I hope Schlissel and Hackett read the WSJ

Submitted by 991GT3 on November 21st, 2014 at 11:27 AM

With all the talk about imbalance between academics and athletics it appears Ivy league schools are trending toward wanting excellence in sports. Here is an interesting article in the WSJ today. What I found irritating is the article refers only to Stanford and Notre Dame in discussing excellence in academic reputation and athletics.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/how-harvard-became-the-harvard-of-footba…

Comments

OccaM

November 21st, 2014 at 11:33 AM ^

Is Michigan's standards for athletes actually as high as Stanford and ND? Or is this just us blowing ourselves to higher esteem than what we actually are... 

 

Honestly curious. I would think Vandy, Cal, Texas, UCLA and UNC (well maybe not UNC lol) would be right up there too with higher standards for athletes given the academic reputations. 

OccaM

November 21st, 2014 at 3:11 PM ^

We had a similar situation in which our top students didn't get into MIT, but an average Field Hockey girl got into MIT... I didn't even know MIT had sports. And it went beyond just her being a girl (I know the ratio at MIT skews towards men). Our valedictorian was a girl and got rejected. 

 

-__-

 

MGoBender

November 22nd, 2014 at 9:18 AM ^

Is there something wrong with that, though?  There's tens of thousands of valedvictorians in the nation.  There's decidedly less great field hockey players.

I say this as an academic and a high school teacher.  Why do we de-value athletic ability compared to academics?  

Give me a valedvictorian who may or may not have worked extremely hard (probably, but valedvictorians also tend to be learners who naturally do well in our current schooling systems) versus an exceptional athlete who is also a solid student.  It's a valid debate.  Being an excellent athlete requires many of the same qualities we equate to academics: hard work, leadership, being a good teammate, being knowledgable in a specific topic, communication skills, etc.

Like Brian said earlier this week: Schools do the same with art students and music students - they are admitted places based on their work/portfolio/performances, not necessarily their GPA and SAT scores.  Why is that any different than athletics?

Of course, this all assumes any admitted student to any institution is academically able to succeed at that school.

schreibee

November 21st, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^

Are you serious with some of those schools. U NC I guess was a joke, but Texas? Are you suggesting they hold "student"-athletes to a high academic standard? Vandy? Are you suggesting they hold student-"athletes" to a high athletic standard?

OccaM

November 21st, 2014 at 11:53 AM ^

Idk where you're from but Texas does actually have a really good academic reputation. So does Vanderbilt. So do we. So if Michigan has higher requirements for athletes, it would be reasonable to wonder where we fall compared to our peers... Since people always like to bring up how not every recruit can qualify academically for Michigan. 

Is it wrong to wonder where we would fall among our academic peers in D1 FBS? Clearly it seems like Stanford has even higher requirements for their athletes. Idk about ND. 

Kinda Blue

November 22nd, 2014 at 9:56 AM ^

I am not sure whether things have changed, but in the 1990s Vandy had a reputation for turning away the top recruits it could get due to very high academic standards--including eventual Kentucky star and Nashvillian Ron Mercer. I think they also had no athletic director or had some similar alternative structure that de-emphasized athletics.

Tuebor

November 21st, 2014 at 12:20 PM ^

Michigan's standards for athletes is the NCAA minimums.  Don't delude yourself into thinking otherwise.  If a player can qualify for the NCAA he will be admitted to UM. It is the same across the country.  I don't buy for a mintue that Stanford and ND have some higher standard.  Teams like Stanford, ND, and Michigan MIGHT take academics into account when deciding to offer a recruit but at the end of the day if they can qualify with the NCAA that is all that matters.

gopoohgo

November 21st, 2014 at 12:47 PM ^

I think the B1G has a slightly higher standard than the NCAA minimums.  There are other B1G recruits who supposedly could not meet entrance critiera but went to ACC, SEC schools.

But again; let's not kid ourselves; the vast majority of revenue-sport recruits would not be admitted to Michigan, UCLA, UCBerkley, Stanford, ND, Northwestern, Uva, etc on just academics.

MGoBender

November 22nd, 2014 at 9:24 AM ^

That's fine, but NOBODY is admitted on "just academics."  I've moved away from this idea that students are only test-taking, knowledge aquiring machines.

If Michigan admits a student that has a "lower academic profile" than the average student, but has shown excellence in, say, soccer, then good for that student!  Sports are great endeavors and a classroom of a different type.

I'm sure I wasn't admitted to Michigan based solely on my GPA and ACT scores.  If it was just that, I wouldn't have gotten in.  But I was a well-rounded individual - played several sports, a contributing member of my comunity, overcame some family struggles.  None of those last three items qualifies me academically, but it makes me a well rounded applicant that can be a contributing member to a university community.

MGoBender

November 22nd, 2014 at 9:24 AM ^

That's fine, but NOBODY is admitted on "just academics."  I've moved away from this idea that students are only test-taking, knowledge aquiring machines.

If Michigan admits a student that has a "lower academic profile" than the average student, but has shown excellence in, say, soccer, then good for that student!  Sports are great endeavors and a classroom of a different type.

I'm sure I wasn't admitted to Michigan based solely on my GPA and ACT scores.  If it was just that, I wouldn't have gotten in.  But I was a well-rounded individual - played several sports, a contributing member of my comunity, overcame some family struggles.  None of those last three items qualifies me academically, but it makes me a well rounded applicant that can be a contributing member to a university community.

MGoBender

November 22nd, 2014 at 9:24 AM ^

That's fine, but NOBODY is admitted on "just academics."  I've moved away from this idea that students are only test-taking, knowledge aquiring machines.

If Michigan admits a student that has a "lower academic profile" than the average student, but has shown excellence in, say, soccer, then good for that student!  Sports are great endeavors and a classroom of a different type.

I'm sure I wasn't admitted to Michigan based solely on my GPA and ACT scores.  If it was just that, I wouldn't have gotten in.  But I was a well-rounded individual - played several sports, a contributing member of my comunity, overcame some family struggles.  None of those last three items qualifies me academically, but it makes me a well rounded applicant that can be a contributing member to a university community.

PurpleStuff

November 21st, 2014 at 9:23 PM ^

He didn't qualify initially.  His case was weird because he only became eligible after a semester of what would have been his freshman year went by. 

Don't know if he was considered a transfer or something like that by admissions, but he's literally the only person who met the minimum NCAA requirements and didn't get admitted to UM.  We haven't had any other recruits fail to get in here but enroll at another D-1 school instead.

umumum

November 21st, 2014 at 12:53 PM ^

We have taken a number of players that could not get into Notre Dame.  And we have rejected many, many athletes academically who have then gone to another school.  So the bare minimum NCAA standards are not applied across the board.  One of the criticisms of RichRod was that he was pushing the academic button---trying to get borderline players in. Again, these stories would irrelevant if every school approached the NCAA minimum stardards alike.

PurpleStuff

November 21st, 2014 at 9:29 PM ^

I'm pretty sure the issue there isn't with respect to admissions entirely, but rather the curriculum.  From what I recall, everybody there has to take calculus (certainly not the case for people like myself at UM) and that puts a strain on who can get in and/or stay eligible.

Reader71

November 21st, 2014 at 1:09 PM ^

This is only true in individual cases.

Any one kid can get in if he meets NCAA minimums. But Michigan Admissions has an informal cap on the number of borderline guys they will allow the football team to bring in. See Three and Out.

In other words, if a top recruit like Peppers meets the NCAA minimums, he will be admitted because the coach will use up one of the 4-5 borderline exceptions that Admissions wild admit. But as soon as the coach hits that cap, he will turn to guys who will more obviously qualify so as to not have problems with Admissions.

It's not like UM requires a higher GPA or ACT/SAT than any other school, but they are not willing to fill the team with NCAA minimum-level kids. So, in effect, UM's standards are higher, even if only marginally.

Tuebor

November 21st, 2014 at 2:18 PM ^

If that is true then it seems less ethical than just setting a standard (NCAA min or something higher) and holding all recruits to it.  Michigan will bring in top talent at NCAA mins but if you are the 6th ranked academically borderline recruit tough luck. 

