"Real Sports" investigates admission standards for athletes

By Johnny Ginter on March 23, 2014 at 10:20p

“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” will air an episode featuring a six-month investigation into academic advising centers at the University of Oklahoma, University of Memphis and University of North Carolina.

A 45 second trailer released this week features Oklahoma professor Gerald Gurney, who previously estimated that 10 percent of athletes on revenue-producing sports teams read below a fourth grade level.

This may sound insane but is very likely true. The disparity between the ability of high school students in wealthy districts and those in poorer districts is absolutely insane (and in the eye of this high school teacher, utterly unacceptable), and given the amount of big time collegiate athletes that originate from disadvantaged schools, it seems likely that a wide swath of athletes are deficient in key academic areas.

The idea of the mythical "scholar athlete" is often just that, a myth, but the NCAA continues to perpetuate it because if they treat it as anything else then they'd be forced to reevaluate the way that they treat players.


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Squirrel Master's picture

I just put your rant into the Hemingwayapp.com site and it reads at grade 20.

so that must mean I can read 5 times better than 10% of major sports athletes? Awe Yeah!


I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+2 HS
BrooklynBuckeye's picture

This Hemingwayapp.com site scares me. Anyone seen Idiocracy? A big step in that direction is the implication that writing above a 7th grade level is "unclear" writing. 

Y come u don't uz sml wordz? If u dont uz sml words u wont hve Most Dominate Writing Program.

+1 HS
AndyVance's picture

I haven't seen the film you referenced, but I have read Orwell's classic 1984, and let me tell you - the text-truncated writing style of modern America reminds me a whole lot of his concept of newspeak. The dumbing down of America is not a good thing.

Minor tangent: consider the men of Thomas Jefferson's era. Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at the age of 33. How did he attain the status to do so? Certainly being born into the plantar class in Virginia didn't hurt, but his brilliant intellect and diligent study were of paramount importance. At the age of nine, Jefferson began studying Latin, Greek, and French; Jefferson was a polymath who spoke five languages and was deeply interested in science, invention, architecture, religion and philosophy and was an active member and eventual president of the American Philosophical Society.

His varied educational and academic interests led him to the founding of the University of Virginia after his presidency. He designed Monticello himself, beginning construction on the masterpiece at the center of his 5,000-acre plantation at the age of 25. How many 25-year-olds do you know today who could design Monticello, or 33-year-olds who could draft something as timeless and earth-shatteringly-important as the Declaration of Independence? We simply do not educate ourselves in such a way today as to open ourselves up to these possibilities.

Okay, random tangent over. Thanks for listening :)

+5 HS
Unky Buck's picture

I highly suggest watching that movie, AV. While I never thought it was actually that funny of a movie, the similarities in which they are describing the future intelligence of the American population are seemingly coming to fruition. It's actually almost staggering how accurate it is. Who needs Nostradamus when we have Mike Judge to predict the future?

Rock over London; Rock on Chicago. Timex: It takes a lickin' but keeps on tickin'

Chief B1G Dump's picture

Hey thanks Bryant Gumbel!  We hadnt ever thought about that.  With live TV interviews, press conferences and print media ramming these guys down our throats every.0005 seconds, we hadnt noticed that some of them are just plain dumb.  Not just in reading/writing...but the constant stream of arrests, bankruptcies, etc.  It is much harder for these guys to be well balanced in life when your time is completely monopolized on one area versus having a balance...especially when you have fame and status without NEEDING to be literate.  Their tools for success hinge on athletic prowess, not educated decisions in the board room.

You could conversely say that many people reading this are good at what they do...but they have the fitness level of an over weight 4th grader.

Nobody questioned Forrest Gump's admission into Alabama!

+8 HS
BrooklynBuckeye's picture

Thank you! I've been trying to get someone to look into Forrest Gump's admission to Alabama for a while now, and they hide behind statute of limitations and necessity of non-fiction documentation. Typical SEC whitewash.

+1 HS
teddyballgame's picture

What next, after they're in they continue to get special treatment too?!?  Madness

+1 HS
tdible2132's picture

Notice how Gumbel's "investigation" steered clear of SEC schools... 

+2 HS
Knarcisi's picture

No investigation is needed for known facts.