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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Inman, SC & Melbourne Beach, FL

    Academic performance of athletes

    I believe that student performance will continue to be a subject that is raised. I heard Father Hesburgh from Notre Dame address this subject some years ago. He made the point that they had no easy majors (Phys Ed), but 100% of basketball and all but one football player were going to graduate on time.
    It would be interesting to track how our players do, particularly vs other ACC schools. What majors, and with what success. I am not talking about the broad measures that are required, but info specific to individual players. For example, Nelson is a senior. What is his major and how is he doing? Paulus is a junior, ditto. Redick and Williams graduated recently -- what were their majors? How were they as students?
    In a way, just trying to put a little flesh on the bone. If Duke is indeed more than a diploma mill (and it is) and more than a minor league farm team (and it is), then we ought to be proud of the atheletic graduates who are produced.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by mgtr View Post
    I believe that student performance will continue to be a subject that is raised. I heard Father Hesburgh from Notre Dame address this subject some years ago. He made the point that they had no easy majors (Phys Ed), but 100% of basketball and all but one football player were going to graduate on time.
    It would be interesting to track how our players do, particularly vs other ACC schools. What majors, and with what success. I am not talking about the broad measures that are required, but info specific to individual players. For example, Nelson is a senior. What is his major and how is he doing? Paulus is a junior, ditto. Redick and Williams graduated recently -- what were their majors? How were they as students?
    In a way, just trying to put a little flesh on the bone. If Duke is indeed more than a diploma mill (and it is) and more than a minor league farm team (and it is), then we ought to be proud of the atheletic graduates who are produced.
    That cuts a little too close to the bone. I believe that even as public figures college athletes are entitled to some privacy. To show overall GPA/SAT/Graduation rates for a school is informative. Even for a team may be okay. But to show individual numbers by athlete is an invasion of privacy. I have no need to know whether DeMarcus got a C or a B in his most recent Chemistry course, nor do I have any right even to know if this is on his course load. Knowing that he is enrolled in a course of study and is academically eligible is all the public should be entitled to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Parts Unknown
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    That cuts a little too close to the bone. I believe that even as public figures college athletes are entitled to some privacy. To show overall GPA/SAT/Graduation rates for a school is informative. Even for a team may be okay. But to show individual numbers by athlete is an invasion of privacy. I have no need to know whether DeMarcus got a C or a B in his most recent Chemistry course, nor do I have any right even to know if this is on his course load. Knowing that he is enrolled in a course of study and is academically eligible is all the public should be entitled to.
    I agree completely.

    Even though they are public figures there is still the "student" part of student-athlete. That would never be suggested for the non-athlete student. We have no right in their private lives.

  4. #4
    I agree that GPA/SAT for individual students should not be made public, but finding majors and who made the Academic All-ACC and the like is public knowledge. You can look up most of the players' majors on their page on the goduke.com roster page unless they are an underclassmen and undecided. It says it under "Personal." JJ majored in history and minored in cultural anthropology. Shel majored in sociology with a markets and management studies certificate. Doesn't say the majors for Nelson and Paulus on their pages, though. In 2006, Paulus and Pocius were Academic All-ACC. Only Miami also had more than one player on the list. Last year, Pocius was Academic All-ACC.

  5. #5
    IANAL, but I'm almost 100% positive that distributing information on individual student performance without a signed waiver (at least) from the student would be a gross violation of FERPA regulations. Schools take this stuff pretty seriously; technically I'm not supposed to even discuss a student's grades with him or her over email because you never know who can read the email.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inman, SC & Melbourne Beach, FL
    I agree about GPA for current students, but I bet it is possible to get GPA for graduated students -- it is on their transcript, and that is probably not that hard to get your hands on. At a minimum, Duke employees can get that info, and then (if personal intrusion is an issue) it could be published by sport for, say, all graduates of the last few classes. Then continue every year with a moving average. Over time, the results could be quite interesting. It may be more trouble than it is worth, however.
    The point of all is to show whether Duke actually has better student-athletes than XYZ. However, it could cause lots of problems, because a B at Duke may not at all be the same as a B at XYZ, particularly with grade inflation.
    I am doing a pretty good job of arguing myself out of this, aren't I?

