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  1. #1

    Classes Basketball Players Take

    Hi,

    In the "anonymous" notes section of Feinstein apology referenced on the front page there was a note that I want to make sure people in America know isn't true, but I don't know how to do that. Ideas? The contention was that the basketball players get to work towards the "Sociology" major without having to take classes with regular Duke students. For the record, I had some athletes in classes I took at Duke 20 plus years ago. This person believes that since the sociology major is an "athletes" major it makes Duke the dirtiest program in the nation.

    Perhaps this belongs as part of the "hatred" tsunami, but there are so many threads in there it becomes unwieldy to read. Where/When did people start getting the idea that Duke had special majors for student-athletes that were not the same as that for a "regular" student? Where did people get the idea, an idea Coach K dispelled at the Final Four, that student-athletes live in athletic dorms at Duke? Was there an article or was this some sort of fictitious fabrication by the anonymous poster on Feinstein's blog?

    GO DUKE!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia
    I have a close friend who was a classmate of Nick Horvath; as seniors, they both took Quantum Physics II. Sounds like a real academic cakewalk to me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, within a couple of miles of Cameron
    I noticed that, too, and the 'sociology' conspiracy popped up several years back, maybe during the 2001 championship.
    Please.
    How worse is Duke than any other major university in this regard: does Kentucky, or UNC, require their student-athletes to take 'hard' majors? Of course not. I'd also submit that Duke's Sociology -or Visual Arts- major is a bit tougher than, say, UNC's, or NCSU's.
    If this is the most vicious criticism of Duke's BBall program, it's pretty weak sauce, IMHO.
    There were some good rebuttals in the comments section, but the most telling was that the complainer listed him/herself as 'anonymous'.
    Really?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO

    Talking Comments on Feinstein's Blog

    Quote Originally Posted by Kewlswim View Post
    Hi,

    In the "anonymous" notes section of Feinstein apology referenced on the front page there was a note that I want to make sure people in America know isn't true, but I don't know how to do that. Ideas? The contention was that the basketball players get to work towards the "Sociology" major without having to take classes with regular Duke students. For the record, I had some athletes in classes I took at Duke 20 plus years ago. This person believes that since the sociology major is an "athletes" major it makes Duke the dirtiest program in the nation.

    Perhaps this belongs as part of the "hatred" tsunami, but there are so many threads in there it becomes unwieldy to read. Where/When did people start getting the idea that Duke had special majors for student-athletes that were not the same as that for a "regular" student? Where did people get the idea, an idea Coach K dispelled at the Final Four, that student-athletes live in athletic dorms at Duke? Was there an article or was this some sort of fictitious fabrication by the anonymous poster on Feinstein's blog?

    GO DUKE!
    The comments below the Feistein blog are definitely worth reading. They include somewhat literate "foaming at the mouth," such as the ones by Anonymous, and intelligent defense of K and Duke. Especially read the comment that points out that there are no sociology majors on the Duke team, which would seem to be a slight flaw in Anonymous's reasoning.

    The other points made by Anonymous also suggest why he adopted the posting name he did. Sociology is not a major limited to athletes. And BTW isn't Cultural Anthropology a really tough set of courses? Moreover, one's major occupies only about 25% of the courses an undergraduate takes, unless things have changed since the full decade I spent on college campuses at Duke and at Rice. Moreover, athletes are mainstreamed at Duke, taking courses along with other students.

    And why, for heaven sakes, is Duke being singled out for easy majors, when it does not offer Phys Ed, unlike Wake, or Recreation, unlike UNC?

    And don't get me started on the Ivy League. No way do Ivy League athletes compete for admission with regular students. And BTW, why is American Studies one of the most popular majors at Yale? Hint: it isn't because of the academic challenge offered.

    sagegrouse
    'I am happy to see John F. recant about Krzyzewski. It was due, and I am tired of reading anti JF comments on this Board. JF has been a hugely successful sports journalist (in terms of money earned) BECAUSE he is controversial'

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Baltimore
    How taking the "sociology major" makes Duke the dirtiest program in America is beyond me. We graduate our students, many of the so-called elite programs do not. For me, that is enough. School is a priority and it it is experienced as such. All because they aren't math majors doesn't mean they aren't fully engaged on the educational front.

    Nobody at Duke is trying to perpetuate the idea that these kids are becoming Engineering, Physics, Chemistry, etc majors at the same rate as other "students". Not every student has the same strengths. Just as we value the incredible musician who struggles in math and takes statistics to meet requirements, how can that idiot responding in the comments section not understand the overall value concept for student-athletes in the same way? Boggles the mind.

    Furthermore, you can look to Kyle and Lance as examples of how schoolwork has impacted their athletic and dare I say "overall" lives this year. One of the short videos from DukeBluePlanet (taken earlier this year) talks to Kyle about why he chose to be a Visual Arts major, etc. Short answer paraphrased is he absolutely enjoys the balance of life art gives him off the court. He feels like it allows him to express himself in a completely new way. And look how it has impacted him and the team this year? He made that celebratory 17-0 t-shirt that everybody wants! Using what he has learned and appreciated off the court has helped him embrace this team, help feed the team a sense of identity. And any artist knows that showing someone your art is one of the most courageous acts an artist can do. Another example is Lance, he made specific graphic design posters for every player on the team. If you cycle through them on DukeBluePlanet you can see how talented he truly is (and doing graphic design TAKES FOREVER. I am sure this personal project took Lance a great deal of time.... again, applying what he has learned in the classroom to his life).

    I think I wasted my time writing all this here since obviously none of you guys were thinking our guys were taking the easy route. Its a random hater who will never see the light because he/she doesn't want to. Thats fine. But I as a fan admire these guys even more because instead of school being a time burden, they have embraced it. As an added bonus, I know Chris Duhon completed the Markets and Management certificate to help in gain a feel for how markets work, how to manage a portfolio, etc. Good life skills definitely. I bet Antoine Walker of Kentucky fame wishes he had those courses...

  6. #6
    Miles Plumlee was an engineer for a year. From what I hear, the reason he switched was that balancing the work with the basketball obligations became too much, but still, he did make it through a year.

    Greg Paulus was a political science major, which from my own experiences here is not a cakewalk. Scheyer is a History major, which I again can tell you is no cakewalk based on experiences of friends. These guys may not be in Pratt or be Math, Physics, Chemistry, or Biology majors, but it's not like they are taking majors like Sports Management that there are at other schools.
    Trinity '11
    Duke University Marching Band 07-11

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    RTP, NC
    or my personal favorite, "university studies"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Back in the dirty Jerz
    We have plenty of scholarship guys who have taken the hard majors. Trajan was a math major. Matt Christensen was an engineer, I believe.
    -- DukeUsul

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    "Scheyer is a History major, which I again can tell you is no cakewalk based on experiences of friends."

    I can state with absolute certainty that the brighest students at Duke major in history. Been that way since at least the late 1960s.

    Of all the absurd claims to throw at Duke, the idea that Duke basketball players aren't real students is pretty close to the most absurd. And that's saying something.

    Did you notice that in the post-Butler post-game, K mentioned that Duke doesn't have athletic dorms. Somehow the media in Indy went absolutely ga-ga over the idea that Butler doesn't have athletic dorms. Duke has never had athletic dorms but that doesn't show up in fawning articles. Duke does as good a job of integrating athletes into student life--academic and otherwise-- as any major athletic school anywhere.

  10. #10
    Boy am I a sucker - I actually paid four years of tuition for my daughter to go to Duke and be a sociology major. I thought she was going to school, little did I know she was just hanging out with the basketball players. She even suckered UNC into allowing her into graduate school on a full scholarship and topped it off by getting a job running a non-profit.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by AtlDuke72 View Post
    Boy am I a sucker - I actually paid four years of tuition for my daughter to go to Duke and be a sociology major. I thought she was going to school, little did I know she was just hanging out with the basketball players. She even suckered UNC into allowing her into graduate school on a full scholarship and topped it off by getting a job running a non-profit.
    There is one born every day!

    Congratulations to your daughter on all her accomplishments.

  12. #12
    I know people who have tutored Scheyer, Kelly, Dawkins -- all great students. Zoubek is said to be the smartest student in one of his history classes. A former prof of mine said Shane Battier was as smart as any Duke undergrad, actually smarter than most. This makes me very proud of our program.

  13. #13
    We go through this every few years. Young 20-somethings who are about to see a windfall of millions of dollars are well-advised to get their learnings on about business and investment (wild thought, huh?). Duke, however, unlike many other schools, does not have an undergraduate degree in business. The Markets and Management path in the Sociology department is the closest equivalent to a business degree, which is why athletes have historically clustered there.

    I seem to remember during ESPN's hatchet job on Duke in 2002 (which perpetuated the same myth of Sociology as being a jocks major), both the Director of Admissions and the Chair of the Sociology department were interviewed, and both explained this fact. Not one minute of either interview was actually shown, nor was that fact ever referenced.

  14. #14

    Home Ec for Jocks?

    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    And why, for heaven sakes, is Duke being singled out for easy majors, when it does not offer Phys Ed, unlike Wake, or Recreation, unlike UNC?
    During an OSU game, IIRC, they displayed Evan's Turner's major. It's Pre Family Resource Management. Is this major Home Ec for single jocks?

    Jim

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Charlotte

    Can't Make Blanket Statements

    I had a Cultural Anthropology class with Nate Dawg and Jay Williams...they were there, on time, every day, sat in front rows.

    My frat also had a big party one night and Tricky Nicky Horvath showed up and ended up in my room checking out my roomie's books, or novels I should say, and asking for recommendations. Anyway, we loaned him one and made him an honorary member of the frat!

    OTOH, and this is just to be fair, I was in a History of Warfare class that Casey Sanders was enrolled in. The teacher called role everyday and when he said "Casey Sanders" everyone laughed each time because there was always a long pause like the professor was expecting him to be there...I think the professor didn't know who Casey was and kept wondering why everyone laughed every time. Pretty funny. Furthermoe, it is embarrasing when one's phone goes off in class, but Casey actually answered it and walked to the back of the classroom to have a conversation...I would pay good money to see the look on that professor's face again. It was a large room in East Duke (I think that's what it was called) but there was no hiding. Granted this was right around graduation, kind of when on exam day the class size doubles.

