Thursday, April 13, 2006

So what's a few rules among friends? 

76 percent of the respondents thought that institutions broke National Collegiate Athletic Association rules when recruiting players.

"People are wary of the recruiting process," said Rick Gentile, a professor of sports management at Seton Hall and director of the poll. "They like the purity of college athletics."

Yet 74 percent of the respondents thought that administrators placed importance on graduating their players, and 66 percent believed that coaches did so.

Almost all respondents -- 97 percent -- thought that college athletes should be tested for performance-enhancing drugs, while only 55 percent thought they should be tested for alcohol use.
Source (temp link; permalink for Chronicle of Higher Ed subscribers.) "Placing importance" is a pretty weak statement; I place an emphasis on eating low-calorie food, but I also "place importance" on the taste of chocolate donuts and Humpty Dumpty potato chips. (It's a Maine thing.) The near-unanimous support for drug-testing isn't very surprising -- we live in a society where everyone is quite happy to make someone else pee in a bottle, just not ourselves. But here's the one tha really made my eyebrows rise:
About one-fifth of the respondents thought that college basketball players intentionally influenced the outcome of games because of gambling interests.

One-fifth? Looks like this story got more coverage than I originally thought it would. (The more technical version of the story is here.) If one-fifth of people really think games are fixed, who bets?

Phil Miller argued a year ago that pointshaving wouldn't pay off if you just gave the student-athletes a stipend. He's right. But given how much is bet and TV money continuing to flood schools, who has a stake in stopping this?

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