  7. #7
    I'm almost positive Nelson is a cultural anthropology major.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mgtr View Post
    I agree about GPA for current students, but I bet it is possible to get GPA for graduated students -- it is on their transcript, and that is probably not that hard to get your hands on. At a minimum, Duke employees can get that info, and then (if personal intrusion is an issue) it could be published by sport for, say, all graduates of the last few classes. Then continue every year with a moving average. Over time, the results could be quite interesting. It may be more trouble than it is worth, however.
    The point of all is to show whether Duke actually has better student-athletes than XYZ. However, it could cause lots of problems, because a B at Duke may not at all be the same as a B at XYZ, particularly with grade inflation.
    I am doing a pretty good job of arguing myself out of this, aren't I?
    If Duke decided to even think about publishing such statistics (ETA: They may already do this, right?), I would hope that they would have the good sense to publish team GPAs or general student-athlete GPAs (I know my current institution does this) ONLY. As you suggest, that could provide some interesting information, but, as you recognize, it would still be open to questions about difficulties of majors, grade inflation, etc.

    I think that the fact that those question exist AND the privacy concerns are two good reasons not to even think about this data on an individual level (I like allenmurray's conclusion: "Knowing that [DeMarcus] is enrolled in a course of study and is academically eligible is all the public should be entitled to."). If this sort of thing were to be pursued at the individual level it would, in my opinion, smack of transforming the GPA of another person with a right to privacy and no specific obligations to "the fans" into a curio to put on display to allow those same fans to lay claims to "superiority" by association (hi, I'm Quotin' Expat). Someone's individual GPA and class performance is a matter to be kept private unless that individual wishes to grant access to his or her records.

    Of course, I don't think there is a serious expectation that such a thing will happen, but I just got out of lecture and I'm still letting off the steam from my class's discussion.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis
    Quote Originally Posted by allenmurray View Post
    That cuts a little too close to the bone. I believe that even as public figures college athletes are entitled to some privacy. To show overall GPA/SAT/Graduation rates for a school is informative. Even for a team may be okay. But to show individual numbers by athlete is an invasion of privacy. I have no need to know whether DeMarcus got a C or a B in his most recent Chemistry course, nor do I have any right even to know if this is on his course load. Knowing that he is enrolled in a course of study and is academically eligible is all the public should be entitled to.
    Not only that, but it would be against FERPA for the Universities to release that info.

    Every time I log into our system at UMSL, I have to click yes on an agreement that I won't share any student info with anybody.

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Most GPA's that I have seen are for all athletes - including the golf team, swimming team etc. etc. It would be interesting to see the GPA for the individual teams. Maybe even for the starting players (as a group). The privacy acts can - and are - used to cover up things that are not favorable. I am old enough to remember when the BB team use to have starting players that majored in Physics, Math and the like. No longer - JJ's major in history is the best that I've see recently.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Inman, SC & Melbourne Beach, FL
    OKL, Zeke, you are really making my point better than I was able to. What if we see GPAs team by team? I taught at a former D2 school, now D1, and I know the GPA of the MBB team was a whole lot lower than the golf team or the WVB team. About the only team who was lower was the BB team, whose players were only there until they were (imminently) drafted by the majors. Right - rarely happened.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!

    Arrow What if Duke were free to all

    and could offer unlimited scholarships to all athletes, above and beyond the 85 football scholly's allowed now? Far fetched? Maybe not! It may be forced upon us.
    Read this!
    http://online.wsj.com/public/article...639708891.html

    If Harvard and Yale could do it, so could Duke!
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
    9F 9F 9F
    http://www.EGLEW.com


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by OZZIE4DUKE View Post
    and could offer unlimited scholarships to all athletes, above and beyond the 85 football scholly's allowed now? Far fetched? Maybe not! It may be forced upon us.
    Read this!
    http://online.wsj.com/public/article...639708891.html

    If Harvard and Yale could do it, so could Duke!
    Nice article. Thanks Ozzie.

    I wonder what the NCAA will do about this. I don't think they can do anything about it.

    Cheers,
    Lavabe

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    it's a sad state of affairs when academic "excellence" is measured by graduation rates. everyone on the team may be majoring in phys ed and getting gentlemen's Cs, but as long as everyone (or nearly everyone) graduates, then the school is looked at as really focusing on academics. with 5 years (including summers) to complete 4 years of work, a reduced work load almost the entire time, tudors galore, zero financial concerns and first dibs on all the gut classes, athletic teams should graduate nearly everyone. the teams under 50% should face severe sanctions.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Dukie8, I share some of your concern about whether there are ways at Duke that are a bit too easy - such as classes that have a lot of papers (which can be ghost-written) and majors that seem to attract a disproportionate share of athletes (sociology was curiously popular when I was there).

