January 11, 2014

I graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1966.  (Yes I’m old as dirt.)  If you attend a school in the SEC (Southeastern   Conference) you know that SEC football is not just an NCAA Division I sport, it’s a religion.  Seemingly, we live and die with the success or failure of the teams we support.    One of the best coaches in the SEC was Bill Battle.    Some remember he became head coach at the age of28.  His teams did extremely well in his early years but struggled at the end of his tenure.  Battle coached at Tennessee from 1966 to 1969.  His worst record was 7 and 4, BUT he lost to Alabama and coach Bear Bryant four years in a row.  That was his downfall.  Battle never coached again after he left UT but did become a successful businessman in the licensing business.   To win, you must have coaching talent AND the personnel to take the game from concept to the playing field.  YOU MUST RECRUIT THE VERY BEST PLAYERS—AT ANY COSTS if you are to compete in the SEC.   This is where it gets interesting.

If you read my postings, you know I generally concentrate on education and specifically engineering education.  CNN and the ELEVEN WARRIORS web sites have recently published findings that represent the ultimate shame, in my opinion, relative the NCAA Division I football and basketball.  The information from this blog highlight the situation as recorded by both sites.

According to academic experts, the threshold for being college-literate is a score of 400 on the SAT critical reading or writing test.  On the ACT, that threshold is 16.  Many student-athletes scored in the 200s and 300s on the SAT critical reading test — a threshold that experts told us was an elementary reading level and too low for college classes. The lowest score possible on that part of the SAT is 200, and the national average is 500.  In looking at the chart below, we see the following:

  • SUMMER 2009
  • 5/24
  • SUMMER 2010
  • 4/9
  • SUMMER 2011
  • 4/13
  • 3/7
  • SUMMER 2012
  • 1/17
  • SPRING 2013
  • 0/5
  • SUMMER 2013
  • 2/20
  • 19/93


On the ACT, it was discovered that some students scored in the single digits.     The highest possible score is 36 and the national average is 20. In most cases, the team average ACT reading score was in the high teens.

  • In the group of more than 29,000 student-athletes who entered Division I institutions for the first time in 2012, only 16 were certified as eligible with test scores below 600 (or the ACT equivalent) – which is .05%. Of those, only 2 were in the sports of men’s basketball or football.
  • Only 68 were certified as eligible with scores between 600 and 700 (0.2%).  Of that group, 28 were men’s basketball or football student-athletes.
  • Test scores and GPAs are very highly correlated. This is why it is a very rare event to have a very low test score, but grades high enough to be certified as eligible.  It is only slightly more common to see very low grades paired with a high test score.

It has been stated:  “College textbooks are written at the ninth-grade level, so we are putting these elite athletes into classes where they can’t understand the textbooks.  Imagine yourself sitting in a class where nothing makes sense.” This happens year after year.

Periodically since the 1980s, stories have surfaced of athletes who could not read.

— Former basketball player Kevin Ross told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” about his struggles at Creighton University in the 1980s.

— In 1989, football player Dexter Manley told Congress that he got through college and into the pros without ever learning to read.

— Dasmine Cathey’s compelling story of struggle at the University of Memphis was recounted by The Chronicle of Higher Education in 2012.

And as far back as the 1980s, faculty and staff have spoken up about illiterate athletes who are pushed through with passing grades to keep up their eligibility to play, while their reading was little addressed.

Linda Bensel-Meyers, who worked for Tennessee until 2003, said a university-hired psychologist would diagnose learning disabilities in athletes and put them in a program without the graduation requirements set for other students.  “Many of the records I looked at revealed that these athletes came to us essentially illiterate and still left the school functionally illiterate,” Bensel-Meyers told CNN.

If you consider the number of players seeking to enter the NFL or the NBA, you see an overwhelming number do not make it.  There is simply too much competition.  OK, let’s say a player does make the “bigs”; he can expect to play, on average, four (4) years.  That’s all—just four years.   Then what do they do?  Without proper education, they become no different than a person never having played.

The NCAA is aware of this situation and yet “big money” drives the system and no real corrective action is being taken to stop this shameful process.  TOO MUCH MONEY.  They players become pawns in a system destined to use them and throw them away.

I certainly appreciate your comments and rebuttal.

2 Responses to “NCAA DIVISION I SHAME”

  1. Vaughn Says:

    After looking at a few of the blog articles on your
    blog, I honestly like your way of writing a blog. I book marked
    it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon.
    Please check out my website as well and tell me what you think.


    • cielotech Says:

      Hello Vaughn-I really appreciate you taking a look. You would not believe the number of favorable comments I have received from this post. Apparently readers really enjoy the topic. Down here in the “sunny” south, we love our football. The information in the post is absolutely accurate–even though a little unbelievable. Again, many thanks and take care.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: