High-performing sports programs elevate the national profile – and fatten the bottom line – of universities across the country. But how much can the term "student-athlete" be twisted before it becomes a charade and an embarrassment?
Case in point: The University of Kentucky men's basketball team, whose outstanding 35-3 record on the court was tainted by a woeful 2.02 grade point average last fall.
Forget the argument that this is a problem with all athletes and all schools. The basketball Wildcats ranked last academically among 20 different sports programs at UK, and also last among all SEC teams.
John Calipari is clearly a master basketball coach. But he works for a University – one that professes to be a world-class educational institution. Not a professional basketball team. And his ability to develop players as athletes shouldn't excuse his failure to develop them as students.
Otherwise the high cost of winning basketball at the expense of its academic reputation may prove to be more than UK can afford.
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I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.