Just some thoughts:
Student athlete–Is a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by the educational institution in which he or she is enrolled. (Why does that word “Student Athlete”– make me smile–in some cases laugh?)
You know once upon a time evidently academics did cause a university (University of Mississippi) to cancel a competition against fella SEC school Vanderbilt. Yes they did.
In 1966 Ole Miss and Vanderbilt freshmen basketball teams were scheduled to play a home and home competition. Vanderbilt’s freshmen team was scheduled to play Ole Miss freshman team on January 14 at Ole Miss. A return game was scheduled for February 11 at Vanderbilt.
Low and below Ole Miss basketball coach (Eddie Crawford) suddenly found out and announced he had made an error and over booked his school for those two games. Yes, Ole Miss was scheduled to play John C. Calhoun State Junior College on January 14 not Vanderbilt.
The February 11th game well its seems that coach Crawford placed great academics standards on those athletes that played at Ole Miss and for him. The February 11th game at Vandy, well it would have to be canceled saying that the Rebels would not make the 240-mile trip to Nashville “on account of school work.”
I am not making that up. Evidently this would be too taxing a trip going that distance. You know gotta keep those kids in class and they might miss a class going that far for the game. It was noted that the Rebels would instead on that date play Clarke Memorial College. That would entail a trip of only 175-miles for his team. You know what sixty-five more miles can do to one’s learning ability. Don’t you just love seeing institutions of higher learning holding such high academic standards.
I have said all that with tongue in cheek. Let’s cut to the chase. In 1966 Vanderbilt had two members on their freshman team that were African-American, Godfrey Dillard and Perry Wallace, black players. In fact that year would see the first two African-American basketball players introduced into the SEC. University of Mississippi in essences was refusing to play another college team based upon racial matters. No black opponent had ever suited up against a Rebel team on their home court.
Recently I had the good fortunate to have breakfast with the author of a book I would strongly recommend for your reading. Andrew Maraniss’s book Strong Inside is about Perry Wallace, one of the two first blacks to play college basketball in the SEC. By the way if you know anything about Wallace not only was he a very good college player, yes he also was a good student.
Sadly Wallace passed away December 1st, 2017. At that time he was a college professor of law at a university in Washington, D.C.
Student athlete. Check the graduation rate for many of these colleges today and you will see that many of them don’t remain a “student” that long. Too many have a very low graduation rate.
May 16, 2018