Reader71

November 21st, 2014 at 3:04 PM ^

It is what it is. It's obviously a compromise between Admissions, who would probably prefer your higher standards, and the AD, who realizes that making an few exceptions for top players can be beneficial to the program.

I don't see it as unethical at all, but to each his own.

StateSmells

November 21st, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

I have heard that we have no more stringent standards for athletes than the NCAA minimums, so we are just like everyone else.

I have also heard that we have "higher" standards, whatever that means.

I have no idea what the truth is, and have wondered the same thing.  Someone should look into this for us.

Seems certain we have higher standards than most for JuCo and transfers, but it's unclear when it comes to initial admissions.

Eye of the Tiger

November 21st, 2014 at 12:53 PM ^

...in measurables like SAT scores). As of 2008, Michigan had the 3rd highest average SAT scores for football players: 997. MSU had the 10th lowest, at 917.

The entire range is: 1028 (Oregon State) to 878 (Oklahoma State), which is just 150 points, or 9%. 

 

 

 

WolverBean

November 21st, 2014 at 2:22 PM ^

don't work that way. The scores are calibrated so that 100 points is one standard deviation, and a 500 is a 50th percentile score (per section.) So a 150 point gap is rather more than a 9 percent difference. Still, a sub--1200 score is not getting you into Michigan without a sub-4.5 40 time to go with. An interesting question is whether there is any correlation btwn avg revenue athlete score and average non-athlete score across D1 schools. Might make a good diary if you can find the data.

taistreetsmyhero

November 21st, 2014 at 11:39 AM ^

the only school that is the "harvard of football" is that school that had an epic like 100 game losing streak in bball b/c their team was just comprised of regular students (i think it was cal tech maybe?). they're still admitted with lower gpa's and lower test scores than the average student population.

Danwillhor

November 21st, 2014 at 11:40 AM ^

a CB from Chicago and likely by proxy his buddy, Treadwell would be Wolverines if not for our admissions. Do we have insanely high standards for athletes? No. Yet, it's up there. BTW, I'll also have to get used to not using UNC as an example of great academics & athletics.

Danwillhor

November 21st, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

if $300 can buy a commit from the best WR in the county.....wow. I mean, let's assume he gets that each week and he had a few coeds "meet him" while visiting, too. Would that dictate where you spent the next 3-5 yrs of your life? Seems crazy to me unless it's a straight duffle bag of cash.

Danwillhor

November 21st, 2014 at 12:34 PM ^

but he qualified in the end. I consider not taking his commitment kind of equal to "even if he does qualify....nope". Could be way off. As for Treadwell, nice one, 4godking. Ha. Though, I think AS being at ole miss allowed for that payof...er...connection to exist.

johnthesavage

November 21st, 2014 at 11:44 AM ^

Meh, it's the WSJ, they probably hate public universities in general. It's a throwaway comment that occupies half a sentence. This is really not worth getting irritated about.

991GT3

November 21st, 2014 at 12:53 PM ^

major corporate and professional CEO's. That said, we should not overlook the essence of the article which is Ivy League School are emphazing athletics to a greater degree than before. Schlissel and others seem to want to de-emphasize athletics and this article should embloden him to think otherwise.

Simply put you can have both and not sacrifice one for the other.

Gulo Blue

November 21st, 2014 at 11:56 AM ^

I don't watch pro-sports, so it really wouldn't bother me if the quality of play on the field slipped as long as Michigan is as competitive as it has been historically. If there was some way to reboot the system so the full spirit of the idea of the scholar-athlete applied to revenue sports across the entire NCAA, I'd be all for it. Like admission processes that are blind to players being recruited for revenue sports or some impossible strategy like that. If schools could maintain their historic competitiveness relative to each other, I'd be all for the quality of the play to slip and the 98% of the players not going to the NFL getting the best education they could out of the deal. Of course, the problem is all the money involved...as always.

MoJo Rising

November 21st, 2014 at 11:59 AM ^

I am guessing that these schools are seeing that they are missing out on the insane media money that many other Uni's are feasting on and in today's tough economic times, they want to be eating at the same over flowing trough as the big boys.