“There’s one thing that would help mitigate these body blows that we’re taking, and that would be for the University to say, ‘during this time period, we admitted some students that, in retrospect, maybe we should not have admitted’,” UNC J-School professor Charlie Tuggle says.


Three experts from outside of UNC told us last week that the SATA RV (Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults Reading Vocabulary) subtest isn’t a good measuring tool for reading ability and college readiness, but what do the SAT scores tell about UNC’s student-athletes?

Recently on Carolina Week, the student newscast produced by UNC J-School students, reporter Suzanna Black shared that a UNC press release in January stated that 39 student-athletes (34 in revenue sports) scored less than what was deemed as the ‘CNN threshold’, which was scoring less than a 400 on the verbal portion of the SAT. That was an average of 250 or so points below the average of incoming freshmen at the same time.

Last week’s report discrediting the claims of illiteracy made by academic advisor Mary Willingham gave the basis that the SATA RV shouldn’t be the measuring tool that Willingham said it should. However, the report didn’t say that student-athletes are college-ready.

Tuggle has been involved in sports throughout his career as a sports official, a sports journalist, and a participant in sports. He says he believes there are students athletes out there that would meet the high standard of UNC without special admits.

“Stanford does pretty well in football from year to year; Duke has done well the last couple of years, and I think that the scores there would be above 400 on the verbal section,” Tuggle says. “So, yeah, I think that there is some extra legwork that has to go in recruiting not only great athletes but athletes who are at least close to what the average student on that campus would have scored.”

And, he says there’s proof that UNC can find those student athletes, it’s just going to be harder in some sports.

“Look at Marcus Paige: an excellent, excellent student and a fantastic basketball player,” Tuggle says. “Now, is it harder to find 90 football players who fall into that category than it would be to find 12 basketball players, well of course. But they have to be out there.”

WCHL’s News and Sports Director Ran Northam spoke with Dr. Tuggle during the WCHL Wednesday Morning News.

***Listen to the Interview***