NCAA: Senior QB Class Schedule "Student" Athletes

Submitted by Fhshockey112002 on August 1st, 2014 at 11:24 AM

SBNation recently published an article on Marcus Mariota (Oregon) who will be taking two classes this fall during his senior football season; Golf and Yoga. This follows the trend of Matt Leinart who during his senior season took Ballroom Dancing, Denis Dixon (Oregon) who took billards, and the best of the bunch Tim Tebow (Florida) who took a single 1 credit Senior Seminar class. Tebow's class happened to conflict with Florida's Tuesday afternoon practice so he never actually attended the class, he simply "worked something out with the professor." Matt Ryan (Boston College) and Colt Brennan (Hawai'i) also had similar senior class loads.  Leinart, Dixon,Tebow, Brennan, and Ryan were able to go a combined 56-10  during their senior seasons. 

Now it should be pointed out that Mariota, Leinart, and Tebow all worked hard thier first three years and were set to graduate so it was just a matter of staying elgible their final semester. But I don't understand how the NCAA can continue the facade of "student-athlete" when you have some of the most high profile football players barely (if ever) seeing a classroom their final semester. 

Finally, it is worth pointing out the opposite side, DEVIN GARDNER! Who completed his bachelors degree in three years, and is on pace to complete his Masters in Social Work in his 5 years at Michigan.  

Marcus Mariota article:…

Tim Tebow NYTimes Q&A:…

Denis Dixon/Ryan/ Brennan Article:…


carlos spicywiener

August 1st, 2014 at 11:41 AM ^

Marcus Mariota has already graduated, in the interest of fairness...he's enrolling in classes while biding his time for one last season at Oregon. He's clearly focused on the team and the leap to the NFL.


August 1st, 2014 at 11:37 AM ^

Were those 4th years or 5th years? Many students get through 8 semesters and then have to come back in fall for a few last credits. I needed one last class to complete my major but had enough credits to graduate so I took the one class and some BS classes to maintain my full-time student status and further de-weight the grades from my stoner sophomore year. Senioritis isn't reserved for athletes--those guys were at least spending hours and hours at the thing they planned to do after college and lots of money depended on them doing well. I watched a lot of Lord of the Rings and went to see local bands.


August 1st, 2014 at 11:40 AM ^

This is just their senior schedule or even final semester.  I assume then, for those examples that graduated, you would agree that during the other periods (you know, the 3 to 4 years not including in your tiny sample) they were student athletes?

11 semesters - student athlete, 1 semester - blowing off.  That would seem to heavily average out to student athlete.


August 1st, 2014 at 11:48 AM ^

Devin has definitely worked hard in the classroom and will finish with a master's degree, but it should be noted that he only has like 2 hours of class a week as far as I know. I have no problem with it, or any of these other guy's situations really, but it's pertinent to the conversation.


August 1st, 2014 at 12:01 PM ^

This rule actually is designed to help student-athletes. If you only have to take six credit hours to graduate then you only have to take the six hours. The rule has been changed a little few times, but instead of making a student-athlete take an additional six (or nine, ten, etc.) hours just to be full-time the rule lets a student-athlete takes only those classes needed for graduation. Are there times when student-athletes' schedules look like a joke? Yes, but it is designed to help: Final Semester/Quarter
A student-athlete may compete while enrolled in less than a minimum full-time program of studies, provided the student is enrolled in the final semester or quarter of the baccalaureate program and the institution certifies that the student is carrying (for credit) the courses necessary to complete degree requirements. The student granted eligibility under this provision shall be eligible for any postseason event that begins within 60 days following said semester or quarter, provided the student has not exhausted the five years for completion of the individual's maximum permissible number of seasons of eligibility (see Bylaw 14.2). Thereafter, the student shall forfeit eligibility in all sports, unless the student completes all degree requirements during that semester or quarter and is eligible to receive the baccalaureate diploma on the institution's next degree-granting date. (Revised: 1/10/92, 1/16/93, 1/10/95, 2/1/05, 11/1/07 effective 8/1/08, 1/14/12, 8/21/12)


August 1st, 2014 at 3:45 PM ^

I was going to if nobody else had. Also note that this isn't separating head count scholarships and equivalency scholarships, so at an institution where tuition is charged by the credit hour this actually keeps money in the student athlete's pocket by not forcing the extra classes to maintain eligibility.

Zone Left

August 1st, 2014 at 12:07 PM ^

I don't really see an issue here. It would be different if they weren't meeting standards to be full-time students, but they were on pace to graduate on-time and probably taking summer school classes all the way through college to set up a couple low effort semesters during their junior and senior football seasons.

For what it's worth, I had one class during my last quarter at Ross. It met three hours a week and required probably double that in prep work / team meetings. Add it up and I spent under 10 hours per week on school. I took my final in a library in California. By the way, I was an excellent student, but I owed my family the additional time they'd sacrificed over the previous year and a half. It was worth it.


August 1st, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

seem to be enrolled year-round.  You can rack up the credits quickly if you want.  I'd certainly try to take the tough courses during the off-season and rest on the oars during the regular season.


August 1st, 2014 at 2:14 PM ^

A few months ago I heard Pat Jones, former Oklahoma State HC, talking about the prevalence of on-line classes (I think it was in reference to Johnny Manziel taking all on-line classes one semester).  He said that if there had been online classes when he was a coach, they could have gotten Dexter Manley (who had a 2nd grade reading level at the time) a Master's degree or even a Ph.d.  


August 1st, 2014 at 2:18 PM ^

classes during the summer.  This really isn't that big of a deal if they save the easy classes for their sports season.  Common practice across all divisions



August 1st, 2014 at 4:52 PM ^

Not to that extreme, but many regular students take schedules their senior year or last semester that are jokes. I was in the Engineering school and I know I only took 12 credits my last two semesters and it was pretty damn easy. So given that they're playing football, I wouldn't be on my high horse about them not working hard enough.