Report: Admissions Rules Bent for Athletes

The Associated Press found that athletes get preferential treatment in admissions process.

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I'm trying to think of a more obvious result from a report than this one: Prospective college athletes have a better shot than nonathletes at sneaking through admissions without meeting all the requirements. Outside of a study finding that Americans don't like the BCS bowl system, I can't think of anything less shocking.

That's the cynical world we (or maybe just I) live in.

The Associated Press conducted an extensive study of the college admissions process for athletes and found that admissions offices are more lenient with prospective athletes when it comes to requirements. The AP reviewed data from most of the 120 schools in college football's top tier.

The report says that the practice was found in every major conference. The AP identified "at least" 27 schools where athletes were "at least 10 times more likely to benefit from special admissions programs." That list included the University of Oregon, Georgia Tech, and the University of Alabama. Nineteen Alabama players got into the school as part of a special admissions program from 2004 to 2006. Special admissions programs are defined by the NCAA as programs that are designed for students who don't meet "standard or normal entrance requirements."

"Some people have ability and they have work ethic and really never get an opportunity," Alabama football coach Nick Saban tells the AP. "I am really pleased and happy with the job that we do and how we manage our students here, and the responsibility and accountability they have toward academics and the success that they've had in academics."

While this report is another piece of evidence in the ongoing struggle between academics and athletics, it's about as earth-shattering as the Knight Commission's discovery that the cost of college sports were unsustainable in the future. Don't expect it to change much.

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