can have a sports culture connected to the school but the players need not be university students. What is happening is unconscionable.

Here are the crucial findings of the CNN study:

Based on data from those requests and dozens of interviews, a CNN investigation revealed that most schools have between 7% and 18% of revenue sport athletes who are reading at an elementary school level. Some had even higher percentages of below-threshold athletes.

According to those academic experts, the threshold for being college-literate is a score of 400 on the SAT critical reading or writing test. On the ACT, that threshold is 16.

Many student-athletes scored in the 200s and 300s on the SAT critical reading test — a threshold that experts told us was an elementary reading level and too low for college classes. The lowest score possible on that part of the SAT is 200, and the national average is 500.

On the ACT, we found some students scoring in the single digits, when the highest possible score is 36 and the national average is 20. In most cases, the team average ACT reading score was in the high teens.

“It is in many ways immoral for the university to even admit that student,” said Dr. Richard M. Southall, director of the College Sport Research Institute and a professor at the University of South Carolina.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.


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