Academics have always been a hot topic when it comes to big-time college athletics. And while recent graduation rates among student-athletes has shown steady improvement there are still questions about academic integrity at schools where sports success is an extremely valuable commodity.
A recent CNN investigation looked at the entrance exam (SAT and ACT) scores of football and basketball players at a small sample of high-profile Division I schools and determined the reading levels of those student-athletes. According to the report, at most schools, between 7% and 18% of these big revenue sport athletes read at an elementary school level.
Choosing just one factor like entrance exams to explore certainly doesn’t paint the entire picture. And low test scores don’t always translate into poor academic ability. The report also doesn’t account for students who endured a sub-par education at the high school level, but are able to thrive when placed in a strong academic setting and given the attention of a tutor.
But the report does serve as a reminder about how important it is to stress academics at an early age. Improving in the classroom should be just as important as improving on the basketball court or football field.