Quote Originally Posted by MCFinARL View Post
Okay, but that doesn't necessarily mean that anything shady is going on--someone could just be encouraging basketball players to take Swahili because it's an easy class for everyone at UNC.

When my daughter was at Duke, she took beginning Italian, because she wanted to study abroad in Italy. The class was completely legit, but Italian turns out to be a fairly easy language to learn, compared to languages like French or German. About half the members of her small section (15 or 20 students, IIRC) were athletes (not basketball players, as it happens). It's possible, of course, that many Duke athletes have always wanted to learn Italian; it's also possible that athletes may choose certain courses (or be encouraged to choose certain courses) because they will demand less time than others, because they meet at times that don't conflict with practice, and because if several members of a team are taking the same course they can study together for more efficiency.

This may chafe a bit against our most idealized notions about the student-athlete, but I don't think there is anything remotely wrong with it, and there are plenty of non-athletes who choose classes (especially ones they are taking to fill requirements) because they are easy.
When it comes to course selection, word of mouth intelligence from others seems to influence students regarding which courses to take or even which sections to seek out. I've observed such patterns not only among athletes, but also among fraternities.

It was "common knowledge" years ago during my undergraduate days that a certain poli sci prof was supposed to be easy. There were many athletes in his classes.... but there weren't many A's and B's turned out to take some real work. Sometimes classes and/or professors turn out to be rather different than the myth on campus.