Big-Time College Sports: A Waste for Many Athletes

It’s disingenuous to act like all student-athletes are created equal. There’s a reason why top top-tier men’s basketball and football athletes languish at the bottom of the NCAA graduation rates. College isn’t for everyone.

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Considering the sordid underbelly and gross hypocrisy of major college sports—namely big-time football and men’s basketball—enjoying the action is a guilty pleasure for fans with any conscience.

So many (primarily black) young men … so many of them ignoring academic pursuit in favor of athletic exploits. All while administrators wink and nod, or simply look the other way.

That’s the perception and reality at the biggest and most successful college sports’ programs—programs that routinely populate the Top 25 rankings. And last month’s report from the National Collegiate Athletic Association doesn’t change a thing.

NCAA statistics show that 79 percent of all freshman student-athletes who entered school in 2002-03 graduated within six years. Federal statistics reveal a lower graduation rate, 64 percent, because they don’t include student-athletes who transfer and graduate from another school.

But that’s still higher than the 62 percent rate posted by the general student body.