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UNC Faculty Wants Change In Athletics Admissions Standards

By Ran Northam Posted October 5, 2013 at 5:09 pm

CHAPEL HILL – Faculty at UNC want to see admission standards raised for student athletes.

The News and Observer reports that Friday’s presentation by undergraduate admissions director, Steve Farmer, raised questions of the current standards during a meeting of the faculty council.

Farmer reported that of the 160 newly enrolled student athletes this year, 14 had a predicted grade point average below a C. Nine of the 14 are from revenue sports football and basketball.

***Correction: The News and Observer updated the story to say that the 14 student-athletes were predicted to have a grade point average below a 2.3 or a “C-plus” which placed them at risk of academic trouble.

Farmer’s report prompted Anthropology professor Vin Steponaitis to ask why the admissions standards aren’t raised to avoid issues like ones that resulted in a three-year period of investigations by the NCAA, Secretary of State, and Orange and Chatham County District Attorney.

He said, “The fundamental worry is that the system we have in place, no matter how hard we work at it, ends up admitting students who can’t do the work.”

Other faculty chimed in as well bringing up the freshman eligibility topic again and the fact that student-athletes have to spend so much time concentrating on their sport which takes time away from their studies.

Though P.J. Hairston has not been in the media lately because of his studies, that topic was raised as well. Hairston was caught in possession of marijuana this summer, but the charge was dropped. Just months later he was cited for speeding. Recently, men’s basketball coach Roy Williams said Hairston has earned a right to practice with the team, but still has to earn his playing time.

All of this was part of discussion about big-time college sports and their role at the University. Of course the discussion was fueled by the fact that a day earlier, one of the five indicted on charges of breaking the Uniformed Agents Act, Jennifer Lauren Wiley Thompson, saw her first court appearance.

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