Measuring Academic Exploitation of College Athletes and a Suggestion for Sharing Data

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 California State University, Sacramento
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College athletes are exploited when some aspect of their athletic involvement mitigates against their receiving a full and useful education toward a postcollegiate career. We do not have a systematic means for assessing degree of academic exploitation within and among campuses. To be useful to athletes, measures are needed that will assess degree of exploitation while it is occurring and is correctable, rather than measuring exploitation after the fact. Two specific means for assessing academic performance and progress of athletes are suggested here. These measures provide a timely assessment of progress for athletes that more acutely measures their academic performance than traditional means. Further, these measures may become a base of data that can be used to assess academic performance of athletes between teams on a given campus or between schools. Privacy regulations prohibit researchers from obtaining raw data from academic records at institutions other than their own. A method for pooling and sharing this individually obtained data is suggested. Use could be made of this data base by social scientists, administrators, and prospective athletes who want to compare the academic environment for athletes at colleges they are considering.

Direct all correspondence to Stephen K. Figler, Dept. of Health & Physical Education, California State University, Sacramento, CA 95819.
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