SEC Good At Sports, Lousy At Learning




The Knight Commission Report on college athletics made a scathing analysis about the direction of college dollars.

This fact was stunning. Between 2005 and 2012 spending for football players rose 70 percent, while spending on students rose 6 percent!

The defenders of this system will argue that the profits for football not only support the rest of the athletic department, but also other school activities.

They use real Madoff bookkeeping. Profits are no problem when you can toss out the injured and brain damaged without being responsible for one dime after they leave school.

Notwithstanding that money saver, only 23 Division I schools have profitable athletic departments.

With 11 BCS champions, there can be little doubt that, over the last 20 years, the SEC has been the top football conference.

What has all that fame and fortune done for their academics?  Not so much.

A review of the U.S. News and World Report rating of colleges provides an SEC embarrassment. Some quick arithmetic shows that the average school ranking in the SEC is 96 out of 200!

Only one school, Vanderbilt, the perennial SEC football doormat, is in the TOP 25.

The next best school is Florida which ranks 49th.

Here’s a no real surprise, The University of Mississippi can now cheer: “We’re number 150”.

In forty of fifty states, the highest paid government official is a football or basketball coach.  Ken Niumatalolo, the football coach at the Naval Academy, is just another Federal government bureaucrat.  He just happens to get paid $1.5 million.

We need to rethink our values.


[Personal Disclosure: I root for the University of Miami and I initially went to college on an athletic scholarship.]


11 Responses to “SEC Good At Sports, Lousy At Learning”

  1. Knight Doubter says:

    I seem to recall US News, and several other publications, reporting that it is almost easier to gain admission to Harvard than it is to get into the University of Florida. We constantly hear stories of 4.5 GPA, well-rounded students, highly qualified students being rejected from UF, but being admitted to other top schools such as Duke and Va Tech. That sounds pretty damn impressive to me. I guess you can report all kinds of skewed impressions if you twist the information the right way. Perhaps they need to rethink their journalistic ethics.

  2. Go Gators! says:

    Proud to be a part of the SEC

  3. SAM FIELDS says:

    The problem at UF is not the quality of the students. It is the quality of the education. Check out things like class sizes.

  4. Knight Doubter says:

    But a higher quality of students helps raise the quality of the education. Also, for many years now, UF has drawn top candidates from outside Florida, which translates into a more diverse student population. Yes…class sizes can always be smaller, but it’s an exaggeration to say that UF is in dire straights. I guess it just makes for interesting reading.

  5. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Go Gators

    How many classes did it take to learn to spell “SEC”?

  6. Go Gators says:

    Dear Mr. Fields, I do not recall, however, I do remember that you cannot spell SCUM without UM.

  7. Blow Gators says:

    Go Gators,
    I know you think Miami is scum, but I think you need to take off the beer goggles when you look at your own institution. Does Aaron Hernandez ring a bell? Riley Cooper is another proud UF grad! In the past decade alone there are countless arrests of players from UF. In fact, 41 of the 121 players on the roster in 2008 had been arrested at the time. Don’t believe me, I’ll add a link at the bottom from the NY Times. There is a reason that everywhere outside of Gainesville refers to UF as the Penn State of the South.

    And if you look at the rankings of best colleges, Miami is once again rated higher.
    But, I know that all you care about is football (and since you went to Florida) I will have to explain to you that 5 rings > 3 rings.

  8. Becky Blackwood says:

    I guess I need to speak up for my alma mater, the University of Florida and its Building Construction school, its Interior Design school, its engineering school of which I am familiar. They are all ranked in the top 10 in the United States. The Building Construction school is over 75 years old, perhaps the oldest in the U.S. The University of Florida is ranked No. 2 in online course instruction for college degrees.
    Yes, there is not much to do in Gainesville without the U of F sports programs and college life but there are criminal elements in other college sports programs, too. Nothing for any of us to be proud of.

  9. Final Four says:

    Final Four Baby!
    Go Gators!

  10. Knight Doubter says:

    Mr Blow Gators needs to check his figures. UM is indeed a wonderful institution that leads to a valuable respected degree. However, the average SAT & GPA of the last UF class was 1900 & 4.5, while UM was at 1750 & 4.2. The great thing about numbers is that they can’t exaggerate…they always speak the truth.

  11. Blow Gators says:

    Knight Doubter needs to learn how to read. I said that “if you look at the rankings of best colleges, Miami is once again rated higher.”

    Not anywhere did I say that the students who came to campus last year had higher GPA’s or SAT scores. But that proves my point even more. UF gets students who are “better” out of high school (a large reason is due to the cost of Miami vs. UF being a public school) and yet UM is still rated higher. They do more with students, period. Hence, the college is rated higher, not the incoming students. Also, students can easier qualify for scholarships to UF than Miami because UM is limited with space and can only provide scholarships to limited numbers. Many students who get full rides at UF don’t at Miami. Ask students, they will tell you.

    Take a look at the rankings in the link. I attached them so you could check your figures. I guess the importantance of research and reading weren’t stressed at UF.