Report: UGA athletes among the least illiterate

Quarterback Aaron Murray, considered one of UGA's smartest players, demonstrates elite writing skills. (AJC file photo)

UGA graduate and former quarterback Aaron Murray demonstrates elite writing skills. Murray is headed to the NFL draft in 2014. (AJC file photo)

The football season may have been a letdown, but UGA athletes are still winners.

A report by CNN indicates Georgia athletes are among the least illiterate.

In the story titled “Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders,” the Atlanta-based news network says 7 to 15 percent of players admitted to some of the best universities in the nation can’t read at the college level.

CNN asked for SAT and ACT scores from 37 universities; only 21 responded, including the University of Georgia.

At UGA, 7.5% of athletes during a 6-year period (2007-12) scored less than 400 on the reading portion of the SAT or 16 on the ACT reading test, the level considered “college literate.”

Twenty-two of the 7.5% were on the football team. One was on the men’s basketball team and one was on the women’s basketball team. Information for athletes on other teams (baseball, for example) were not included by UGA.

UGA provided combined SAT scores for reading and math portions of the test. The writing portion of the test was usually excluded from the combined score.

The combined average SAT score for athletes at UGA was 941, says CNN. Athletes scored an average of 18.75 on the ACT reading test.

The combined average SAT score for students admitted to UGA was 1,243 on the SAT, said CNN, but that too seems to just include reading and math scores, not writing scores. UGA freshmen averaged a 28 on the ACT.

UGA professor Billy Hawkins, author of “The New Plantation,” which Amazon says “examines the controversial relationship between black athletes and predominantly white NCAA Division I Institutions,” says when colleges admit students that can’t read their textbooks, it’s “another form of cheating.”

“A lot of them are majoring in eligibility,” Hawkins told CNN. “It’s too much for students reading below a college level. It’s basically a farce,” he said. “Students I mentor, many of them are doing well academically, but again it’s under this whole umbrella of maintaining eligibility and I think image construction.”

Many other schools we like to rank UGA against did not provide data.

Alabama, Florida and Florida State said it does not track the college admission test scores of athletes.

Auburn said it would send the information after football season.

Clemson, which beat UGA on the field, didn’t do as well on standardized tests, with 15% of athletes not meeting the “college literate” criteria.

The average SAT verbal score for incoming freshmen in 2012 was 607. Football players scored an average of 455, basketball players 477.

Clemson said some athletes “did not try very hard” on the SAT when they took it because they had already taken the ACT, but the university did not provide ACT scores for most players.

More news for the literate:

242 comments Add your comment

dc

January 8th, 2014
10:08 am

once universities have to start paying athletes, this will settle out. then the pretense that they are “students” will become irrelevant.

Contractor

January 8th, 2014
10:13 am

Very unfortunate instance where money is overtaking knowledge. I know this is not simply a University of Georgia issue, it’s a national issue. My alma mater, the University of Alabama, I’m sure has some of the same issues. So much money is floating around we’ll never get back to the basics of education being #1. Atleast not while the NCAA is raking in billions every year. And we wonder why society in general is going down hill? Here is the perfect example of why, once educational systems start configuring more important things than education.

GUTRAKE

January 8th, 2014
10:14 am

From my experience, most every college graduate I know is still borderline illiterate. Also, none of them are former athletes. They display an uncommon inability to grasp logic or utilize common sense. Of course, I understand that common sense is abhorrent to a college grad, but what about the lack of logic?

Most of these athletes are cases of “special exception”. In my opinion, they are only slightly different from the student body as a whole–at least after graduation.

GUTRAKE

January 8th, 2014
10:18 am

The real Gutrake posted at 10:14. George, please control the name hijacking…Thanks!

GTJoe

January 8th, 2014
10:22 am

As Katt Williams once said, “How sad. How hilariously, hilariously sad.”

HypoRICHT

January 8th, 2014
10:24 am

I’m so glad to know that UGA football players are some of the least illiterate out there. Should make all the UGA fans feel so much better about trotting out those football players who can’t even write their own names.

say what?

January 8th, 2014
10:25 am

First horse meat, then cocaine at Aldi. I believe I need to change my personal spending habits with Aldi. May end up with a cashier trying to hand out packets of meth with my change.

