More disconcerting is the abject failure of the NCAA to retain a nexus with the educational missions of these Division I programs and a clear line of demarcation between collegiate sports and professional employment, as demonstrated in the federal court’s ruling in the lawsuit mentioned above.
Specifically, university presidents at our country’s most prestigious academic institutions deliberately waive admissions requirements for elite but often woefully academically deficient athletes and clear them for participation without insisting that they first achieve minimal reading and writing skills necessary for academic success.
Practice should also be limited to no more than 10 hours per week for those students needing remediation.
A standard for participation measured against the student body of the institution sets academic primacy over athletics and affords the opportunity for remediation of college readiness before imposing competition on the athlete.
It is clear that the NCAA is experiencing an era of discontent and public distrust.
Emmert’s promise of corrective change amounted to no more than a power grab by the so-called Big 5 conferences, giving increased autonomy to the wealthiest schools to further maximize revenue.
Football and basketball programs are routinely requiring 40 to 50 hours of sport-related activity during the regular season, making it almost impossible for serious academic achievement and curricular exploration.
Athletic departments are running opaque academic support programs in which staff have direct conflicts of interest from managing athletes’ eligibility by seeking easy classes and friendly professors to ensure their continued participation on the field or court to control of legions of tutors who bring into question the authorship of athletes’ classwork.
Recruiting highly marginal athletes would become a lower priority for coaches if the elite athlete would be restricted from competition and limited from practice.
Athlete health protection should be a critical focus and it isn’t.