Is majoring in basketball feasible? | The Boneyard

Is majoring in basketball feasible?

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Penfield

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Didn't see this article posted here and I thought it brought up some interesting points of discussion.

http://beyondthearc.nbcsports.com/2011/12/13/is-majoring-in-basketball-feasible/

I've thought for a while now that major college athletes should be able to major in their sport or the business of sports if they choose to. Obviously this would not be appropriate for every student athlete. To make this work and be legitimately educational would be extremely complicated. I don't know the intricacies needed to make this work. I don't know if its the right thing to do. However, I think that if we are going to continue to have college athletics we need to stop kidding ourselves about what it means to be a student athlete. We also need to stop comparing it to what that meant 20 or 50 years ago. It needs to be re-examined. Most of the kids at a program like UConn's are not going to looking for a job in Math, Science, English or History. They are going to look for a job in sports (coaching, playing or management).
 
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Didn't see this article posted here and I thought it brought up some interesting points of discussion.

http://beyondthearc.nbcsports.com/2011/12/13/is-majoring-in-basketball-feasible/

I've thought for a while now that major college athletes should be able to major in their sport or the business of sports if they choose to. Obviously this would not be appropriate for every student athlete. To make this work and be legitimately educational would be extremely complicated. I don't know the intricacies needed to make this work. I don't know if its the right thing to do. However, I think that if we are going to continue to have college athletics we need to stop kidding ourselves about what it means to be a student athlete. We also need to stop comparing it to what that meant 20 or 50 years ago. It needs to be re-examined. Most of the kids at a program like UConn's are not going to looking for a job in Math, Science, English or History. They are going to look for a job in sports (coaching, playing or management).

For you to run a degree program (i.e. something different than non-credit intramural programs) you have to hire fully-vested experts in the field who have a level of demonstrable expertise. If it's only basketball that you're teaching, then no, there is not enough there to justify a degree program. As to the rest, there are already degrees offered in sports management, athletic training, kinesiology, etc. So, the writer is trying to reinvent the wheel. People often compare sports to music degrees, but they don't acknowledge that music students do not receive credit for performing. Rather they take actual classes in musicology, music history, etc. The performance thing happens after the fact.

What would be the curriculum for basketball, and who would teach it?
 

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For you to run a degree program (i.e. something different than non-credit intramural programs) you have to hire fully-vested experts in the field who have a level of demonstrable expertise. If it's only basketball that you're teaching, then no, there is not enough there to justify a degree program. As to the rest, there are already degrees offered in sports management, athletic training, kinesiology, etc. So, the writer is trying to reinvent the wheel. People often compare sports to music degrees, but they don't acknowledge that music students do not receive credit for performing. Rather they take actual classes in musicology, music history, etc. The performance thing happens after the fact.

What would be the curriculum for basketball, and who would teach it?

Very valid points. I should clarify that I don't think this is the way things SHOULD work - Its more just an interesting topic to think about.

I don't know what our players are majoring in. I don't know how many take classes in sports management, athletic training, or kinesiology.

To play devil's advocate-

The fully-vested experts would be the coaches.
I would not advocate for credits or grades based on performance in games. Like music majors dont receive credit for performing.
I would also not advocate for these students to only study basketball or football. They would still have to take the basic coarses that any student would have to take.
Why not teach the players the history of the game.
Why not teach them about different styles of play as opposed to what just works in your team's system.

I love college sports but sometimes the similarities between it and a minor league system make me uneasy. At this point with the minimum age requirements for basketball and football these kids are basically forced to attend a college.
 
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Very valid points. I should clarify that I don't think this is the way things SHOULD work - Its more just an interesting topic to think about.

I don't know what our players are majoring in. I don't know how many take classes in sports management, athletic training, or kinesiology.

To play devil's advocate-

The fully-vested experts would be the coaches.
I would not advocate for credits or grades based on performance in games. Like music majors dont receive credit for performing.
I would also not advocate for these students to only study basketball or football. They would still have to take the basic coarses that any student would have to take.
Why not teach the players the history of the game.
Why not teach them about different styles of play as opposed to what just works in your team's system.

I love college sports but sometimes the similarities between it and a minor league system make me uneasy. At this point with the minimum age requirements for basketball and football these kids are basically forced to attend a college.

