By Dr. Ada Fisher
The recent revelation of a long buried scandal for the children from privilege in buying admissions to prestigious institutions based on questionable grades, fixing standardized test scores, falsifying resumes and creating narratives with a misstatement of facts about their mediocrity, should result in penalties to the academic institutions which gave them preferential admissions. The examination of those seeking admissions should have their credentials scrutinized to prevent this pay to play in all phases of academia. If our HBCUs can lose accreditation over lack of financial resources, should not Yale, Wake Forest, Georgetown, and Stanford (which are private), as well as UCLA, University of San Diego and the University of Texas at Austin and others being investigated have some sort of comparable penalties for allowing the selling of admission’s seats? They may call it legacy admissions, but is not this a form of graft?
For those of us who have heard for too long that affirmative action is wrong, what say ye to this flaunting of privilege by the rich who turn their fortunes into power whether in politics or on the courts or other bastions of control? Nepotism whether in business, entertainment or even the news is evident where family connections seems to beat out equal competition. These forces limit opportunity by consolidating more and more power into fewer hands. Is this institutionalization of rich connections to continue in denying equal access to those who can earn their place without hook or crook?
The most corrupt force in academia is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) where athletes are prostituted to bring in big bucks for educational institutions of all ilk’s. Clearly the “one and done” policy for many major sports programs are nothing more than a farm team for professional athletes with little pretense of educational pursuits. It should be required of institutions in the NCAA that the GPAs and admission’s standardized scores of athletes be displayed compared to the general student body, graduation rates posted and income derived from their efforts disclosed. Nike, Reebok, UnderArmour and other sportswear distributors should be banned from monopolizing shoes for institutions without this money going for academic scholarships and pay incentives to the athletes, not the coaches and athletic departments.
Student athletes at the college level should not only be paid, but as the courts have ruled, have control over their likeness. Since at 18 people may legally be bound in contracts, it is a farce to ban those who are talented enough to play at the professional level making them wait until then have completed one year of higher education. Though this and a degree might be nice, athletes can get hurt at any time and should maximize their earning potential while they can; after all, isn’t a tenet of education to help one earn a living?
It is sad to see the number of people wearing sports paraphernalia for institutions to which they wouldn’t likely be admitted. Coaches should be prohibited from being paid more than their institution’s president, chancellors or highest academic head. Likewise the influence of compensated shoe contracts should be banned without this money going to the sponsoring institutions. Do folks realize that college coaches are often paid more than the President of the USA?
It is past time we deemphasized sports and entertainment in preference to careers which fulfill our hierarchy of needs for food, clothing and shelter.