Andrew

January 8th, 2014
10:26 am

I’d like to see the GT Athletes v/s the GT Students.

PR

January 8th, 2014
10:33 am

HypoRICHT – Are YOU literate?

You do realize that LEAST ILLITERATE, means the student athletes at UGA are better readers and writers than others on the list, right?

sad but true

January 8th, 2014
10:34 am

College athletes aren’t the only ones. Most students in general struggle more than ever with literacy and comprehension, but high schools are pressured to graduate them. They are then accepted into a remediation program and go from there. Colleges have also dumbed down to compensate.

Dane

January 8th, 2014
10:36 am

What a useless set of information used in an attempt to make UGA not sound full of idiots. They didn’t even ask a third of the schools in FBS for their information. If 22 of UGAs football players can’t read at a college level, that’s a quarter of the scholarship players! Absolutely pathetic.

Miss Daisy

January 8th, 2014
10:36 am

Let the NFL and NBA have their own minor leagues to develop their future players. When that layer of athlete is taken care of, then the colleges can return to truly putting a STUDENT athlete on the field or court.

Morality?

January 8th, 2014
10:37 am

No surprise that those Alabama schools didn’t bother to send a report. Saban has the largest college football staff in the nation but they are to busy? Sounds like one of those gub’ment cover ups. Smoke and mirrors.

Morality?

January 8th, 2014
10:40 am

Dane You did not read the article correctly. 22 players over a period of 6 years; not 22 players last year. Perhaps you need to take the test yourself?

SAWB

January 8th, 2014
10:42 am

Wasn’t there a big push to address these issues back in the late 1980s but when it was determined that any increase in standards would most impact African American athletes everyone backed off. My understanding is that many College Presidents want to increase the standards, but don’t want to be seen as denying someone the chance to pursue a long term athletic career particularly if it impacts minorities at a higher rate.
We need to do two things:

1) The NFL needs to allow teams to draft players right out of High School, increase team roster size and create a developmental league. It’s time colleges stop serving as the NFLs farm league.

2) Colleges need to raise the standards and require athletes to compete academically at the same level as the average student. This needs to be done based on academics alone without preferential treatment for other issues. While there are obviously failures in our education system the place to fix it is in the High school not at the university level.

While some may worry this will impact the quality of the product on the field and thus revenue – I disagree. If reforms are handled across the board everyone would compete at an equal level and most fans will never notice a difference. At the end of the day college fans cheer for the uniforms and not the people in them.

MoFaux

January 8th, 2014
10:48 am

dc: “once universities have to start paying athletes, this will settle out. then the pretense that they are “students” will become irrelevant.”

Where have you been living? Full tuition and first choice of classes/professors qualifies as being paid. Granted, they probably deserve more than that since the schools profit so much off of them, but they are certainly being paid NOW and have been for decades.

Mick Dee

January 8th, 2014
10:51 am

I wonder how many are literate after 4 years of college football head injuries.

The lawsuit to shut down football can’t happen soon enough, in my opinion. Too many head injuries. We can find other sports, people.

Chris

January 8th, 2014
10:52 am

Dane, you just failed reading comprehension 101. Go back to your remedial class and get yourself a tutor.

Saltmarsh Cracker

January 8th, 2014
10:55 am

Hope nobody thinks this is a new phenomenon. It’s been this way for years, but it’s not universal. Many of these athletes (black and white) work hard, take advantage of tutoring and other learning aids, DON’T cheat, and are rather successful in their academic endeavors. They often go on to be prosperous and productive citizens. The media focuses on the few who don’t.

Devil's Advocate

January 8th, 2014
10:56 am

“Alabama, Florida and Florida State said it does not track the college admission test scores of athletes.”

LOL. So they just let people in without test scores?

Oh come on

January 8th, 2014
10:57 am

Least illiterate = most literate.

You guys can’t be serious with your comments when YOU LACK THE LITERACY TO READ THE TITLE CORRECTLY.

It’s so pathetic to watch insecure adults who never went to college try to validate themselves by taking any stab they can get at college grads.

GUTRAKE, you’re a prime example of that. That was some of the most ignorant crap I’ve read in a while. You need higher education, sir. Sorry bout it. I am a UGA student. The work I did to get here, and to stay here, is very hard. It’s nothing you would ever know anything about if the simple LOGIC of negation stumps you.

