Admissions data cause little concern

May 05, 1991|By Mike Preston

Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Gene Corrigan and University of Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger expressed little concern last week over a recent report in The Chronicle of Higher Education that six of the eight Atlantic Coast Conference teams, including the University of Maryland, had at least half of their basketball and football players admitted as special-admission students in 1989.

Maryland, North Carolina and Wake Forest were about 50 percent, and Georgia Tech, the national football co-champion, was at 71.4 percent. Clemson had the highest in the conference, 82.1, and Florida State, which will join the conference this fall, was at 80 percent.

Houston had the highest rate nationally, 93.8 percent of its football and basketball players.

About 27 percent of the football and basketball players admitted in fall 1989 to universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I-A were characterized by their institutions "special authority admissions."

In comparison, 4 percent of all 1989 freshmen at those colleges were in the same category, according to The Chronicle.

Only nine of 73 colleges that take "special admits" had lower percentages of such students for football and men's basketball players than for the entire freshman class.

"I'm not really alarmed at the numbers," said Corrigan. "What concerns me is if they are graduating, and I feel that is being achieved. In the conference, we have basically gotten rid of the Prop 48 athlete. Years ago, there was a concern that if we couldn't recruit them, and the others could, then we couldn't beat them.

"I feel that our schools are diverse enough in their tutoring, academic counseling and other programs to make sure the athletes are graduating."

An NCAA spokesman said that graduation rates from Division I schools in the past five years will not be available until fall.

Geiger said Maryland has been near 50 percent speciaadmissions for the past five years and that he anticipates no changes. Maryland allows eight to 10 football special admissions a year and two to three for basketball.

"This is just a part of the insidious system we got ourselves intof labeling people," Geiger said. "All of the athletes are not stupid, this or that. We consider athletic talent a positive

thing in a student's portfolio, just like we have special admissions for other students. One thing we must remember is that the athletes here are not being admitted unless we feel they can do the work and graduate."

Geiger and Corrigan said special admissions for athletes have been a popular topic at a number of NCAA meetings.

"I have been and will continue working on the national level on admissions, but not about certain schools and who they can admit," Geiger said. "All schools are different. They have different missions, constituencies and charters.

"We need to concentrate more on core courses that a student-athlete needs to take and a grade-point average that keeps the athlete eligible."

Maryland officials also have responded to figures released in March by The Chronicle, which reported that 11 percent of the football players who entered the university in the 1984-85 school year had graduated by August 1989.

Guy Hays, coordinator for certification and student services, said 52.6 percent had graduated. Hayes said 22 players, including transfers and walk-ons, made up that class and that three transferred in good academic standings before 1989. Of the 19 remaining players, he said, 10 graduated.

Hayes said three other players will graduate before the end of this semester, including one who missed a year because of a life-threatening illness and another whose major required 20

more hours than are usually needed.

Special admissions

ND.. .. .. ..All students.. .. ..All athletes.. .Football, basketball

School.. ..Spec...Pct.. .Rec...Spec...Pct... ..Rec...Spec...Pct.

Clemson.. .105.. .3.6.. .90.. .41.. .45.6... ..28.. .23.. ..82.1

Fla. State.173.. .5.6.. .73.. .37.. .50.7... . 30.. .24.. ..80.0

Ga. Tech.. .31.. .1.8.. .63.. .24.. .38.1... . 28.. .20.. ..71.4

Maryland.. 124.. .3.7.. 130.. .18.. .13.8.. .. 30.. .15.. ..50.0

N.C. State..68.. .2.0.. .90.. .23.. .25.6.. .. 36.. .11.. ..30.6

N. Carolina.94.. .2.9.. 137.. .25.. .18.2.. .. 29.. .15.. ..51.7

Wake Forest 29.. .3.1.. .80.. .13.. .16.3.. .. 24.. .12.. ..50.0

Others

California.251.. .6.4...207.. .48.. .23.2.. .. 21.. .17.. ..81.0

BHouston.. .109.. .3.8.. .63.. .23.. .36.5.. .. 16.. .15.. ..93.8

Washington 507.. 15.1.. .91.. .60.. .65.9.. .. 34.. .28.. ..82.4

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