UNC recently challenged CNN‘s report, which stated that 60% of 183 Tarheel student-athletes who played football or basketball from 2004 to 2012 had between a fourth and eighth grade reading level. UNC claimed that CNN did not ask the University for SAT and ACT scores, instead they solely spoke with a UNC employee, who “did not represent the campus in its report.”
UNC’s analysis by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions found a different set of data:
Between 2004 and 2012, the same time period examined by CNN, UNC-Chapel Hill enrolled 1,377 first-year student-athletes through the special-talent policies and procedures. More than 97 percent (1,338) of those students met the CNN threshold. Thirty-nine students (2.83 percent) did not meet the threshold.
The University also made sure to let people know that CNN did not use 2013’s set of information.
An analysis conducted by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions found that all 154 special-talent student-athletes – 100 percent – who enrolled in fall 2013 met CNN’s reading skills threshold. That first-year class included 35 student-athletes recruited for football and men’s and women’s basketball. (CNN did not examine 2013 information.)
Is CNN correct or is UNC? Either way, the education issue for collegiate athletes has been a controversial and difficult situation for some time. No matter what, it is never good to see a prospering athlete go downhill physically and intellectually.