Reclaiming the Game: College Sports and Educational Values
September 25, 2003 – 8:00 pm. Walter E. Edge Lectures
Powerful forces threaten the traditional purposes of college sports and create a growing divide between intercollegiate athletics and the educational missions of universities. A new study of nearly 28,000 students at Ivy League universities and liberal arts colleges demonstrates that (1) recruited athletes enjoy a substantial admissions advantage; (2) eighty percent of recruited athletes in the Ivy League end up in the bottom third of the class — the problem is most evident for athletes in the high-profile men’s sports of football, basketball, and ice hockey; and (3) male and female recruited athletes in almost all sports underperform academically. The “academic-athletic divide” also can cause athletes to bunch in certain majors, separate socially from other students, and fail to participate in other campus activities. The costs of the divide are real — it is time to realign college sports with core educational values.