Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm Back! NCAA-Speak Translated

The three month hiatus which has included an 1800 mile round trip to apartment hunt, a 1200 mile round trip to go to a wedding, travel in 12 diffferent states, a move to Pennsylvania and a new job, and the beginnings of a serious relationship is finally at an end. Muckracking and praise will continue, hopefully in reasonable equal measure.

Today I will present how a cynic might translate some recent platitudes issued earlier this month from the Board of Directors of NCAA Division I:

INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Division I Board of Directors today unanimously affirmed its strong support for academic reform.

The following is the full text of the board’s resolution:

“The Division I Board of Directors strongly and unanimously reaffirms its commitment to improving the academic success of all student-athletes in every sport. That was the charge of the Board four years ago when the current iteration of academic reform was begun and it accurately reflects the Board’s resolve today. Through its unanimous expression of support, the Board makes clear that it will stay the course in its initiative to improve graduation success.

Translation: We have been paying lip service to the idea of meaningful academic reform for the past four years. We are under pressure to discontinue this lip service entirely, but will continue to talk a good game for PR purposes.

“Academic reform in Division I is beginning its fourth year of implementation, and the Division I Board of Directors recognizes that the initiative is entering a significant period of time when specific sport concerns may be expressed.

Translation: Even our limited efforts at reform are impinging upon the job security of Basketball and Football coaches, and we will soon be hearing about it officially.

As a result, the Board anticipates that pressure will increase to diminish the effects of or abandon academic reform.

Translation: Athletic Directors in the BCS conferences are concerned that the prescribed penalties will actually be applied to them, and not merely to schools with less money.

It is appropriate to fine-tune reform implementation and to mitigate unintended consequences.

Translation: We fully intend to mitigated the unintended consequence of scholarship loss at BCS schools by caving in to the BCS Athletic Directors.

The Division I Board of Directors will remain open to the advice and counsel of the intercollegiate athletics community so that appropriate implementation is realized, but we are unbending in our determination to support the mission of higher education – educate students.”

Translation: We will continue to be a PR front for those in the intercollegiate athletics community who wish to hide the fact that many so-called 'student-athletes' will receive no meaningful education.

George Orwell would be proud!

No comments: