Former Memphis DE Dasmine Cathey took a four-week mass communication course in the summer of 2010.
For one assignment, he had to look at the covers of 10 magazines he had never read and describe their target markets. "Ladies if you looking for a maganize thats is tagering just you and all about you. Then this one is for you," he said about Woman's World. "Telling the ladies how to eat. What diet to be no for your body, and more."
In addition to the grammatical problems, he misspelled "magazine" 13 times, but the professor didn't mark him down for it. In fact, she praised him for his conversational style.
Cathey passed the class with a D. (He also got As that summer in beginning tennis, and a class examining "the role of leisure and recreation for persons with special needs.") He graduated last winter, after attending classes over 14 separate semesters.
This isn't an indictment of Memphis, and it sure as hell isn't an indictment of Cathey. No, this massive piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education puts the lie to the NCAA's artificial, APR-driven conception of the university's role in the shepherding of young men who are really good at football. This bizarre ideal of the student-athlete leads to things like Memphis's "bridge program," which employs an entire staff of advisers whose sole job is to keep players eligible. Half of the athletes in this program read below a seventh-grade level. Enough of them end up graduating to keep the NCAA off the school's back.
Meanwhile, Cathey spent his senior year living on friends' couches, so he could save the room-and-board money provided by the university and give it to his family.
So read the piece, and then keep telling yourself the biggest problem in college sports is plus-one versus a four-team playoff.
The Education Of Dasmine Cathey [Chronicle of Higher Ed]
Dasmine Cathey Blows a (Bigger) Hole in the NCAA's Version of the "Student Athlete" [Chat Sports]