Monday, April 4, 2011

Let's Play "What Are The Odds", UConn Edition

Okay, in light of the basketball championship between Butler and UConn, I thought it might be fun to play a game called "What are the odds?".

Here's how the game works:  I'll list two completely different things and you guess which is more likely to happen.

Ready?

Here we go:  What are the odds of...

...dying from some form of cardiovascular disease

OR

...a UConn basketball player actually graduating with a college degree


The a answer?  Well here we go...

The odds of dying from some form of cardiovascular disease in the United States, according to the American Heart Association is roughly 1 in 29, or 34.3%.  You can find the data HERE.

According to a study by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, UConn's graduation rate for basketball players is 31%.  You can read an article that lists the graduation rates for 21 of the NCAA Tournament teams HERE.

Yes, you read that correctly:  You have a greater chance of dying from some form of cardiovascular disease than a player on the UConn Huskies has of actually graduating from college.  Quite frankly that's some disturbing stuff.

Now in case you are curious, the graduation rate for Bulter, UConn's opponent in the final tournament game is a very respectable 83%.  That's in keeping with the best of schools in the tournament.

The moral of the story, at least for me is pretty simple:  UConn is a jock factory that is more interesting in winning basketball games than it is in actually graduating the young men who are lured to the school.  Many of these student-athletes are given an opportunity to get a free college education from a (in theory) respected university; what's more, they are one injury away from actually needing that college degree to earn a living.

Three things need to happen here:
  1. The administration of the University of Connecticut should be ashamed of its abysmal graduate rate, and make positive changes to increase the team's graduation rate.
  2. The NCAA should bar teams with such horrendous graduation rates from tournament play.  
  3. The professional sports media should be paying more attention to this issue, as this game should in fact be about the student-athletes who give it their all.  
I don't follow college basketball, but I do know that this time around I will be hoping for a Butler win.

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