Higher Ed Officials Want Lower Academic Standards For Atheletes
With North Dakota State University applying what is, frankly, a despicable double standard to a group of football players caught turning in tens of thousands of fraudulent petition signatures for two ballot measures (bringing criminal charges on themselves and, perhaps, civil charges for the money lost by the petition campaigns), you wouldn’t think higher ed officials would want to talk about creating special academic standards for student athletes. And yet, that’s exactly what was discussed at a recent meeting of the Board of Higher Education.
New chancellor Hamid Shirvani has proposed raising academic standards for admissions to the state’s universities, using the state’s two-year institutions for students needing remedial work between high school and the four-year colleges. This actually isn’t such a bad idea, but they’re already talking about giving university presidents leeway to exempt as many as 5% of applicants (based on the size of the previous year’s freshman class) from those standards. And they’re also talking about putting student athletes into a separate category because the 5% exemption rule might not allow them to admit enough players for the football team. At least, according to one of the recently-appointed members of the SBHE:
The plan would allow university presidents the leeway to add students under special circumstances. That number would be capped at 5 percent of the total freshman class from the previous year.
Board member Don Morton, a Microsoft Corp. executive and former head football coach at NDSU, Tulsa and Wisconsin, said the formula could be tricky for athletic programs that require large numbers to compete at the Division I level.
“You need just as many football players at NDSU as you do at Michigan,” Morton said.
Shirvani said it might require taking student-athletes out of the 5 percent equation and making a separate category.
What a sad, sad, commentary on the state of higher education. It’s bad enough that students and taxpayers pay a heavy cost to subsidize the big sports programs at UND and NDSU (believe it or not, those programs do not turn profits), but now we’re creating special academic categories for student athletes?
Where are our priorities?Tags: don morton, hamid shirvani, higher education, ncaa, ndsu bison, North Dakota News, north dakota state university