The Sports MCs Present The Saturday Huddle
By Michael-Louis Ingram, Editor
(first presented August 29, 2008)
PHILADELPHIA (BASN/BASN NEWSROOM)-– The approach of autumn leaves and pom poms can mean only one thing: college football is back for another season of Pigskin Pimpin’.
And the prognosticators and perpetrators will, no doubt offer their take on which institution will get paid the most BCS money come January.
But what always seems to get lost in the sauce is the fact the machine that is college football keeps it crack-a-lackin’ for everyone; except those most responsible for its success — the student-athletes.
Enter the MCs.
In our endeavor to flip the script, we plan to show some of the inner workings of this machine — and hopefully address some big picture issues that will get some of the capitalist pigs to move over in the trough — or least think twice before they oink!
Each week during the B.S. (that’s BCS) season, we will touch on one aspect of the season. And since no time’s better than the present:
The Sports MCs Present the “Flop Ten”
Thanks to the courtesy of our friend and colleague, Dr. Richard Lapchick, the vital statistic not showing up on game – day broadcasts is the graduation success rates of the 120 schools that comprise the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS; formerly Division 1-A).
Dr. Lapchick, director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) out of the University of Central Florida and his staff have tracked and provided graduation rates for all the FBS schools for years, and publish reports as to progression and regression periodically.
The most recent report presented a study by TIDES entitled, “Keeping Score When It Counts: Assessing the 2007-08 Bowl-bound college Football Teams — Academic Performance Improves but Race Still Matters.”
The findings do provide a good news / bad news scenario: In 2007, 88 percent of the schools that participated in bowl games had a graduation success rate of 50% or greater, up from 86 percent of schools since the previous study in 2006 — encouraging, indeed.
Now the bad news: a wide gap remains between white and African-American student-athletes, in spite of the upward numbers. “Quotes Lapchick, from this study: “Each year the most disturbing information in the grad rate study is the disparity between the graduation rates of African-American and white football student-athletes.
“While the graduation rates for African-American student athletes have improved, the disparity has persisted for years.”
So why are the MCs looking to put this out on Front Street? To illustrate and emphasize one intrinsic truth — these cats need to get paid.
But not just paid; respected, as well. Another consistent theme Dr. Lapchick touched on in similar studies is the reality African-American student-athletes are not necessarily welcomed with open arms while at some of these schools.
Unlike at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) where a modicum of comfort and familiarity prevail in the learning process because certain goals are expected and accepted, a family with a talented student – athlete may want to consider schools where the striking a balance between athletics and academics is an inevitability instead of a vague possibility.
But, if after all that, you wanna see your kid on prime – time television 5 or 6 times a season…then gooooooooood luck, brother!
Caveat emptor is in effect…
The Flop 10:
Here, in descending order, are the ten worst schools and their graduation success rates which participated in bowl games last year:
10.California (49%) Gummy Bears forget to wipe the Stick – um off their textbooks; we thought Cal – Berkeley was an academic jewel in the West – wrong!
9.Oregon State (47%) “Ward, honey — I think you were a little hard on the Beavers — in the classroom!”
8.Houston (46%) Don’t env Brother Man’s situation down there; we hope new head coach Kevin Sumlin can garner some wins on the field and in the classroom.
7.New Mexico (45%) “How will the Wolf survive – when Los Lobos’ student – athletes lose their eligibility?”
6. (Tie) Utah (41%)The “Runnin’ Utes” seem headed in every direction except class.
6. (Tie) Alabama (41%)Looks like the Crimson Lied – about getting an education.
4.Michigan State (35%)Remember the Spartans? They failed World History!
3.Nevada-Reno (31%)Looks like the only Wolves at their door are teammates — to pick up their playbooks.
2.Texas (30%) Hey for a 10 million dollar payday, what’s a few lives, more or less? “Hook ’em” indeed…
And, the Number One school in our Flop 10:
1: Georgia (29%) Number One in the preseason BCS polls, these Dawgs have no bone to pick when addressing the sorry number of brothers graduating from their football team; because they’re busy workin’ their day job in that Red Clay of Sanford Stadium.
Flop 10 Matchups
Whooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Nellllly! Have we’ve got a rock ’em – sock ’em double dip of College Football this weekend:
Regional Flop 10 Coverage featuring the Michigan State Spartans versus the California Golden Bears:
Out West, the #4 ranked Spartans will be in their green and white (School gets the green while more of the white players graduate) and #10 Cal – Berkeley is resplendent in their blue – and – gold (Blue when the Brothas realize they’ve pissed their eligibility away; gold in the school’s pockets).
But the marquee matchup for this week pits the Clemson Tigers against the #6 Crimson Tide of Alabama (more like Low Tide after you’ve peeped at those graduation rates)
Remember, College Football may live here; but higher education doesn’t!
At BASN – Buttressing Academics is Second Nature!
always outnumbered…never outgunned.