Interesting write-up on football student athlete majors for Mich vs. OSU

Submitted by beenplumb on February 21st, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Graham Watson (frequent contributor to Dr. Saturday at Yahoo! Sports) wrote up a really interesting article in response to an Ohio State sign that compares the academic majors of current Ohio State football players against those of Michigan's players.

It's a great article, and I'll let you readers interpret from it what you will.

Link is here.


[Edit: FWIW, Graham Watson is a lady. Not at all relevant to the story, I just saw a lot of comments referring to 'he/him' and thought it should be stated.

Carry on.]


Bando Calrissian

February 21st, 2012 at 12:28 PM ^

No matter what evidence is shown to the contrary, mouthbreathing Ohio folk are never going to believe it.  That's what Urban is banking on.  They're his base, and he's playing directly to them.


February 21st, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

Yes he was and here's proof:


Terrelle Pryor

Research is the most used resource to finding out something you need from school papers to things you want to buy. Research is also used to find cheaper shopping supplies. For instance one store may have had a pricey type of material one was looking for and the other store you researched was a couple dollars cheaper. Coming out of high school I was thinking to my self what I wanted to do for a living and what I wanted to major in to start the quest for my job. Research is also used to find shopping cheaper shopping supplies.

I used the research process to find out what type of job specific major I wanted to major in and what type of job I wanted to do when I graduated from college. I researched different types of jobs, Criminal justice, business, communications, and education. I came up with criminal justice but couldn’t decide between business and criminal justice. I did research on business and did their pros and cons. Then, I did the pros and cons of criminal justice. I came up with in the business world you can either have a good chance at the type of business you want to start or a bad business that won’t sell or bring in money.

Another part of my research I did was the most important factors in the business, was what they want for what they can afford and is there a profit that can help me out to make some extra money.The availability of the job openings, the job entails, the pay hours. I looked up also whether I would have to be in school for along time or not to get a job. Also my personal enjoyment in the job would I love to do every day I woke up to go to work.

With out research I would not have been able to get these types of information for the job that I want to do for the rest of my life. If one would just go and do something with out researching first they could’ve missed something that could have later benefited later on or benefited one more then the other.


February 21st, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^


Oh, wait, that guy was serious? Listen, I am not saying that Michigan is the best school in major athletics-- I begrugingly defer to Vanderbilt and Northwestern off the top of my head-- but to say that a OSU's communications department is some bastion of academic excellence is absurd. I had a friend from HS who graduated from Ohio with a communications degree-- the dude was probably sober one day a week until he had an "oh, shit, i need a job" moment when he became a senior.He still managed a 3.5 GPA before that moment (to be fair, he ended up with a pretty good job). 


February 21st, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

I was sad to see he did not include Ohio State's version of general studies.  It's called Exploring, and there are 18 players on the football team on it.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather be a general studies major than have a major with a name that invokes images of Terrelle Pryor wandering through woods and collecting butterflies to chart for one of his expeditions (I'm assuming they have changed the name of classes too).

Chi Go Blue

February 21st, 2012 at 12:50 PM ^

I think the image of Terelle Pryor, or any other football player, dressed in khaki cargo shorts, hiking boots, an olive colored shirt, and a hat is hilarious. I see him wandering around a forest with a map and compass, wondering which berries and mushrooms are edible and which are poisonous. He needs to stop at a tree to look for moss to help him reorient after he can't read the 4 directions on the compass and tries to throw rocks to smash little animals for food. Knowing his accuracy, the animals are plenty safe. 


February 21st, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

Sports and Leisure Management and Family Resource Management at Ohio,  you get close to the number of General Studies Michigan has.  They just have more specific names for their "general studies" majors.  And even "Communications" can be considered "general" - not for those of you who are serious about it, but you know they have "athlete" courses in that major as well.

Come-on Urb, nice try but you can't cover up the fact that most all major D1 schools put most of their athletes in these "general" studies type majors.

El Fuego

February 21st, 2012 at 12:39 PM ^

"But in the real world, does an Ohio State degree have more value than one from Michigan or vice versa? No."

He is essentially saying that "a degree is a degree" so where you go doesn't matter the slightest.  It's like saying a degree from Yale is the same as one from Arizona State . That is complete bull.  Employers sure as hell look at where that degree came from.


February 21st, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

I work at a major recruiter of college undergrads and grad students, and I promise you the Michigan brand is 10X more valuable than the OSU brand in buisness and engineering.  Our company organizes recruiting events at Michigan all the time and we have a huge alumni base of succesful michigan grads up and down the org chart.  We have an occasional succesful OSU grad, but it is not common.  Nor do we recruit heavily at OSU, it would be a waste of time.