    I only post this because you have athletes who go to class and study. I even had a football star (he only Football star during my four years there, one who led the ACC in all purpose yards) he organized study groups and I must say was one of the brighter people in our little group, and very proactive on his own about getting people to share ideas and study together.

    Point being, it all has to do with the individual. You can do the bare minimum and coast through college just like a regular student or you can take it serious and actually learn something. The main difference is 'coasting' at Duke is much much harder than your average State school. Cultural Anthropology was not as easy as people make it out to be...the only class at Duke that was easy was the History of Jazz with Paul Jeffries...everything else took serious work to get anything above a C.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Dillon, Colorado
    Quote Originally Posted by PumpkinFunk View Post
    Miles Plumlee was an engineer for a year. From what I hear, the reason he switched was that balancing the work with the basketball obligations became too much, but still, he did make it through a year.
    Most engineering classes at Duke beyond the intro level are going to have lab sessions. These typically go once a week in the afternoon for 2-3 hours. An uperclassman will take two or three such classes each semester. This is also the case for advanced science courses (Orgo, etc).

    Problem is, mid-afternoon is when K usually holds practice. If a player really wanted to study something with lab requirements I'm sure K would find a workaround, but you can't really skip labs like you can with a lot of lecture classes. (I skipped one lab, ever, on the Tuesday after we won the 1992 championship. Still got a B+ in the course, or maybe it was an A-.) Point is, the commitment is not just extra work but an extra chunk of the day that can't be moved.

    I think Trajan tried engineering for a couple years but switched to math for this reason.
    Between me and every ideal I always find Scheisskopfs, Peckems, Korns and Cathcarts. And that sort of changes the ideal. -- Joseph Heller

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, within a couple of miles of Cameron
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    "Scheyer is a History major, which I again can tell you is no cakewalk based on experiences of friends."

    I can state with absolute certainty that the brighest students at Duke major in history. Been that way since at least the late 1960s.

    Of all the absurd claims to throw at Duke, the idea that Duke basketball players aren't real students is pretty close to the most absurd. And that's saying something.

    Did you notice that in the post-Butler post-game, K mentioned that Duke doesn't have athletic dorms. Somehow the media in Indy went absolutely ga-ga over the idea that Butler doesn't have athletic dorms. Duke has never had athletic dorms but that doesn't show up in fawning articles. Duke does as good a job of integrating athletes into student life--academic and otherwise-- as any major athletic school anywhere.
    Jim, you probably remember this as well: when I was watching games as a kid during the Bubas era, both teams were announced, giving their majors. One game I remember, the Duke players were listed, history, economics, pre-med, etc., only to have all 5 of the NC State players listed as being majors in "rural recreation", whatever that was.
    Art Chandler told me years later that it was all he could do to keep a straight face when announcing those majors, and it wasn't long after that season that majors were no longer mentioned....

    Incidentally, I'm just pleased beyond words that Art retired with a NCAA Championship team!

    JStuart

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by JWA71 View Post
    During an OSU game, IIRC, they displayed Evan's Turner's major. It's Pre Family Resource Management. Is this major Home Ec for single jocks?

    Jim
    More like:How to market ones-self.

    Definitely not biology...but not a slouch major, either.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Back in the dirty Jerz
    Quote Originally Posted by hurleyfor3 View Post
    Most engineering classes at Duke beyond the intro level are going to have lab sessions. These typically go once a week in the afternoon for 2-3 hours. An uperclassman will take two or three such classes each semester. This is also the case for advanced science courses (Orgo, etc).

    Problem is, mid-afternoon is when K usually holds practice. If a player really wanted to study something with lab requirements I'm sure K would find a workaround, but you can't really skip labs like you can with a lot of lecture classes. (I skipped one lab, ever, on the Tuesday after we won the 1992 championship. Still got a B+ in the course, or maybe it was an A-.) Point is, the commitment is not just extra work but an extra chunk of the day that can't be moved.

    I think Trajan tried engineering for a couple years but switched to math for this reason.
    There have been a few engineers over the years. Todd Singleton and Matt Christensen come to mind. You can check out some majors for previous players here (they seem not to be listed for some of the guys who left early).

    http://goduke.statsgeek.com/basketba...layers/all.php
    -- DukeUsul

  20. #20

    Thank You

    Hi,

    I wanted to write something where everyone who read it would be like, "Duke student-athletes are definitively integrated into the student population, academically and otherwise." However, I doubt there is anything I could write that would make someone who does not want to believe the truth, believe.

    There are so many ways to attack Duke hoops that have nothing to do with attacking the integrity of the University. We all want Duke to win at sport, but (I think) we also want more than that, that the University educate everyone who is a student. It hurts me to think we would win any championship or even field a team without that core value in mind. Perhaps Mr./Ms. Anonymous understood that such an allegation would get under many Dukies skin and I took the bait? I know there is a book called something like "Why do we hate so much?" about the Duke-UNC rivalry. I should probably write one about Duke titled, "Why do we love so much?"

    GO DUKE!

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