Though athletes have long enjoyed a break on college admissions, new numbers on how far they lag behind other students on SAT scores have raised concerns of fairness. Nationwide, football jocks average 220 points lower on the SAT than their classmates at 54 universities studied by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Basketball players score 7 points lower than the gridiron stars. The disparity is widest at winning schools. Football players at the University of Florida fall a record 346 points short of the average SAT score.
Coaches insist that recruited athletes must be evaluated more broadly, and argue that sports discipline translates into a competitive edge in the classroom. But athletes often get shuffled into "Mickey Mouse courses, and graduate semi-literate," said a University of California professor. Also hurt are those students rejected to make room for substandard jocks.