Just to answer a few questions.
One, the coaches would have to have advanced degrees in some field that would translate into a degree program. So they can't simply be basketball coaches. To give an example, a guy like Jay Bilas would transition his law degree into such a program, and he would deal with law and sports. Paterno has a PhD and conceivably he could teach a course in culture and sports. But it couldn't be just straight basketball. It simply doesn't constitute a field worthy of a degree. Basketball historisan? Yes, if someone can demeonstrate that they have completed an exhaustively research work in sports history.

If they really wanted to solve the problems between academics and sports, they could simply up the entrance requirements. That would solve the problem of whether these kids could handle college classes.
 

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To give an example, a guy like Jay Bilas would transition his law degree into such a program, and he would deal with law and sports. Paterno has a PhD and conceivably he could teach a course in culture and sports.

I guess this is more along the lines of what I would advocate for a "sports degree" and I suppose most students can already take classes like this if they want. If a kid can't handle freshman english I don't see him being able to understand the intricacies of law in sports and how this would relate to his professional career. So I guess in that way its kind of a moot point. Higher entrance requirements is probably the way to go but that probably leads to a less exciting prodcut and less $$$.
 
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I have to agree with upstater. there are already lots of degrees in sports related fields, as well as degrees in such fields as business administration that would be appropriate for people who want to get into athletic administration, for example. I actually htink the real danger is that some places would try and rig a degree in "basketball" or osme such foolishness and we'd be seeing more of those How many points is a 3-point field goal worth? type exams. The two or 3 things I would favor would be: 1. eliminating age requirements to go pro. Stop the foolishness and let guys go if they are good enough and want to play in the NBA, NFL etc. 2. Increase the requirements for admission and eligibility so that coaches have to recruit players who have shown at least some ability to do college level work. 3. Establish an NCAA rule that scholarships, once committed, cannot be re-used until the recipient's class has graduated. thus if a player leaves after 1 season, that team has to go 3 more years before his scholarship is again available. In the event of a player who graduates in less than four years, you'd make an exception. the goal here would be to stop the mockery that the one and done process makes of student-athletes, especially in basketball.
 
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What's so bad about coaching?

Do you think Calhoun wanted to be a sociologist with his sociology degree?
 
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What's so bad about coaching?

Do you think Calhoun wanted to be a sociologist with his sociology degree?

Are you replying to me? I'm not sure what you're asking. There is nothing wrong with coaching. All I'm saying is that core university faculty are credentialed. On an ad hoc basis, Calhoun could certainly teach basketball in a degree program. But you can't run a degree program with ad hoc faculty.
 
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Are you replying to me? I'm not sure what you're asking. There is nothing wrong with coaching. All I'm saying is that core university faculty are credentialed. On an ad hoc basis, Calhoun could certainly teach basketball in a degree program. But you can't run a degree program with ad hoc faculty.

No sorry, I meant to quote Penfield.

Most of the kids at a program like UConn's are not going to looking for a job in Math, Science, English or History. They are going to look for a job in sports (coaching, playing or management).

That's the quote. Sorry again for not being clear.
 

Penfield

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What's so bad about coaching?

Do you think Calhoun wanted to be a sociologist with his sociology degree?

I do not have any problem with coaching as a profession at all. In fact I think it is a great profession or activity (many do it completely for free to give back). You have the ability to teach many important life lessons through sports. Calhoun has molded boys into men. Most of our former players end up being great role models and citizens. Much of this is a testament to the type of person and coach Jim Calhoun is. I have no problems with those that choose to work in the professional ranks either. It takes dedication, smarts, and leadership.

My career has nothing to do with what I studied at UConn. I know that is true for many people so that is not the issue either.
No sorry, I meant to quote Penfield.

Most of the kids at a program like UConn's are not going to looking for a job in Math, Science, English or History. They are going to look for a job in sports (coaching, playing or management).

That's the quote. Sorry again for not being clear.

I apologize if any of my comments were taken the wrong way.

I also don't think all the kids that play D1 basketball are dumb or incapable of understanding college level courses. In fact I would think that many of our players take their academics very seriously and are fully capable students.

I just think that most of the players that come to UConn (or many other D1 schools) hope to play basketball professionally. Even the Emeka Okafors and Michael Bradleys of the world. I find it annoying that people rip on UConn for having low APR scores and graduation rates. The fact that 80% of our former players are able to find employment through basketball (any level including coaching) is pretty amazing. That doesn't even count the guys that went into a non-sports field for work. I feel this is a much better indicator of the programs success than anything else. A lot of high level basketball and football players are not going to fit into the typical 4 year college student mold and people shouldn't just try to cram them in there. They can choose any profession they want just like any other college student. As long as they are successful I think the school or team has done its job.
 
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