Author Topic: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"  (Read 4407 times)

Offline doolittledog

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2017, 09:46:36 am »
No athletic scholarships, and athletes are supposed to receive the same amount of aid as non-athletes at the D3 level.  Yet a school can admit athletes that don't meet the academic standard of non-athlete students?  That seems to go a bit against the D3 philosophy. 
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Offline jknezek

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2017, 10:05:03 am »
No athletic scholarships, and athletes are supposed to receive the same amount of aid as non-athletes at the D3 level.  Yet a school can admit athletes that don't meet the academic standard of non-athlete students?  That seems to go a bit against the D3 philosophy.

I think most schools have allowances for students with special skills to fill slots even if they don't match the class average for test scores and grades. We tend to think primarily of sports in this regard, but it is also true for diversity purposes, members of the band, and other things.

In fact, in higher education right now there is a bit of debate about what to do with men as the gender ratios become more skewed. It would not surprise me, if this pattern continues, if the overall academic qualifications of women on campuses outstrips, or has already outstripped, men as the schools try and remain balanced.

As far as sports go, the NESCAC has had the tipping system for years. I don't know of any other conference that mandates the number of tips the way the NESCAC does, but I believe the vast majority of high through moderate academic schools will bend the standards a bit for athletes. How much and how many is up to the schools.

DIII really has nothing to say about this. It's just part of the myriad of competitive advantages and disadvantages that the low regulation DIII landscape fosters.

Offline Dave 'd-mac' McHugh

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2017, 11:18:15 am »
We do think of sports for obvious reasons in the admissions standards and that some athletes get in below the standards of normal athletes, but as said above there are a lot of contributing factors. I am pretty confident my admissions to Goucher was because I was a guy ten years or so after they went co-ed. Yes, I played sports, but even if I didn't, they were most likely admitting me based on my sex.

Schools admit students based on other determining factors all of the time. Band, singing, drama, dance, particular majors, etc. Sports is not unique in this and admissions departments don't hide the fact. There is a reason what a student does outside of the classroom and what they are involved in can be just as important as their grades.
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Offline smedindy

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2017, 12:46:00 pm »
I do think many schools are moving away from rigid test scores + GPA as admission requirements.

The former Dean of the College at Wabash said that high test scores by themselves don't offer any insight into retention. In fact, Wabash's experience was that high test scores + average grades = lower retention.

Offline doolittledog

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2017, 01:06:07 pm »
I'm not a fan of rigid test scores for admission.  Dubuque has been known to talk to high school teachers to get a better idea of the potential of prospective students.   

I understand schools wanting to pursue certain ratios for male/female, or minorities, or from a certain cross section of the nation.  I also understand a school wanting to build enrollment through athletics.  It just seemed odd a D3 school would lower their admission standards specifically for athletes. 
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Offline Just Bill

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2017, 04:03:26 pm »
No athletic scholarships, and athletes are supposed to receive the same amount of aid as non-athletes at the D3 level.  Yet a school can admit athletes that don't meet the academic standard of non-athlete students?  That seems to go a bit against the D3 philosophy.

More than likely the schools don't frame it exactly this way, even if the Slate artice did. Because, you're right, they would be violating NCAA Division III rules. It's more likely done as a special skills or leadership allowance which is granted to a large number of students in a variety of areas. If it was specifically listed as a athletics exception and available ony to potential student-athletes, it would be in violation.
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Offline jknezek

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2017, 04:31:42 pm »
No athletic scholarships, and athletes are supposed to receive the same amount of aid as non-athletes at the D3 level.  Yet a school can admit athletes that don't meet the academic standard of non-athlete students?  That seems to go a bit against the D3 philosophy.

More than likely the schools don't frame it exactly this way, even if the Slate artice did. Because, you're right, they would be violating NCAA Division III rules. It's more likely done as a special skills or leadership allowance which is granted to a large number of students in a variety of areas. If it was specifically listed as a athletics exception and available ony to potential student-athletes, it would be in violation.

I don't think so. DIII is against scholarships for athletes, it has no say in whether admissions are equal for athletes and non-athletes across the student body. This is a discussion about admission standards for athletes, not about costs defrayment, therefore it has no bearing on DIII rules.

Offline Bishopleftiesdad

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2017, 01:51:36 pm »
No athletic scholarships, and athletes are supposed to receive the same amount of aid as non-athletes at the D3 level.  Yet a school can admit athletes that don't meet the academic standard of non-athlete students?  That seems to go a bit against the D3 philosophy.

More than likely the schools don't frame it exactly this way, even if the Slate artice did. Because, you're right, they would be violating NCAA Division III rules. It's more likely done as a special skills or leadership allowance which is granted to a large number of students in a variety of areas. If it was specifically listed as a athletics exception and available ony to potential student-athletes, it would be in violation.
Not sure leadership is allowed.mich anymore. I heard when my son was being recruited and shortly afterward, of several schools getting into trouble, due to offering leadership scholarships.  A disproportionate number was going to athletes, at those schools. I will try to find the article and post it later if I can find it.

Offline Bishopleftiesdad

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Offline Ron Boerger

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2017, 03:23:49 pm »
If you read the article, the average athlete admitted under these provisions actually requires LESS financial aid than those that meet normal admission standards, so the NCAA's stringent financial aid restrictions don't come into play.

