Indiana Daily Student

Bball Blunders

The basketball team is personally responsible for their academic performance

College may not always be fun and games, but considering the average student spends a mere 12 to 18 hours in actual class, let’s face the facts: for undergraduates, this place is basically a summer camp. It’s most true for the IU men’s basketball team, who ranked 277th out of 325 Division I teams in terms of academic performance. \nThe Academic Progress Rate (APR) is a measure of a team’s academic eligibility, and their ability to retain players on a term-by-term basis. Two points are awarded per player per team, one point for being eligible, and the other for staying with the same athletics department. IU wasn’t penalized for falling into the 15th percentile, below Evansville, IUPUI, Butler, and basically the rest of Indiana schools, though the score – 890 of a possible 1000 points – puts the team below the cut off point, and will subject the team to scholarship losses in the coming year. \nTo many it seems unfair to punish the players themselves; after all, they are under constant stress to perform. Between the endless practices, away games, and time spent filling the 40-gallon gas tanks of their Escalades, the basketball team has almost no downtime. If they’re not running suicides down the court, they’re lifting weights or working on their endurance. That leaves precious little time for biology and calculus.\nSo as a school we ought to support our athletics teams, like citizens support their troops, right? The basketball team in particular is the heart and soul of the University, so professors should cut the basketball team as much slack as they need to complete the bare minimum course work. Right? It’s only fair, considering how much revenue they bring in for the school.\nMaybe the scholarship money should come out of Coach Sampson’s salary, because when you get right down to it, he’s really at fault. Right? Well, in fact, most of the under performing players are Mike Davis’ recruits, and may not have the same work ethic under the new coach. Nevertheless, Sampson has a duty to his school and his team to keep the players eligible and educated.\nLike Bob Knight did when he ran the team, Sampson needs to do more to ensure that our players get the best education that IU can provide since only a handful of players will turn professional. It’s Sampson’s responsibility to hire tutors, organize supplemental lectures and generally make every humanly possible effort for his players. Right?\nWrong.\nThe basketball players are individually responsible for their grades, which means juggling course work and court time, because they are different. While it’s true that their athletic obligations will often conflict with their academic obligations, there are ways to work around those limitations. The Editorial Board recognizes the unique position that the basketball team holds in the University, it’s important that the team realize they are students before players, and that IU is a college first, and a playground second.

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