TCU Daily Skiff Masthead
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
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Statistics show ugly truth about athletes’ academics
With all the special treatment athletes get, why does TCU have the lowest percentage of athletes graduating of all the schools in Conference USA?
Chip Hanna

With all the special treatment athletes get, why does TCU have the lowest percentage of athletes graduating of all the schools in Conference USA?

TCU is a liberal arts college, not a liberal sports college. So, why is emphasis placed so much on sports and the people that play them?

A recent USA Today study showed that TCU is the worst performing in Conference USA when it comes to the percentage of athletes graduating comparative to the school average. TCU is by no means the worst in the nation, but there is no excuse for TCU not having the highest rate of graduating athletes. TCU has a high average of students graduating comparatively, but athletes should come up to par with the rest of the school.

Only 44 percent of male athletes graduate after four years, 17 percent lower than the school average. The overall athlete graduation rate is 56 percent, which is seven points lower than the school average.

There is no excuse for doing worse in school because you are an athlete. Other students can be just as busy not doing a sport as those that are. Students constantly juggle full-time jobs among other commitments and still are dedicated to graduate and succeed.

This is in no way a new revelation that will startle any educated mind. This issue has existed for many years, and this article proves the issue is far from over.

Look at the glorification of football games. Alumni come back and park in their designated spot in front of the coliseum to go and cheer on people whose education they are paying for, but have less than a 50-50 chance at graduation.

Anyone who has been in a class with an athlete knows they get special treatment. In class last week there was an athlete that could not turn in a paper because he was “getting ready” for the big game (two days prior to the game, that is. Evidently it takes that long to prepare for a game, and no school work can be done in this time frame).

Then, athletes get to take tests weeks later just because they were at a game or practice due to scheduling conflicts with both the student and teacher. This gives the athletes an advantage which they will not even use to graduate, for almost the majority of them.

This is all at a contrasting time in the lives of non-athletic students. Currently, it is more of a hassle to get an absence excused because of illness or other legitimate excuse than it has ever been. But yet, an athlete can simply tell a teacher they missed because of practice or a game and they are off the hook.

People that play sports know ahead of time that they will be absent for class, and therefore should not be given additional time in lieu of a game. They should be like the rest of the student body and plan accordingly to take a test before or the day after the absence.

I know that there are athletes that do their work, will get a 4.0 GPA and will graduate. I am just speaking about a majority in which the statistics bring out the ugly facts. There are also professors that won’t accept anything less from athletes and I applaud them.

Athletes work hard to entertain the fans, including me. They earn the extra money in their meal plans and even deserve the nicer dorms. After all, athletics play a major cohesive role in campus life.

When all is said and done, athletes are an integral part of campus life, and should be treated like everyone else academically.

Chip Hanna is a freshman journalism and business major from Boring, Ore. He can be contacted at (


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