For the past year, a University of Georgia committee has been conducting a “self-study” of the school’s athletics program — a review required every 10 years by the NCAA from Division I schools. The resulting report is 148 pages long, and you can read it all here if you like.
Here are a few things that jumped out at me:
All male students who entered UGA in 2007 -– the most recent year covered by the report -– had an average standardized-test (SAT and converted ACT) score of 1250. By comparison, male student-athletes who initially enrolled in 2007 had an average score of 998. Football players had an average of 916 and men’s basketball players 906.
All female students who entered UGA in 2007 had an average standardized-test score of 1201, compared to 1058 for female student-athletes. Women’s basketball players averaged 955.
The report also provides comparisons of standardized-test scores for the general student population and student-athletes in the years 2004-2006.
The averages for all male students were 1245 in 2006, 1254 in 2005 and 1251 in 2004. For male athletes: 1017 in 2006, 1046 in 2006 and 990 in 2004. For football players: 901 in 2006, 935 in 2005 and 893 in 2004.
The report states: “The pool of student athletes capable of competing for NCAA and SEC championships tends to have lower standardized-test scores than the pool of students competitive for admission to the University of Georgia. Variances among sports groups are comparable to similar trends nationally and can be ascribed to differences in demographics among athletes competitive in different sports.”
Among all first-year students who entered UGA from 1999-2000 through 2002-03, 76 percent earned degrees within six years, compared to 57 percent of athletes. Broken down further, the report shows that 51 percent of Georgia’s male athletes, 65 percent of female athletes, 46 percent of football players, 17 percent of men’s basketball players and 63 percent of women’s basketball players earned degrees within six years.
“Graduation rates, particularly in male sports, have been a significant issue for the Athletic Association,” the report states. “Several new polices have been implemented that appear to be responsible for significant improvement in the academic success of all student-athletes.”
“It is striking for a FBS [Football Bowl Subdivision] athletics program to be majority female,” the report says. “Nationally, only 43.5% of student-athletes at FBS (formerly Division I-A) programs are female.”
Still, UGA has a smaller percentage of female student-athletes (51.6 percent) than of female undergraduates (57.5 percent).
“I am pleased to report to you that our committee found that the Athletic Association is one of the strongest in the nation, and remains committed to principles of ethical governance, dependable rules compliance, equity in terms of diversity and gender, and the highest possible level of student-athlete well-being,” Bennett wrote in a cover letter to “the University of Georgia community.”
“I attribute these qualities to an outstanding leadership team and a dedicated group of administrators, coaches, and student-athletes,” Bennett wrote. “The UGA Athletic Associaton has undergone a substantial culture change since the last self-study was completed, and it has been all for the good.”