Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Taylor Branch on college sports

Taylor Branch’s Atlantic article The Shame of College Sports is a must-read for anyone who cares about education. One detail, concerning a civil suit brought against the University of Georgia by Jan Kemp, an English instructor who was fired after refusing to change students’ grades:

In trying to defend themselves, Georgia officials portrayed Kemp as naive about sports. “We have to compete on a level playing field,” said Fred Davison, the university president. During the Kemp civil trial, in 1986, Hale Almand, Georgia’s defense lawyer, explained the university’s patronizing aspirations for its typical less-than-scholarly athlete. “We may not make a university student out of him,” Almand told the court, “but if we can teach him to read and write, maybe he can work at the post office rather than as a garbage man when he gets through with his athletic career.”

comments: 3

Sara said...

Vaccaro did not blink. “They shouldn’t, sir,” he replied. “You sold your souls, and you’re going to continue selling them. You can be very moral and righteous in asking me that question, sir,” Vaccaro added with irrepressible good cheer, “but there’s not one of you in this room that’s going to turn down any of our money. You’re going to take it. I can only offer it.”

I've been reading Joyce Carol Oates' "Where are you going? Where have you been?"

Vaccaro reminds me of the evil Arnold Friend who tells the 15 year old Connie that she must and she will walk out of her house to be murdered by him -- and she should do it with a smile.

She does.

normann said...

Big-time college sports and its attendant corruption of education is one thing I do not miss about the US. There is nothing like it here in sports-mad Norway or anywhere else in Europe.

Michael Leddy said...

I may have to rethink my wild intuition that college football will be gone in twenty-five years or so. My prediction though is that increasing evidence of brain injury will make football untenable in the world of “higher education.”