Friday, July 14, 2006
At Auburn, They Have No Class
Looks like they are running a diploma mill at Auburn, where athletes are getting top grades without having to go to class. Professor James Gundlach spilled the beans about the work of sociology department colleague Thomas Petee to the New York Times. It's a disturbing piece, starting with Gundlach watching a Tiger game on TV in 2004. Up pops a graphic showing that one of Auburn's prominent players was being honored as a scholar athlete for his work as a sociology major. Gundlach had never had the player in class, and two of his colleagues could not recall having taught him, either. So Gundlach checked the player's academic files, which led to the discovery that many athletes were receiving high grades from Petee through directed-reading classes. In fact, 18 members of the 2004 football team, which finished undefeated and No. 2 in the nation, took such classes. ... Now there's a lot of material here and yes, Auburn should be ashamed. But rather than taking the opportunity to jump on the predictable bandwagon and bash Auburn, let's be honest here. This type of stuff goes on at every big-time football factory. Athletes are coddled, they get top-notch tutors. Seldom do they mingle with the general student body, and when they do it's usually at a nightclub with disturbing results. Auburn's crime is that it once again got caught (the end of the piece spells out the university's many embarrassing incidents involving athletes). While it appears the academic experience for athletes at Auburn falls short, the football team is a big winner, so everybody looks the other way. Gundlach, who plans to retire at the end of next year, said as much when he commented about prominent athletes cutting academic corners. "It was at a point that I figured the corruption runs the full gantlet of the administration," he said. "We were getting sociology majors graduating without taking sociology classes." Auburn officials, by the way, are promising a full investigation (wink, wink).
Posted by dawizofodds at 12:52 AM