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Comparing BYU’s Black Graduation Rates

Many college athletes, especially black athletes, are unprepared for college.  In this episode, we’ll talk to Dr Darron Smith of the University of Memphis to see how BYU’s graduation rate for black students compares to other colleges.  I think the answer may surprise you.  Dr. Smith says,

Vanderbilt has a very high GSR score, the Graduation Student Record.  So basically when a student graduates from college, the university guarantees a student will graduate within a six year period after they have finished their years of eligibility.  In this situation the students there have a much higher GSR, they graduate because the mission of Vanderbilt is education, not football.  It’s why they don’t do very well.  Occasionally they’ll do ok in basketball.  Occasionally you have a fluke year where they’ll have a decent team.  Generally Vanderbilt, when I was there in Nashville as a youth, they never did well because that wasn’t their mission.  Their mission was education.

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[BYU has] The lowest [black graduation rate] in the state?  I was surprised to see that, very surprised to see that.  The data, all of that data, plus the GSR scores, the story is becoming clearer.

Check out the video, audio, or transcripts.

Black Graduation Rates at BYU

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Disparities in Black/White Discipline

Many athletes run afoul of the law, and in BYU’s case, a much stricter Honor Code than at other schools.  Some schools are too lenient, some are too strong.  How does BYU compare, especially among black athletes?  Dr. Darron Smith of the University of Memphis shares his thoughts on a white player at Duke University, Grayson Allen, and a black player at BYU, Brandon Davies:

I think Coach K is trying to win basketball games.  He’s not interested in the moral underpinnings of decisions like the BYU thing, but he’s trying to win ballgames.

While many have criticized Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski for his lenient treatment of Allen, BYU was praised by national sports commentator Jim Rome, who was impressed with BYU’s decision to suspend Brandon Davies from the basketball team, despite BYU’s great season and run into the NCAA basketball tournament.  But Smith didn’t agree with Rome’s assessment.

I don’t think Jim Rome understands the context.  I don’t think he understands.  He is just looking at an incident, an isolated incident.  He doesn’t understand the deeper meaning behind it.  It was spoken out of context.  It was spoken foolishly without understanding the particulars behind this.

Brandon was treated differently than most players, in that he wasn’t kicked off entirely like other players who were non-Mormon were.  He got that courtesy extended to him, but the way he was paraded around and made the scapegoat and to me I know that had an effect on him, to be the whipping boy because there’s already a stigma around black people and sex.  Now he’s the poster boy for inappropriate sexual relations as a Mormon.  I know he’s carrying that stigma.

What do you think?  Is Duke too lenient?  Is BYU too strict?  Are both schools deserving of praise or criticism?

Check out our video below, audio above, or transcript here.

Disparities in Black & White Discipline

 

 

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The Student-Athlete Business

College athletics are supposed to be for amateurs, but these games literally make millions for their schools.  BYU receives approximately $5 million per year just so ESPN can televise their football games.  Coaches of amateur college athletes can make millions.  Many of “student-athletes are unprepared for college, and recruited for their athletic ability, not their academic ability.  Why do we require athletes to be students?  Should we be paying college athletes?  Should they even go to school at all?  Dr. Darron Smith of the University of Memphis has some interesting opinions on this topic.

If you look at college athletics, it’s a business model.  They need workers, these players are workers.  If they graduate, great!  Fantastic!  But if they don’t, great!  Let’s get the next chump.  It’s a business, and business has to have employees and so let’s pay them.  I’m all for that.  I’m all for unionization.  Why not?  By the time a football player is 20 years old, they’re already having signs of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a chronic brain injury.)

If universities recruit troubled athletes, what are their responsibilities?  And should colleges be recruiting students with police records?

These guys probably had a mood disorder, probably had anger problems, probably was ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder.)  ADD can cause significant impulsivity, significant anger issues, fly off the handle, not knowing how to cope with the vicissitudes of life.  These young men have seen things that their more privileged counterparts have not seen and faced, so yeah they come with trauma.

The university should be prepared for that, should have crisis management ready for when these young men.

In this episode, we’re going to look at college athletics in general.  In our next episode, we’ll look more closely at how does BYU handles its student-athletes, especially black athletes.  What is your opinion on college athletics?

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The Student-Athlete Business