Bottom line: big companies know where to go to find talent.  Michigan, Cal, NC, and a few other public schools are highly thought of and heavily recruited in business and engineering.    

Wolverine 73

February 21st, 2012 at 1:13 PM ^

I work at a large Cleveland law firm and have been involved in hiring for years.  Even in Ohio, a Michigan law degree (with roughly comparable law school performance) is valued far more than an Ohio State law degree.  Even the Ohio State people grudgingly acknowledge it.


February 21st, 2012 at 1:25 PM ^

Right, but that's law school, not undergrad, and that's a big distinction.

The guy above is obviously right about what he says, given that it's personal experience and whatnot, but what would really matter to ZL's question is "Does his company recruit significantly harder at M Engineering than Purdue Engineering? Or at M Ross than IU Kelly?".

Sure, there are programs where one undergrad degree from M is way more valuable than one from OSU, but I'm guessing a Psych/English/Bio BA/BS from either school is about the same.

Wolverine 73

February 21st, 2012 at 4:44 PM ^

But across the board, medical school, law school, engineering aschool, business school, Michigan is superior in all of them.  The profiles of the incoming students are, no doubt, also superior.  It isn't much of a leap to conclude that a Michigan education, across the board, is superior--recognizing that a person can get a great education anywhere, if he puts his mind to it.  But any comparison has to consider the average education.  The chances of getting a good education are better at Michigan than at Ohio State.  Oh, and if you think law firms do not evaluate undergraduate schools and performances in hiring (not to the extend they consider law school performance of course), you would be wrong.  And here too, a Michigan degree in English is more highly valued than an Ohio State degree in English, all other things being comparable.


February 21st, 2012 at 12:55 PM ^

You nailed it. All degrees are not created equal. I'm a MAC school graduate working in Philadelphia. I tell people where I went to school and they think it's a community college. Name recognition is huge. So while Michigan may have "better academics" than Ohio State...Ohio State pumps out 10,000 more alumni per year. It's all relative, especially if you're a "general studies" or "communications major".

Zone Left

February 21st, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

I think its naive to assume athletes everywhere aren't getting pressured to take easier courses/majors to give them more time to focus on football.

The Ross School of Business site has a slideshow on its front page. One of the pictures is of Zoltan Mesko with the following quote, "Ross took my goal of pursuing business seriously."

Sure, Michigan is a great school, but that picture demonstrates pretty clearly that enrolling at Ross is an uncommon thing for a football player. Instead, they congregate towards certain other majors that are (or are perceived to be) better for football players.

OSU isn't a bad school. Actually, it's a good school that educates an awful lot of Ohioans. Their athletes are also very likely to enter certain majors that are less rigorous than others.

The whole argument smacks of penile comparison (Ramzy at Eleven Warriors is right) and isn't really worth the time.


February 21st, 2012 at 1:08 PM ^

Enrolling in Ross is an uncommon thing for most undergrads at Michigan.  You have to apply after at least a couple of terms at Michigan first.

Thus, Michigan has lost some recruits to ND in that the ND athletes can enroll in their Business program from day one.

tOSU isn't a bad school I agree...but it isn't Michigan. 


February 21st, 2012 at 12:45 PM ^

"Terrelle Pryor was Academic All-Big Ten for three years with an undecided major..." wow, that wasn't a suprise to any, especially since he received a top quality education at a premier prep school and is supremely well-spoken in all of his interviews.  

Oh wait, we're talking about the guy from a former steel town with less than top quality schooling who has asserted that everyone kills people and that OSU is such an impressive school it deserves to have the word "University" included twice whenever it is named. 

Hey, at least the tutors must be pretty good at their jobs.

Note to employers: Hire OSU tutors, impressive that they can graduate while doing twice as much work as the average student.


February 21st, 2012 at 12:52 PM ^

I have a family member on the faculty at OSU who taught Pryor in a class during his last year. Not that this is shocking, but I was told he was Dumb (capital D). They could tell that he had little to academic skills whatsoever. It was a pretty low level course (i.e. intro to something or other 101) and he barely scarped by....and that was with a tutor who went to class with him to take all of his notes....


February 21st, 2012 at 12:47 PM ^

I like that the sign lists 59 Ohio players but only 45 Michigan players to give the impression with overinflation that Ohio players are striving more for academic excellence with more difficult majors. As noted in the article, many of the Michigan player's majors aren't even listed.

Also, it is inarguable that Ohio's engineering is anywhere near that of Michigan's. Same goes for Business.


February 21st, 2012 at 1:09 PM ^

You have to declare a major by your Junior year, winter quarter if I'm not mistaken.

I was in Exploring because I honestly didn't have a clue what I wanted to major in.  It just allows you to take several different courses in different fields while getting your required courses out of the way.  The problem you run into is my last 2 years were definitely stressful.

This obviously allowed them to keep Pryor in introductory courses for several different majors while being able to stack up on electives.

Urban Meyer getting into a pissing contest concerning anything with academics is beyond ridiculous.  My friends and I all had a class or two with football players, and they attend a different university then we did.  Of course there are exceptions just like any other large university where players do work their asses off in the classroom.

I had one player that (when he showed up) never came to class once with a book/notebook for the entire quarter (it was the off season).  He would even borrow a pen when we had a quiz/exam.  It was particularly hilarious because my Prof loved asking questions during class to students at random.  When this player was picked he could barely put a sentence together, let alone provide any answers to questions.  When we finished quizzes we would hand them down the row to hand in, several times only 1/3 of the questions were answered, yet there he was for graduation.


February 21st, 2012 at 12:57 PM ^

That's whay Meyer is.

Assume all of the chart's data is correct... So what? What does it tell a person? That Michigan football players major in General Studies. Is that bad? Is that more than the non-football population? It General Studies an easy major? Is a Communications major at OSU very difficult and financially rewarding? Does it have more prestige?

The stupid chart says/ shows none of this, so BFD.


February 21st, 2012 at 1:01 PM ^

I'd love to see the breakdown....every year we see kids making decision regarding X,Y & Z univeristy because they have a good engingeering, business, journalism, pre-med etc program; How many of those kids actually end up in those desired majors? 




February 21st, 2012 at 1:23 PM ^

You can write whatever major you want next to a name...that's no guarantee they are actually  doing anything to earn it.  We've seen enough of how things work down in ohio to be skeptical of anything coming from Urb & Co.

If they're all so book-smart why do they need a 4 ft. high sign to make their point?


February 21st, 2012 at 2:58 PM ^

Here's a "cool story, bro" moment that kind of coincides with your point about whether they actually do the work or not...

Friend of mine took a class with Ted Ginn and Troy Smith. Both had his own personal tutor. I guess one day Ginn and Smith we're screwing around too much for Smith's tutors liking and he apparently went off.

The latter part of the story is more for your amusement, but my point is when you have a personal tutor, it makes academic life a little easier.

Disclaimer: I don't know if Michigan does this or not. If so, let me know, and I'll call my argument erroneous.


February 21st, 2012 at 3:27 PM ^

There was a scandal a few years back about an Ohio State "tutor" who was actually doing the work and taking the tests for the football players.  The players weren't doing any work.  (Adolphus Washington:  "Really? Whoopie!")  

Of course, the OSU administration brushed it under the rug.



February 21st, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

I think the chart is for the parents.  The recruits already know the score.  Adolphus Washington summed it up best.


“I know all these schools athletically can offer me the same thing. The academic support at Ohio State, there is no way you can fail. Even if you’re giving minimal effort there is no way you can fail.”


This writer obviously didn't do her research either.  She thinks that Coach Hoke will create a chart like this because Urbs has one?!  We're the LEADERS and best, lady.  No followers allowed.


February 21st, 2012 at 1:57 PM ^

  It will have to be a VERY special circumstance for me to ever go back to that hell hole for a Michigan game, the fan behavior is reprehensible.

However, just remember there are people like myself who grew up die hard Michigan fans, but lived under different circumstances. 

OSU was 2 hours away, I was able to get a degree with zero student loans, and it just made more sense for me and my family.  I rocked my Michigan hat every damn Saturday, and most importantly the friends I made there had my back.  Please don’t rope all of us into the majority of their moron fan base that didn’t even go to school there.


February 21st, 2012 at 2:09 PM ^

Hey, I'm not judging.  I graduated from Ohio U (yes, that Ohio).  I grew up 45 minutes from that hell hole.  I do not look down on a grad of any school having the academic equivalent of beer goggles for their alma mater.  I will never understand the zealotry of the non-grads that think you are a communist if you are from Ohio and don't root for Ohio. 

BTW, is it still ok to refer to communism as a bad thing?  I grew up with the Iron Curtain and Warsaw Pact.  Eastern European geography was much easier back then.