Joe Nocera, in today’s New York Times:

… Is it true that black male athletes have a higher graduation rate than other students? It is not. The N.C.A.A. has created several other Orwellian concepts, such as an Academic Progress Rate, which allows it to use data to create the illusion that athletes are doing better academically than their peers.

… In comparing college basketball players with their true peer group — full-time college students — … data show that the athletes are 20 percent less likely to graduate than nonathletes. [When you parse the data by race,] of the teams in this year’s March Madness, for instance, the black athletes are 33 percent less likely to graduate than nonathletes.

… In his great novel about totalitarianism, “1984,” George Orwell described the three slogans of The Party: War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength.

The N.C.A.A. has its own equivalents. Athletes Are Students. College Sports Is Not About Money. Graduation Is The Goal.

But spare a thought for organizations like the Knight Commission, whose offering to Oceania is the regular convocation around conference tables of men in their best suits who look worried about the situation. The N.C.A.A. couldn’t do what it does without them.

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3 Responses to “Oceania, Tis for Thee”

  1. Dumb Jocks and Student-Athlete Propaganda Says:

    [...] Margaret Soltan comments, “But spare a thought for organizations like the Knight Commission,whose offering to Oceania is the regular convocation around conference tables of men in their best suits who look worried about the situation. The N.C.A.A. couldn’t do what it does without them.” [...]

  2. Brett Says:

    I’ve no idea what impact the change would have on the numbers, but I’d be curious to see the athletic graduation rate compared to students who are carrying at least a 3/4 load and who work full time — it seems like they would be the closest “peer group” in terms of schedule and workload inside and outside the classroom.

    I doubt the info would make the athletic graduation rate look much better by comparison, but that’s just a gut instinct based on the anecdotal evidence of the people I’ve known who’ve completed degrees under those conditions.

  3. dmf Says:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/04/should-college-basketball-players-get-paid/255312/

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