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February 08, 1988 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-08

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F ==no% I


Every university wants a strong
athletic program, but some schools
sacrifice academic integrity to get
one. More than a few incidents exist
f athletes who graduate from col-
lege without knowing how to read
or write.
To prevent athletes from being
'used" by colleges, the National Col-
legiate Athletic Association passed a
bylaw, better known as Proposition
8, which mandates that athletes
siust score 700 on their SATs (or a 15
)n the ACT) and have a 2.0 high
school CPA to be eligible for compet-
ion in college sports. This pres-
lures schools to either accept more
lualified students or ensure athletes
;et educational assistance once they
ire enrolled.
Has Prop. 48
helped or hurt
college athletes?
By Phil Favorite
Daily Illini
U. of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
Marcus Liberty is widely considered
he best overall amateur basketball
)layer at his age in the world.
He is also a freshman at U. of Illinois,
'hampaign-Urbana, where he is in-
ligible to play under the guidelines of
roposition 48. The 6'8" graduate of
iartin Luther King Jr. High School in
hicago failed to score a 15 on the
ACT-which he took four times during
he course of the year-despite scoring
yell above his high school's average
CT score and being considered a fine
Liberty's pursuit of eligibility began
idway through his senior year with an
Ovolvement in extracurricular activi-
ies, including working with Athletes
or Better Education and taking ACT
ireparation courses on weekends. Yet
il this work was for nought, and he has
nissed his entire freshman year of bas-
:etball while battling for sophomore
The saga of Marcus Liberty brought
he effects of Prop. 48 to the attention of
}e university community. The NCAA
>ylaw, which was passed as a measure
Ivy League relaxes rules
After Columbia U.'s record
40-game losing streak, the Ivy
League is allowing the school "to
recruit students whose records
would fall below the academic
!cutoff," said Norman Mintz, Colum-
bia's executive vice president for
academic affairs.
The variance from league stan-
dards, which was approved after
the 1985 football season when the
losing streak hit 21, admitted six
players this year who took the
freshman team to a 6-0 season, the
first winning team in 13 years.
Mary Ashkar, The Rice Thresher, Rice U.,

Academics sold
out for athletic
success at UM
By Editorial Staff
The Miami Hurricane
U. of Miami, FL
The Miami Hurricane is appalled at
the recent announcement by U. of
Miami (UM) President Edward T. Foote
II that incoming students will not be
required to pass the Freshman Insti-
tute, a tutoring program designed to in-
crease marginal students' academic
Foote's decision was based on athle-
tics, not academics. Coaches feared
athletes would not want to come to UM
if they could easily flunk out. Quite
simply, Foote sold out academic integri-
ty for athletic success.
The decision provides little evidence
that our university is truly doing all it
can to increase its academic standing. If
Foote really wanted UM to become a
top-notch institution, he would never
have even considered such a decision.
How can we attain the level of
academic success Foote speaks of if we
allow marginal students-many of
whom cannot even read, write, or speak
proper English-to gain admission to
our university?
According to the University.Bulletin,
UM was founded with specific objec-
tives, including, "to give its under-
graduate students a broad, basic educa-
tion, using the most advanced methods
of instruction; and to give its graduate
and professional students curricula
that open up new frontiers and yet are
broad enough in scope to offer a sound
basis for the advancement of learning."
Unfortunately, by its recent failure to
require incoming athletes to attain even
the most rudimentary academic skills,
the university has abandoned the high
ideals and objectives on which it was
The wise founders of this institution
lived in a purer age, an era uncorrupted
by the repulsiveness of big-time, re-
venue-generating college athletics. To-
day, however, in a time when television
and bowl contracts dictate academic
policy, such sanctity is hard to come by.
Athletic Director Sam Jankovich
claims that Foote's decision is "a step in
the right direction." The Miami Hurri-
cane vehemently disagrees. We believe
it is a giant step backward in the pur-
suit of academic excellence.
As long as UM continues to allow the
academically disinclined to step foot on
the playing field, and therefore into the
classroom, talk of UM becoming a "Har-
vard of the South" will remain just

to improve the standards of prep and
higher education institutes and the
woeful college graduation rates for
athletes all over the nation, has affected
nearly every area of college athletics.
More importantly it is helping to re-
emphasize the students' work in the
A common argument and complaint
of public school officials is that the tests
are biased against minorities.
Of all the students who were ineligi-
ble for football in 1986, 85 percent were
black, according to the Center for the
Study of Sports in Society at Northeast-
ern U. in Boston.
How have these statistics affected the
state of college athletics? One way is in
the area of recruiting, where the trend
is moving away from the inner city and
is dimming the outlook of kids who
hoped to use athletics as a means for
higher education.
"The average player is going to be
hurting," said Illinois basketball coach
Lou Henson. "Coaches are not going to
recruit average players if they don't
pass the test. The top player will be
Coaches and administrators around
the country have suggested many
changes in the bylaw to improve its
effectiveness. Some think the minimum
test scores should be lowered and the
core requirements made more deman-
But Larry Hawkins, head of the test
preparation center at the U. of Chicago,
said the root of the problem is much
larger. "It's not only the coaches. It is a
societal problem. The community
should provide the hope and where-
withal to get the kids prepared.'
Still, it all comes down to the ability to
motivate students and students' ability
to stay motivated.
"If you're 6'6" with a good build on
you," Hawkins said, "and people have
been telling you you're the best thing

Athletes who want to compete in col-
lege sports must earn at least:
* a 2.0 high school GPA and
" a 700 SAT score (or 15 on ACT).
They also fall into three categories:
" Qualifiers-meet all academic require-
" Partial qualifiers-meet either the SAT
(or ACT) or the GPA requirement but not
both, and may not compete in sports for a
full year;
* Non-qualifiers-meet neither require-
ment and are not allowed to play..
since bubble gum on your jump shot,
and you have a problem with the (test
preparation) program, are you going to
stay in?
"Once a kid has gained the confidence
to participate, he's taken the first step.
The key is to get the youngsters to be-
lieve they can do it."

'It is possible, it has 'We'll always be a 'Yes, I think we can 'The University has to
been done at other competitive team. We'll still do welt recalting. be more realistic. They -
schools. With the new recruit players and put They will do as wel as do the University a 11
move for higher SAT them in the Freshman you push them to do in service: publicity. They
scores, the players Institute. They'll sit out high school.' aren't part of the
won't be able to keep a year, get good grades - CRAIG ERICKSON, general student body.
up with superior and then play.' FRESHMAN FOOTBALL OM should do tutonng
students. They shouldn't - TONY SCIONTI, PLAYER and whatever it can.
have to be tutored if SOPHOMORE, - DEREK DOMINIC,
they are here.' EX-PLAYER FRESHMAN

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