OT: UGA Admin. Standards

Submitted by The Bos of Me on March 20th, 2017 at 7:26 PM
Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell was in a MA classroom reading to kids today and talking about the importance of reading in general. Mad props to him. Love to see athletes giving back and making a difference. What struck me was that he said that prior to going to college he had never read a book on his own and that the first was "The Giving Tree", by Shell Silverstein. Again, props to the guy for not being embarrassed to call that out and sending a good message to kids, but wow. Graduated from high school and admitted to the University of Georgia without ever reading a single book. Not a good look, Georgia.


Mocha Cub

March 20th, 2017 at 7:31 PM ^

I'm sure Georgia isn't the only one...especially when it comes to bending admission standards to get an athlete in a revenue sport into school.


March 20th, 2017 at 8:52 PM ^

I think UGA deserves credit for helping Mitchell learn how to read. He used to be illiterate before he sought out help. 


Now he's publishing children's books and encouraging others to read. 


Good dude. Who knows where he would be if he didn't have the opportunities afforded to him by UGA. 


March 20th, 2017 at 10:38 PM ^

He learned while he was out for the season due to injury. 

I mean sure the school had a motive to make sure he did well, but it's not like he just did the bare minimum. According to the article below, it seems like he sure does have a passion for reading and educating others. 

I doubt he would join a book club full of 40-60 year old women if he didn't actively want to learn. 


March 21st, 2017 at 12:24 AM ^

Alright, I know you're kind of a douchebag by the way you type, but I'll bite anyway. 

In a perfect scenario in which colleges fulfill their duties to actively educate "student"-athletes, UGA would probably not be getting any praise from me for this. But since we don't live in that world and instead live in a reality in which some colleges recycle players solely for their athletic abilities, UGA had no reason to give a shit about this kid's educational shortcomings. They could have done what his high school and middle school did (and a lot of other universities *cough* UNC) and let him pass without any teaching whatsoever. It doesn't seem like that's what happened. So good for UGA and Mitchell. 

Crediting the school =/= diminishing Mitchell's work. 


Now go pick fights over minutiae somewhere else. 


March 20th, 2017 at 7:32 PM ^

I don't think I'd interpret the quote about "not reading a book on his own" as never reading a book. Unless he explicitly stated otherwise, I imagine he meant he never read a book that wasn't required for school. I'd also imagine there's plenty of pretty bright kids in the same boat who simply don't enjoy reading for pleasure.


March 20th, 2017 at 9:45 PM ^

Thank you for the link - awesome story. Really cool to see that he's still giving back and has a passion about this. It's a nice reminder that sometimes when the world is bleak, or we're concerned with other things, there's always a bit of hope shining through.


March 20th, 2017 at 7:36 PM ^

I mean, who knows what he meant.  But by common usage, "never read a book on my own" means "I always had to have help to read one."  I wouldn't read it as meaning he only read books required of him as opposed to books he read voluntarily.  If you chose to pick up a book for the fun of it, would you say "you read it on your own"?  Not really.  Besides, in context, that makes NO sense.  He's encouraging kids to learn to read.  Why would he single out the first book he voluntarily chose to read?  And lest we admit the obvious -- why would someone who otherwise reads requires books for school pick THAT book as the first one he chose to read "on his own"?  Doesn't add up.  Most logical inference is that, he simply always had someone helping him read (read: reading to him).

With his paycheck now, don't matter anyway.  Whomever used to read to him, he can go hire that smuck and have him/her keep reading to him.


March 20th, 2017 at 7:46 PM ^

I've heard people, myself included, say "I don't like to read on my own" to denote voluntary vs. school required reading, so it's not far fetched to interpret that's what he meant.

That said, upon further review on the Googles, Malcolm indeed was borderline illiterate coming into college and there is many an article on the topic. You sir are correct.

The Bos of Me

March 20th, 2017 at 7:47 PM ^

Regardless of where he started, where he is now is impressive. He's in a classroom, as an NFL player, encouraging kids to read. To be clear, I think UGA cheats and pays recruits. What prompted my OP was a kind of extension of that thinking, with potentially admitting kids that were not strong academically (even to minimum standards) as another way to cheat. Poorly expressed, perhaps, but that's where it came from.


March 20th, 2017 at 7:41 PM ^

How do you get a UGA grad off your porch?
A. Pay him for the pizza

You have a UGA wide receiver, linebacker, and defensive back in a car. Who is driving?
A. The cop

How do Georgia grad brain cells die?
A. Alone


March 20th, 2017 at 7:52 PM ^

Lame post. I read 1 complete book in High school. Rumble Fish
And still was able to graduate from Madonna University. I own a company, have a hot wife. 2 awesome kids (who also hate reading)


March 20th, 2017 at 9:01 PM ^

I don't find it surprising. Our culture values sales ($), boosterism, and extroversion more than it does intellectual development, thoughtful engagement with others, and introversion.

I don't mean for this to sound like a value judgment, and I described a couple of extreme points there, but the U.S. collectively doesn't value reading.


March 20th, 2017 at 9:36 PM ^

Well, in a number of European countries, you take a test at age 14 or 15 that pretty much determines your life's path - if you don't do well on it, you can't go to a college-prep high school, and have to attend a "professional" school instead.

America gives students a lot of second chances.  Even if they aren't college-ready after finishing high school, they can go to a community college.  (Not many other countries have community colleges.)  We also normally expect our elite athletes to at least finish high school, if not also go on to college, whereas in many countries they turn pro as teenagers.  

The tradeoff of all this is that we have a higher number of high school students who aren't very strong academically, since in other places they'd be weeded out before then.  So it's complicated: we are probably less demanding than other countries in the classroom, but expect a greater proportion of our society to receive an education.




March 21st, 2017 at 9:05 AM ^

Good points. I certainly enjoy the flexibility our system has, as I made a late career change in undergrad.

It's interesting to talk to foreign students about this topic though. I have a friend from Iraq and prior to immigrating she had already completed organic chemistry and other advanced courses prior to starting college. I'll have to ask her if the system was structured similar to your description.

Longballs Dong…

March 21st, 2017 at 9:41 PM ^

Not all reading is the same and I find people take a condescending tone when I say I don't read for enjoyment. Then I find out they read Harry Potter or some other trash novel. I find that to be a waste of my valuable time. I'd much rather read an earnings report but all those sophisticated readers don't have time to be concerned with saving their money. In short, I'm glad you like reading books. Now, you can take your sad indictments elsewhere.


March 20th, 2017 at 8:16 PM ^

His high school grades/test scores must have met the NCAA minimum, so he would have gotten admitted at a lot of schools.   How he managed qualifying grades/test scores might be the bigger question.

In any event, from the linked article earlier in this thread, it sounds like he's worked to better himself and has learned to enjoy reading, so good for him.  He took advantage of the opportunities college offered him.