    On the other hand, it is amazing to me that these guys (and gals) have energy enough for anything after the intense physical practices, games, and travel, that they must go through. If they all took a 3/4ths load and made up for it in summers, I'm totally fine with it - and still impressed. College is for college students, I agree, but I don't know that I could do what they do, even with the talent. As long as the work they do is theirs, and the classes and requirements are legit, I don't care how many tutors they have or whether it takes them summers or even an extra year. I know some non-athletes that took 5 years. That someone like JWill finished in 3 is mind-blowing to me.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    Dukie8, I share some of your concern about whether there are ways at Duke that are a bit too easy - such as classes that have a lot of papers (which can be ghost-written) and majors that seem to attract a disproportionate share of athletes (sociology was curiously popular when I was there).

    On the other hand, it is amazing to me that these guys (and gals) have energy enough for anything after the intense physical practices, games, and travel, that they must go through. If they all took a 3/4ths load and made up for it in summers, I'm totally fine with it - and still impressed. College is for college students, I agree, but I don't know that I could do what they do, even with the talent. As long as the work they do is theirs, and the classes and requirements are legit, I don't care how many tutors they have or whether it takes them summers or even an extra year. I know some non-athletes that took 5 years. That someone like JWill finished in 3 is mind-blowing to me.
    i wasn't referring to duke -- duke is at the apex of academics as applied to athletics. i was more expressing my disgust that excellence in academics for athletes generally is measured by graduation rates, which, to me, isn't exactly impressive. the schools that don't graduate nearly every athlete are disgraceful.

    with respect to be being blown away by duke basketball players passing classes and being on the team, you shouldn't be. what they accomplish is what most other athletes at duke accomplish in anonymity. moreover, many athletes put in a lot more time than the basketball players and do it year round (i don't consider pick-up games in card gym in april and may year round). swimmers put in the most hours week in and week out and runners train and compete year round. moreover, most of the other sports don't have the luxuries that the basketball players have -- they are traveling in vans for many hours (not chartered flights) and don't take summer classes.

    what jwill did is impressive vis-a-vis what your typical d1 basketball player does (or doesn't) do in the classroom but it wasn't like he was taking 5 or 6 classes a semester to graduate in 3 years. he had 3 full summers to pile up classes, which usually are much easier than classes held when the rest of the school is in session and which more than equals an entire academic year. i'm not knocking him, because it is such a rare accomplishment, but in the big picture, it really shouldn't be that big of a deal and should happen much more frequently.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukie8 View Post
    tudors galore

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Who’s gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by throatybeard View Post
    very funny and how embarrassing.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Quote Originally Posted by dukie8 View Post
    he had 3 full summers to pile up classes, which usually are much easier than classes held when the rest of the school is in session and which more than equals an entire academic year. i'm not knocking him, because it is such a rare accomplishment, but in the big picture, it really shouldn't be that big of a deal and should happen much more frequently.
    Point of clarification: I doubt that summer courses are easier than during the rest of the year. Course selection is usually limited, and that may cut down on the kinds of courses that get taught. You're not going to find as many of the upper level courses, given their smaller enrollment. In that respect, sure, it's easier to take an intro than an advanced class.

    On the other hand, courses like a Calculus series, Orgo series, basic intro and core classes in other departments stay pretty close to form throughout the year (at least where I am, they are). My premed advisees (I'm in a DIII school) often remark about taking intense daily orgo in the summer, vs. the normal orgo during the school year. Upper level and core courses offered in the summer maintain their rigor. It seems that that summer classes can be much more intense than during the normal school year.

    Many of my advisees take summer courses to get done with general education requirements, or to move on with department requirements so that they can take advantage of study abroad options, or so they can graduate early (or on time). It's not as though summer students are any less intense.

    Just what percentage of Duke students take classes during the summer at some point in their academic career?

    Otherwise, I agree completely with the comments about the wonderment about JWill. I've never met him, but in all respects, he seems like an incredibly gifted individual.

    Yeah, and that one time he had in Maryland makes me smile.

    Cheers,
    Lavabe
    Last edited by Lavabe; 12-01-2007 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Question

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Two miles south of Cameron
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
    I am old enough to remember when the BB team use to have starting players that majored in Physics, Math and the like. No longer - JJ's major in history is the best that I've see recently.
    Trajan was a math major I think. Not sure if there've been any other science/math type majors among the starters on the men's BB team since then, but there have been for the women.

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