Skip to comments.CNN analysis: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders
Posted on 01/08/2014 6:41:06 AM PST by RightGeek
(CNN) -- Early in her career as a learning specialist, Mary Willingham was in her office when a basketball player at the University of North Carolina walked in looking for help with his classwork.
He couldn't read or write.
"And I kind of panicked. What do you do with that?" she said, recalling the meeting.
Willingham's job was to help athletes who weren't quite ready academically for the work required at UNC at Chapel Hill, one of the country's top public universities.
But she was shocked that one couldn't read. And then she found he was not an anomaly.
Soon, she'd meet a student-athlete who couldn't read multisyllabic words. She had to teach him to sound out Wis-con-sin, as kids do in elementary school.
And then another came with this request: "If I could teach him to read well enough so he could read about himself in the news, because that was something really important to him," Willingham said.
Student-athletes who can't read well, but play in the money-making collegiate sports of football and basketball, are not a new phenomenon, and they certainly aren't found only at UNC-Chapel Hill.
A CNN investigation found public universities across the country where many students in the basketball and football programs could read only up to an eighth-grade level. The data obtained through open records requests also showed a staggering achievement gap between college athletes and their peers at the same institution.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
I’m surprised anyone thinks this is news
They’re getting ready for the big leagues where the motto is, “My felon is bigger, better, and meaner than your felon.”
Being illiterate is a problem. Reading like an eighth grader? Not so much.
Yeah, it is pretty disgraceful. What happens when one of these players gets permanently injured? Then they’re a crippled illiterate. Good luck finding work in that situation, even with a worthless college degree.
If they can’t read or write, how do they pass the SAT??? /sarc
This reminded me of the interview with the Florida State Defensive Player of the Game following the BCS Championship. As soon as the guy opened his mouth you realized he was incapable of constructing a sentence in the English language (AKA: Dumb as a Rock). How some of these athletes get in college and maintain any kind of GPA is disgraceful. By the way, while on the subject, the FSU QB (Wilcox) has a lot of talents, but his potential as an NFL QB is questionable because of what is between his ears. Kind of reminds me of the Oakland Raiders 1st Draft Pick years ago of the QB from LSU which was a complete bust.
“Reading on a fifth to eighth grade level is an adult level of reading. It’s enough to read a newspaper. It’s enough to read furniture assembly instructions. It’s more than enough to become a gym teacher or coach your respective sport. Heck, it’s enough to teach fifth grade.”
How can it be enough to teach fifth grade? It’s not enough to get into college, let alone graduate with a degree! If that level of reading was enough, we could let sixth graders teach the fifth graders and dispense with the teachers.
True, but none of these types of people should be in college, for ant reason.
that’s a fair point. The article elides the difference between the two, citing specific examples of illiterates, but then giving the broader statistical context of just basically being not very smart, which you’re right, is no crime.
Although does beg the question of what they are doing occupying a seat at a university, but ok.
It’s not news, just sad. I work hard every single day, with kids in Special Education, to teach them to read. We have made great strides and I see no excuse for not helping these kids when they are in elementary school. I’m in CA for goodness sakes. Aren’t we the lowest in test scores?
I meant to type “for any reason.”
The kid can run and throw the ball.
That’s all the colleges care about.
It used to be that bright kids would go to college and compete with other bright kids. Now there is no place for a bright kid to go. In college, he would be surrounded by grade school level competition. There is no challenge to inspire effort.
Don’t expect more than a few of our potentially bright kids to excel when morons get the same rewards.
Kadence Otto, who once taught at Florida State University, recalled one situation where an academic support tutor would call every week to check up on a starting player.
"I would say, 'He's not doing well. He can't read and write.' And (the tutor) said, 'Well, we'll see what we can do,'" Otto said. That stopped with a career-ending injury. "He's worth nothing to the team, and I never once heard back from the academic support adviser. He never showed up to class again, either."
One of the "solutions" was to give these men a chit for four-year's worth of college education. I never did hear how successful it was.
It's all about money, as you know, and those lucrative T.V. deals.
My question was always, "Where were/are the parents and family of those young men?"
Or was it strictly an attempted hatchet job like the one SI tried against Oklahoma State back in the summer?
Or was it something in between, you know, like water is wet and the sun rises in the east?
(And why do they run with it now, two days after the national championship football game? )
Alright. Fourth grade teachers. And yes, I suspect there are elementary school teachers who don't read much past a fifth grade level, let alone an eighth grade one.
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