Someone needs to say it...

January 8th, 2014
10:58 am

…what percentage of these considered illiterate are non white? I’m betting 90% or higher. Of course the NAACP will want to point the finger at anything white but the finger needs pointing at the man (or woman) in the mirror, and particularly their parents.

It it’s pretty well know in the south that Clemson, Auburn, Ole Miss and Miss State house the dumbest students, followed by FSU, Miami and South Carolina.

somewhereinga

January 8th, 2014
10:59 am

I see a deliberate attempt to confuse folks, as evidenced by some previous responses. “Least Illiterate” = “most literate”….its a compliment to our athletes! Quit it with the anti-UGA bias you folks continuously show towards my alma mater.

bucket

January 8th, 2014
11:00 am

@ Morality? – your response to Dane was priceless. Some of the folks on here are demonstrating that maybe they didn’t do so well on the reading portion of the college entrance exam either! (It’s too bad they apparently are not deficient in their typing skills.) The fact that some people are shocked that some of the athletes in college wouldn’t be there if they didn’t play sports is hilarious. That situation has existed for a very long time and will continue as long as there is money to made.

Milton

January 8th, 2014
11:00 am

Hard to believe this article portrays illiteracy at a state school in a positive light. “We’re not the worst – look at Clemson” is the vibe I get.

This issue was already covered at the Jan Kemp trial in the ’80s I thought. I doubt anything has really changed at UGA since that time. I submit the L. Pope resume as evidence.

somewhereinga

January 8th, 2014
11:00 am

God help em if Auburn had responded to your inquiry…..

anotherdamnyankee

January 8th, 2014
11:05 am

This CNN report is a BFO…Blinding Flash of the Obvious. I seriously believe that the headline reporter for this story has a real hatred of college athletes.
In related news, some College Students play sports at a fifth-grade level…

Devil's Advocate

January 8th, 2014
11:06 am

I hear Auburn and Alabama are still trying to figure out how to use relational databases but in the meantime they are looking into using spreadsheets to record data. Until they get a digital solution in place to track test scores they’ll continue using the “eye ball test” to admit athletes.

jarvis

January 8th, 2014
11:08 am

@Dane, Did you even read the article? This one or the one on CNN?
It’s a 6 years sample. They even spell out the 7.5% for you. How’s your reading comprehension?

jarvis

January 8th, 2014
11:15 am

It’s the cost of doing business. These schools get unequaled coverage form these athletics.
The athletic programs are like a giant advertisement for the schools.

Special K

January 8th, 2014
11:17 am

Kind of put’s it into perspective. I see so many many fans poniting out the superiority of the school they pull for and now we see the curtain pulled aside. I by no means think my team is any better but now it sheads light on the truth. Every school in Div. 1 is allowing some student athlete’s to enroll who otherwise would never sniff the door’s of that said school.

Special K

January 8th, 2014
11:18 am

That should should have said pointing. lol.

Moist Dawg

January 8th, 2014
11:21 am

this is no suprise. its also no suprise that auburn hasnt showed there scores. its also a suprise that bama didnt just report that all there players got perfect scores.
one more piece of evedince that richt is the coach k of college football!

Bumper

January 8th, 2014
11:22 am

Some of these less-than-briiliant college athletes do OK for themselves. Take Forrest Gump for example, he played for (and graduated from) Alabama and then went on to become a gozillionaire in the seafood industry.

GUTRAKE

January 8th, 2014
11:22 am

Comeon,

Are you serious? Of course we know what the article is saying. My point is just because they are in a category of the “least illiterate” isn’t exactly progress.

Dude, you need to stop skipping classes…

Martha Kebo

January 8th, 2014
11:22 am

Listen to them when they are interviewed on television! They can’t speak in coherent sentences. And please include a clause in the athletic scholarships stating that the athlete will pay back, in full and with interest, the scholarship that made it possible for him/her to go on to a multi-zillion dollar career in the pros.

Samson

January 8th, 2014
11:24 am

Six years a slave or 12 years a slave, NCAA athletes especially Blacks remain slaves to the master of the colleges, NCAA, and the networks who are only interested in the money.

Contractor

January 8th, 2014
11:28 am

Morality?,

Alabama has the higher graduation rate compared with Georgia when it comes to their football players. Maybe you should revisit your numbers instead of calling others out for not reading. To me, be unprepared is worse than being able to read, because it makes you look uneducated and unable to process thought.

2012 statistics
Football Graduation Rates: SEC
Vanderbilt 85%
LSU 77%
Florida 75%
Alabama 75%
Missouri 73%
Georgia 69%

GUTRAKE

January 8th, 2014
11:29 am

Comeon,

In other words, it’s a back-handed compliment. Get it?

Tman

January 8th, 2014
11:30 am

Nothing New here. Money trumps the need to govern the NCAA

GUTRAKE

January 8th, 2014
11:31 am

Contractor,

Now that’s a good one!

The Geezer

January 8th, 2014
11:33 am

I guess the term “least illiterate” draws more readers and sensation than the term “most literate.”

I see the AJC has chosen to take another cheap shot swipe at UGA. Par for the course.

Just remember that the UGA runs some type of story just about every day in order to draw readers to the web site and sell papers which increases revenue for the AJC and adds to profitability for the AJC and for Cox.

Started to give a lecture on you don’t poop where you eat but it would be wasted on the Cox money piggies.

What a bunch of hypocrites we have at the AJC and Cox. When you are falling asleep at night do you think about the money to help you dose off?

DawgNole

January 8th, 2014
11:38 am

Special K
January 8th, 2014
11:17 am
Kind of put’s it into perspective. I see so many many fans poniting out the superiority of the school they pull for and now we see the curtain pulled aside. I by no means think my team is any better but now it sheads light on the truth. Every school in Div. 1 is allowing some student athlete’s to enroll who otherwise would never sniff the door’s of that said school.

Special K
January 8th, 2014
11:18 am
That should should have said pointing. lol.
_________________________________________

It also should have said “puts.” It also should have said “sheds.” It also should have said “athletes.” It also should have said “doors.”

Hope you didn’t get your education at UGA.

GUTRAKE

January 8th, 2014
11:39 am

This is absolutely amazing. I feel dumber just from reading some of these posts.

Contractor

January 8th, 2014
11:40 am

I’m an Alabama graduate, but I know first hand it is tough to get into Georgia. Transfering is a lot easier than as a Freshman, but you’re still having to prove you can make grades and read. Georgia doesn’t simply allow normal students in and then allow them to take remedial classes. You pretty much have to be perfect to get in as a Freshman, so in essence, it is the athletes with the problem. They are allowing them to come in as cash cows and make the university hundreds of millions, yet allow them to be greased through the program without so much as taking a test with normal students. The movie The Program from the 90’s is the perfect depiction of what’s going on, whether fans want to realize it or not. I know the University of Georgia isn’t graduating normal students that are illiterate, atleast not in the business school. I also know Alabama isn’t doing that either. Athletes, now that’s another story.

Hacked Off

January 8th, 2014
11:41 am

Sounds like a certain writer can’t think of all of those young buffed up college football players without his rear end puckering up?

Moist Dawg

January 8th, 2014
11:42 am

leave it to contractor to post the most assinine thing of the day! yeah, bama “graduates” 75% of its players. and nobody ever gets in trouble there either. nick satan has a team full of road scholars!! Lol!!! thanks for the laugh!!!

Don't Tread

January 8th, 2014
11:44 am

It’s too bad that the scholarship athletes don’t have to meet the same admissions criteria that regular students do. University athletes should be STUDENTS first and athletes second.

PS: Who is “Laga Gaga”?

SCT

January 8th, 2014
11:45 am

Fsu must at the bottom with that ignorant idiot qb they have. He sounds like he’s never passed an English class. Amazing how they get into college!!

DawgNole

January 8th, 2014
11:47 am

Contractor
January 8th, 2014
11:28 am
. . . Alabama has the higher graduation rate compared with Georgia when it comes to their football players. Maybe you should revisit your numbers instead of calling others out for not reading. To me, be unprepared is worse than being able to read, because it makes you look uneducated and unable to process thought . . . .
___________________________

“To me, `be’ unprepared . . . “???

Worse than being “able” to read???

Hello?

Well, to me, “be” unable to write is worse than either one. And it certainly has made you appear “uneducated and unable to process thought” in your post.