Roger Olson and Andy Griffith

Roger Olson and Andy Griffith September 4, 2016

Roger Olson is blissfully unaware how close he is to the great ol’ Andy Griffith’s classic gig called “What it was was football”, and this little clip is just one from a post full of it:

Turning now to some possibly more serious issues. Throughout my teaching career I have several times been pressured by college/university coaches and others to give special consideration to student athletes that they did not deserve. I will never forget when a student athlete in a large general education religion course (at the national research university where I studied and taught as a graduate student) clearly, unequivocally cheated on a final exam. There was no question about it and the university had a very strong “honor code” that required that cheating students be suspended and possibly even expelled. And the honor code also included that teachers and teaching assistants who discovered cheating and did not report it were subject to very strict discipline. As I was reading through the student athlete’s “blue book” I found that he was repeatedly crossing out words he spelled correctly and misspelling them exactly the same way as the friend sitting next to him during the proctored exam. He was copying; there was no doubt about it. I could prove it. Eventually, the student athlete in question gave up even attempting to answer the essay questions and began writing an obscene love note to his girlfriend. (I will never understand what he was thinking as he turned in the blue book with the obscene note to his girlfriend and he knew I would read it!) Of course, I had to report him to the university’s proper authorities who, as it turned out, clearly wanted to let him off the hook. They put pressure on me to withdraw my accusation and pass him for the course. I would not and he “dropped out” of the university. Something similar to that happened other times, later, and it became clear to me that at least some student athletes in academic settings are treated “specially” even in terms of the consequences for failing and cheating. I have been called to coaches’ offices and subjected to attempted coercions to pass student athletes who clearly did not deserve to pass my course. (That has not happened to me at the institution where I now teach, but I only teach in its seminary.)

What Roger Olson needs is a summer of baseball with the Chicago Cubs. That’ll cure him.

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