Thursday Weisblog: Too much bull, not enough academics at USF

1709470639_8c4b8a597d_mLooks like University of South Florida Bulls football coach Jim Leavitt is really laying down the law, trying to send a message to his academically struggling team.

His new rule is this: If you miss five classes (unexcused), you miss one game. Wow, that’s telling ‘em, Jim!

FIVE classes missed before any action is taken? Are you kidding me? It’s no wonder the Tampa Tribune recently posted this nugget of wisdom: The University of South Florida’s football program had the nation’s worst Academic Progress Report (APR) among BCS conference schools, while the men’s basketball program had the nation’s third-worst score, according to the most recent figures released by the NCAA.

Amazing, considering that there are 120 Division I football teams and more than 300 basketball teams.

I get that athletics is a big deal at many schools; however, first and foremost universities are institutes of higher learning. At least, they’re supposed to be.

So yes, Jim Leavitt is sending them a message. The message is that as long as you remain eligible to play and you win – no matter what happens otherwise – you don’t need to strive for academic perfection.

Judging by the stats above, the message has been received loud and clear by Leavitt’s team.

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3 responses to “Thursday Weisblog: Too much bull, not enough academics at USF

  1. Pretty solid research there.

    From Brett McMurphy:

    “There will be no penalty for the first three unexcused absences (the players’ parents will be notified after the third absence). A fourth unexcused absence will result in the player being held out of one practice. The absences are cumulative for each semester and not per class.”

    I’m sure you never missed any classes, ever. I took 5-6 classes a semester and it would be a miracle for me to miss only 5 classes total. I graduated with a engineering degree and a GPA over 3.0

    5 classes is not a lot, and despite there being no “penalty” for the first 3 misses, I’m sure Leavitt will be having anyone that misses just 1 class running his ass off after practice.

  2. I can only go by what the newspaper says, and there seems to be an academic issue with USF athletics. That much I don’t think anyone can argue with.

    As for me, I did not skip even five classes TOTAL in my four years of college, while still working evenings and weekends putting myself through school. I know I am the exception to the rule, but that’s the truth.

    In response to your last sentence, I hope you are right, but I doubt this kind of thing happens much at any program. Maybe if skipping becomes habitual, but I doubt for one offense. For the big-time colleges, these players (especially the really good ones) are nothing more than income generators for the school (more specifically the athletic department). I readily admit USF is not my favorite team, but I hope Leavitt and the hoops coach work hard to improve their teams’ academic standing, turning them into STUDENT-ATHLETES they can be proud of.

    Thank you for taking the time to read the blog and respond.

  3. Michael Binder

    I’m not sure how you would miss 5 classes to begin with, except for just not wanting to be there, slept in…etc. But at least the Coach made it that high of a number, he can’t have his bookworms riding the bench in the Big East you know. Big East first, academics second… that’s just big time football, no secret. But I wonder how many classes Tim Tebow misses? I can’t believe alot of these players have cramped class schedules, but you know, if they miss classes and are still passing the class and graduating, not sure what to think then. Good conversation starter for sure John. But those APR scores are just damning, you know. Proof there is a problem.

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