SparkNotes Blog

Is This the Easiest “A” Ever Given Out?

Let me start by stating that I have sympathy for student athletes, because the universities and associations (I’m looking at you, NCAA) who conscript them DON’T always have their long-term interests at heart, and are to some extent using free labor to draw spectators and make money. (Should NBA players get $2 million salaries, while student athletes get a free “education” and no time to study?)

That said, do student athletes have it too easy when it comes to getting a degree? The stereotype of the “dumb jock” getting a bachelor’s degree is obviously a little crude, even offensive. But the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has come under some heat recently for trying to shush an academic counselor who spoke out against phony courses that serve to get students credit, when they may not possess the requisite reading skills for college-level study.

Here is an essay (word count: 148) on Rosa Parks that earned a footballer an A-:

On the evening of December Rosa Parks decided that she was going to sit in the white people section on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama. During this time blacks had to give up there seats to whites when more whites got on the bus. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. Her and the bus driver began to talk and the conversation went like this. “Let me have those front seats” said the driver. She didn’t get up and told the driver that she was tired of giving her seat to white people. “I’m going to have you arrested,” said the driver. “You may do that,” Rosa Parks responded. Two white policemen came in and Rosa Parks asked them “why do you all push us around?” The police officer replied and said “I don’t know, but the law is the law and you’re under arrest.”

Okay, so not really an “essay.” Let me reiterate the point isn’t to bash the student who wrote this essay, but to condemn a college system that is basically “advising” low-aptitude students to take baloney courses so they can stay on the team and win for the pride of the school. What are these athletes supposed to do when they graduate and don’t make the NFL? What good is a papier mache degree going to do them then?

How do you feel about a student getting an A on a paragraph of ramble?

[via ESPN / Jezebel]