The Cost of Compliance

More college sports news. There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the academic performance of college athletes but some small schools are now arguing that reporting about the jocks’ academic performance is more trouble than it’s worth. From an article in Inside Higher Ed:

Officials from small, tuition-driven colleges criticized a pilot program to gather the graduation rates of athletes from Division III institutions Thursday at the annual convention of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, arguing that they cannot bear the cost of additional data collection.

The Division III Presidents Council recently approved the creation of a voluntary program to collect such data so that member institutions could compare the federally reported graduation rates of their athletes and non-athletes. The two-year trial program would also allow the division’s members to discern their Academic Success Rate, an NCAA-created graduation rate that takes into account transfer students and does not punish institutions for athletes that leave in good academic standing.

Division I and II schools are required to produce graduation rate data. The trouble is that many Division III schools say they can’t afford to publish the data according to exacting NCAA standards.

Some Division III schools also point out that making this information available might be a waste of time. Because these schools can’t afford to offer athletic scholarships they argue that “their athletes are,” according to the article, “academically indistinguishable from their classmates.”

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer