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ESPN Report – Can Athletics Help in Admissions?

One of the most common messages that NCSA conveys to families is simple:  It pays to be a recruiting student-athlete…in more ways than one.

Recruited student-athletes experience benefits that reach far beyond the obvious opportunity to play the sport you love.  From scholarships to preferred scheduling to personal tutors – athletes have a vastly different (in many ways better) college experience than the average student.

ESPN came out with an eye opening report today that exposes the advantages given to recruited student athletes and I strongly recommend you read the entire article here.

Here are a few of the highlights from the report:

While not surprising that athletes receive admissions exceptions, the degree to which this occurs is widespread:

“An Associated Press review of admissions data submitted to the NCAA by most of the 120 schools in college football’s top tier shows that athletes enjoy strikingly better odds of having admission requirements bent on their behalf.

The notion that college athletes’ talents give them a leg up in the admissions game isn’t a surprise. But in what NCAA officials called the most extensive review to date, the AP found the practice is widespread and can be found in every major conference.

The review identified at least 27 schools where athletes were at least 10 times more likely to benefit from special admission programs than students in the general population.”

Many athletes are far less deserving of admissions than regular students:

“But the school also acknowledged in its NCAA report that athletic recruits overall are less prepared. At Texas, the average SAT score for a freshman football player from 2003 to 2005 was 945 — or 320 points lower than the typical first-year student’s score on the entrance exam.”

The advantages athletes receive are not supposed to be reserved only for them:

“The NCAA defines special admissions programs as those designed for students who don’t meet “standard or normal entrance requirements.” The NCAA says such exceptions are fine as long as schools offer the same opportunities to everyone from dancers, French horn players and underrepresented minorities as they do to fleet-footed wide receivers and 300-pound offensive linemen.”

Many universities defend the practice of special admissions citing the added value it brings to the school and student population.

Regardless of whether or not you agree with athletes receiving special privileges, it has and will happen for the foreseeable future.  This places even more importance on making sure you put yourself in the best possible recruiting situation so you can maximize your future education.

About the author
Adam Diorio