A talented football player heads to college with a dream to play professionally. He believes if he shows his best on the field, by the time he completes his NCAA eligibility, he will be drafted into the NFL. But the reality is that only 1.8 percent of college football players make it to the pros.
While the NCAA has put reforms in place to help ensure college athletes graduate and are as academically prepared for life as they are physically, two researchers question whether this goal is really being met, finding that college football players tend to take certain classes that do not benefit them in the long run. Meanwhile, other experts say the researchers’ work might not go far enough.
The NCAA uses a formula based on peer-group comparisons, called the Academic Progress Rate (APR), to measure academic success among scholarship student athletes.
“While the goal of the APR, to increase graduation rates of athletes, is admirable, the means utilized by schools to avoid loss of scholarship could prove to be dubious,” Jeffrey J. Fountain and Peter S. Finley wrote in “Academic Majors of Upperclassmen Football Players in the Atlantic Coast Conference: An Analysis of Academic Clustering Comparing White and Minority Players.”