News out of the University of South Carolina today, where Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier is steaming mad that two of his recruits won't be at practice this week...because they weren't admitted to the school.O'Brien hints at something that is sort of boiling underneath the surface of big time college sports, that is Division I football and basketball. Schools make a ton of cash on these sports, often making enough on these two sports to support the entire athletic department and even then most athletic departments operate in the red. In order to keep competing on the national level, schools like South Carolina and most other Div. I schools sort of "relax" entrace standards already to get "student-athletes" into school.
This isn't the first time this has happened to Spurrier, and now he's making veiled threats at leaving if the school doesn't relax its admissions standards for athletes.
Sure, the idea of the scholar-athlete may be a bit antiquated, but can coaches at least put up a façade of academic integrity?
The NCAA is attempting to beef up the standards a little, but the economics of the situation demand that schools fudge the numbers in order to draw high quality athletes even if as students they wouldn't make the cut. Athletic conferences split money for TV and radio rights. Schools sign deals with equipment providers worth millions. Alumni contribute heavily based upon the success of the school's sports teams. The better the program, the more the money flows.
Yet, obstensibly, athletic scholarships are designed to provide education to athletes. But if the student can't get into the school, who should shoulder the blame, the school for not bowing to the needs of the athletic department or the coach for recruiting borderline students?