There Is An Army Of Senior Citizens Spying On Kansas Athletes

A volunteer army, with code names like "Red Dog," roams the halls of KU, making sure the athletes actually attend class. Don't fuck with them. They lived through The Big One.

The farce of amateur athletics has led to a paradox: we think a full ride and college degree is enough of a reward for the players, yet we need to babysit them to ensure they take advantage of a free education. To that end, many schools employ "class checkers," who randomly peek in on scheduled classes to make sure the athletes aren't cutting. But the checkers, usually students, can easily be star-struck (Greg Ostertag married his!). So Kansas broke out the old people.

It seems to be working well, because the elderly don't take shit from anyone, and you also don't want to let them down because you feel bad about forgetting to call your own Gam-Gam on her birthday. But there are drawbacks.

Jerry Robinson, a 67-year-old retired child psychologist, says he has waited for hours outside eerily quiet classrooms only to realize later he was in the wrong building or had confused the days of the week. Mr. Guy, the retired truck driver, says he has trouble hearing some of the big, macho players "who feel like they have to talk real low" and can't stand watching student-athletes in headphones blithely wander into traffic. Some checkers say their vision isn't quite what it used to be, either: Except for the offensive linemen, it can be tough to pick the athletes on their lists out of a crowd.

I give it, oh, six months before our first scandal comes out about the class checkers slipping recruits their Social Security checks.

Making Sure Athletes Go To Class [Wall Street Journal]
[h/t Adam]