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2017, 04:16:55 pm »

The "leadership" stuff got phased out when the NCAA went to the percentage system.  There's a pretty tight margin for athletes vs non-athletes in terms of non-need scholarships.  They can still get "leadership" money, but it's got to be in the same proportion as non-athletes.  The best way to get a great education - whether you're an athlete or not - is get good grades and be poor.
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Offline PaulNewman

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2018, 02:37:25 pm »
No athletic scholarships, and athletes are supposed to receive the same amount of aid as non-athletes at the D3 level.  Yet a school can admit athletes that don't meet the academic standard of non-athlete students?  That seems to go a bit against the D3 philosophy.

OK, I found a thread by pure accident that hits on the points I was trying to make in the D3soccer threads, and the post above (by someone with a remarkable karma ratio) really hits what I was trying to get at (and in much very words!).  The thing about "age" in the other threads really sidetracked how folks read my posts.  I was NOT trying to get at age, but rather the "seriousness" in D3, whether that has changed (more serious over time), etc, etc.

In terms of the content, a couple of points.  The NESCAC is far more like the Ivies than the UAA, AT LEAST from a cultural, East Coast/New England elite standpoint.  The Ivies are both liberal arts AND research universities, but are more likely than the UAA schools to have philosophy and English majors than the UAAs (although the latter certainly have their share).  A nickname of the NESCAC schools for years in fact has been "The Little Ivies."  A agree that in general there is also an emphasis on athletics in the IVY League and NESCAC that is different from the vibe of the UAAs.

Secondly, I will reiterate that recruited athletes are NOT the same as "recruited" singers, tuba players, jugglers, debate team guys and gals.  Never heard of a NESCAC "tip" for a tuba player or a dramatic lowering of admissions standards for such....more likely that extracurriculars make a difference among test/grad-wise equal candidates rather than a significant dip down.

Finally, I find the UAA just genius and whoever came up with it was really smart.  I'm curious about what went into selecting them as the geographic diversity seems unique in the NCAA at large (except for the recent D1 conference adjustments and changes).  I now JHU used to be with the UAA, which makes sense, and Tufts also should be UAA.

Offline PaulNewman

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2018, 02:56:41 pm »
BTW, the "arms race" mentioned in this thread regarding deluxe facilities is also very relevant to what I was trying to get at before.  I think the latest round may have started with my dear friend Kenyon which built one of the nicest complexes in the country 10 or more years ago, and now we see many other schools follow.....not necessarily just for athletic recruiting but also as a draw for students at large.  I'm sure Colby is extremely excited about the opening soon of their new complex.

Offline ADL70

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2018, 03:12:12 pm »
UAA schools are all members of the Association of American Universities (see the name twist?), research universities.  Only other D3 institutions that are members are JHU, MIT, and CalTech, but not Tufts.
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Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Slate: "Is Wesleyan Compromising ... to build an athletics cash cow?"
« Reply #29 on: September 24, 2018, 04:26:44 pm »
The NESCAC is far more like the Ivies than the UAA, AT LEAST from a cultural, East Coast/New England elite standpoint.  The Ivies are both liberal arts AND research universities, but are more likely than the UAA schools to have philosophy and English majors than the UAAs (although the latter certainly have their share).

Disagree, unless you're focusing exclusively upon the East Coast cultural elitism standpoint (and upon athletics, a point to which I previously agreed). Whether the Ivies average more humanities majors than the UAA or not, the Ivies are still classified as research universities, not as liberal arts colleges. They are substantially larger than liberal arts colleges, with student bodies either the same size as, or somewhat larger than, UAA schools, while non-Tufts NESCAC institutions top out at Wesleyan's 2,900. At four of the eight Ivies graduate students outnumber the undergraduates, while at three of the eight UAA schools the postgrads are more numerous. By stark contrast, six of the eleven NESCAC institutions are "pure" liberal arts colleges (no graduate programs at all), and of the other five schools, only Tufts has what can be deemed a large (both in scope and in population) graduate-level presence. Seven of the eight Ivy League schools (excluding Dartmouth) are members of the elite Association of American Universities, which is considered to be the peer group of top-tier research universities in the United States and Canada. All eight UAA schools are members of the AAU. By contrast, none of the NESCAC schools are AAU members, for the obvious reason that they're not research universities. At the Ivies, like the UAA and all other research institutions, research and publishing are the key aspects of tenured professorship, while TAs do a lot of the actual teaching at the undergrad level.

Tufts is the anomaly. It's a research university competing athletically in a league of liberal arts colleges.

Culturally and with regard to athletics, the NESCAC lines up more with its Ivy neighbors than does the UAA. But in terms of the institutions themselves, the Ivy League and the UAA are alike, while the NESCAC is different from both.

Finally, I find the UAA just genius and whoever came up with it was really smart.  I'm curious about what went into selecting them as the geographic diversity seems unique in the NCAA at large (except for the recent D1 conference adjustments and changes).  I now JHU used to be with the UAA, which makes sense, and Tufts also should be UAA.

The history of the league can be found here, including the names of several of the key figures who helped found the league. It's interesting to note that the first discussions in earnest about forming a league of D3 research universities took place at a convention of the Association of American Universities.

Johns Hopkins was a great fit with the UAA. I'm not sure why it eventually pulled out of the league, although I suspect that the league's unique travel situation might've had something to do with it. As you said, Tufts is really a better fit for the UAA than for the NESCAC, although the fact that Tufts isn't a member of the AAU might hold it back from ever receiving an offer from the UAA to join. MIT and Caltech are also schools that fit the institutional profile of the league, although the national competitiveness of the UAA within various D3 sports would likely make it just as unappealing to Caltech's leadership as would the cross-continental travel.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 04:31:28 pm by Gregory Sager »
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