Athletics Survey

Answering the survey on moving to NCAA Division I is really bugging me out. I have no idea what half of the questions mean, and it isn’t like I’m very used to feeling stupid. See this one for example:

Recruitment of student-athletes reflects the University’s commitment to diversity.

This is just bizarre. Is an “athlete” a new identity group? I thought that diversity meant including people who don’t choose their identities (like race, gender, ethnicity). If athleticism is now an identity that merits specific efforts at its inclusion, then so should surely be other hobbies like stamp-collecting, video-game playing, blogging, etc.

Another question: Did this reclassification enhance our university’s prestige. I’m not American enough to answer this. What do you think? Is it prestigious to belong to Division I as opposed to Division II?

22 thoughts on “Athletics Survey

  1. perhaps they are referring to diversity within the school’s mission-you know, who needs a college devoted so strongly to academics? ( not that I have a chip on my shoulder about college athletics haha)

    Like

    1. Ha ha ha! 🙂 🙂

      Thank you, you made me laugh! I’m also very strongly biased against any athletics on campus that differs from the model where there is a gym and people come their to play sports whenever they feel like it, for fun and health reasons.

      Like

  2. Are college athletics US phenomenon? I haven’t heard of them in Russia, but may be I just don’t know. Never heard of them in Israel either.

    Like

      1. Nope (British reader currently living in the US). At every university there are of course sports teams who compete at various levels (as there are at high schools) but the strange US phenomenon of sports being so hugely important to universities (identity, sporting scholarships, financially) is absent.

        The only exception I can think of is for the rowing at Oxford and Cambridge, and even that is hardly on the scale of the US madness.

        Like

      2. Considering College football revenues can pay for pretty much every athletic program they have, it is easy to understand why they get so worked up about them. 🙂

        Like

      3. Nope. As far as I know it’s a US specific phenomenon.
        I’m at a uni which is reasonably known for the sports programme and facilities and sent a bunch of athletes to the recent games, but even so, athletes have to meet the academic standards of the school they’re enrolled in, no matter how talented they are. I believe there are small additional bursaries for especially talented athletes but that’s about it.

        I think the difference is the level of external funding interest and investment – college sport here just isn’t considered important.
        The local town here just wouldn’t turn out to attend a uni game like college towns do in the US. Except as noted above the Oxford / Cambridge boat race. But then, Oxford &Cambridge are the exceptions to many rules.

        Like

        1. “college sport here just isn’t considered important.
          The local town here just wouldn’t turn out to attend a uni game like college towns do in the US.”

          – Intelligent, civilized people.

          Like

  3. I am so relieved that college sports are not as big of a deal in Canada. In the US, when I was attending my old school, the sport program overshadowed academics in obscene and ridiculous ways, like raising tuition for students in order to renovate the stadium, paying the coaches about triple what the tenured profs made, and of course, the infamous case being investigated now by the DOJ where the university was in cahoots with the local police force to cover up over EIGHTY accusations of rape against the football players.

    Like

  4. I think they are asking whether, in your opinion, the recruiting practices of the athletic department are consistent with the university’s diversity goals. i.e. When the athletic department recruits athletes, do they recruit a group of athletes who are diverse in terms of ethnicity, geography, etc. etc.?

    It’s kind of a silly question, because college athletics is often more ethnically diverse (at least in certain respects) than the rest of the campus. However, it is academia, so it is important that every survey mention diversity. And, if you want to take the survey at face value (perhaps to be mischievous) you could raise concerns about whether the athletic department is welcoming of diversity of sexual orientation (homophobia is often a problem in macho environments), whether the athletic department has good representation of students from certain ethnic groups that aren’t stereotypically associated with the high-interest sports (basketball, football), whether the teams study a wide range of majors, etc.

    Like

    1. “When the athletic department recruits athletes, do they recruit a group of athletes who are diverse in terms of ethnicity, geography, etc. etc.?”

      – It is very strange to expect me to know this.

      “However, it is academia, so it is important that every survey mention diversity.”

      – I also thought that this was yet another instance of bureaucrat-speak. I’m surprised the word “sustainability” didn’t make an appearance.

      Like

      1. “- It is very strange to expect me to know this.”

        It is indeed strange. I occasionally get a survey about some department, office, or administrator that I know nothing about. How should I know if the some department on the other side of campus is committed to inquiry-based learning? However, they nonetheless ask these questions.

        The only plausible reason to ask such a question is to find out about the department’s internal reputation, but that is quite distinct from asking about their job performance. It’s also not clear why they should ask such a question. But they do.

        Like

  5. I took that to mean that the student-athlete population reflects the universities general diversity, rather than the athletes being predominantly from one group or another, which could indicate that the sports programme and attendant rewards (scholarships, nurseries etc) are being used improperly.

    Like

    1. Sorry, I misread your post. Yeah, you’re right, college football pays for every other athletic program.

      But college football on the whole does not make colleges rich. Most of the time colleges have to dip into their general fund in order to pay for sports programs.

      Like

  6. @Stringer

    As bad as sports can be I wish sometimes people would acknowledge the fact that without it many, many people would not go to college. For that matter they wouldnt even finish highschool.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.