Academic Success Among College Athletes

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Academic Success among College Athletes
Do student athletes make the most of their opportunity to obtain a post-secondary education? Do they have the same academic success as those students that are not athletes? Are student athletes just “dumb jocks?” The answers to these questions might surprise you. Much research has been done to dispel the myth that athletes going to college are only there to play sports with little regard to their education. Programs have been created to assure that colleges and universities hold athletes to the same standards as the everyday student. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has decided that the “magic number” to put the “student” back into “student-athlete” is 925 (Hamilton).

At the turn of the century, the NCAA began questioning how schools were required to measure academic success among athletes. Since the mid-1990s, the NCAA had been forced to use federal graduation rates that were thought to be misleading (Dodd). In 2003, the NCAA introduced the Academic Performance Rate (APR) program to oversee student athlete’s educational prowess (NCAA). The APR is a real-time calculation and gives a better perspective to athletic performance in the classroom. The NCAA provided the following example as to how schools determine if they measure up to the “magic number”... Schools earn "points" for each player eligible at the beginning and end of each semester. For example, a player who is eligible at the beginning and end of each semester during a given academic year earns four "points" (4 for 4). If a player is eligible and is retained after the first semester but does not return for the following fall and is ruled ineligible, his number would be 2 for 4. Division I basketball teams are allowed a maximum of 13 scholarships. If 11 players at State U. achieve a 4 for 4 and two achieve a 2 for 4 (0 for 2 second term, they were not eligible and were not retained), this team lost four points total based on the...