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December 09, 2013

"Jameis Winston Isn't The Only Problem Here: An FSU Teacher's Lament"

I'm glad I didn't teach at a big football school

I've had dealings with the handlers. My biggest issue was with a gentle giant of a lineman who was new to college, and to reading, and had trouble making it to the morning class. On the few occasions he made it to class (late) and didn't fall dead asleep, his earnest writing, both in style and structure, was that of an elementary school student. He never turned a paper in on time, but when I contacted the handlers to warn them of his status, a pile of final drafts would suddenly materialize, full of fairly complex, organized thoughts and diction—thoughts that hadn't made it into earlier drafts I'd seen. I was bombarded with regular long emails from handlers explaining how I should arrange extra meetings with the player and extend deadlines for him. But he couldn't overcome his absences, and when I informed them through a mentor that he wouldn't pass and it was too late to drop the class, I was asked if I could give him an "incomplete," even though he didn't qualify for one. I said no.

This was a problem: My lineman was already on academic probation for poor performance in his first semester. Should I flunk him, he would lose his eligibility. At the end of the term, when I went online to enter my students' grades, his name didn't appear on the roster. He had been administratively disappeared from the rolls—a medical withdrawal, I heard, though I wondered what malady rendered him unable to attend class but capable of playing 40 or 50 snaps every Saturday.


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Like UNC?

You're probably fortunate you teach classes with prerequisites.


Another young man almost undoubtedly used and cheated by the 'system' of higher education. Almost all players, even from top teams never, ever go on to make a living playing sports. That they also don't get an education just makes it worse.

Paul Jaminet

Have you told Wolfpack fans you didn't teach at a football school?

Jack PQ

I taught student-athletes at Texas A&M under Mike Sherman and Dennis Franchione. Student attendance was good and I did not see evidence of grade manipulation or fake assignments. Of course, it helped that I used mainly exams and quizzes. They usually fared poorly but just well enough to stay eligible.

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