Saturday, January 21, 2012

Big-Time Sports Did Not Eat Division III College Life

"How Big-Time Sports Ate College Life," by Laura Pappano in the New York Times, is an excellent and sad story.  Two interesting statistics that she reports:

Between 1985 and 2010, average salaries at public universities rose 32 percent for full professors, 90 percent for presidents and 650 percent for football coaches. 

A study of University of Oregon students found that for every three games won by the football team, the grade-point average for men dropped 0.02, widening the G.P.A. gender gap by 9 percent.

The good news is that this is only a problem at Division I schools.  Division III schools, like Centre College, do athletics right.  And not all Division III schools are small, like Centre.  The University of Chicago, for example, or Washington University, are full-scale research universities.  But they keep sports in proportion.

Physical activity is a fine part of a well-rounded education. Athletics is a good addition to academic education. For those who don't want their academic priorities totally distorted by semi-professional sports teams operating near their academic institution, Division III does academic/athletic balance right.

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