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Friday, August 27, 2004

The class? Varsity football.

This story on how some schools give class credit for playing varsity sports. Well, only a few credits (Kansas State allows up to four credit hours).

Good or Bad?

I tend to support giving student athletes some credit for their efforts. At the University of Georgia in the late 1980s, we had to take five one-hour courses in physical education - badmitton, volleyball, and the sort. I am sure UGA football players were given credit for weightlifting the same as I was given credit for billiards.

There is the potential for abuse (see what Jim Harrick, Jr., did at Georgia), and the administrators interviewed for the New York Times piece admit surprise that the policies are in place, but perhaps there is a broader lesson to be learned. I am not sure if it would be politically wise to admit that they know the policies are in place. However, concerns over academic rigor and appropriateness seem a little overblown. Many students go to school for what might be considered less than valuable degrees. And while many student athletes focus on their athletic skills at the cost of academic pursuits, which might hurt their earning potential in the future, other types of students focus on the opposite sex, beer bongs, marijuana, and other activities at the expense of their academic pursuits.

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