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College Athletes can Graduate

March 18, 2017

I spent time at three universities famous for their sporting teams–Pitt, Notre Dame and Loyola-Chicago.

Mike Ditka was a senior in my Freshman year at Pitt and at Notre Dame I took a Constitutional Law course and sat next to Alan Paige.  At Loyola, where I studied Latin for a semester, I lived in the dorm on the same floor with Loyola’s basketball team.

I spent too much time in my carrell at Notre Dame’s library (the one with a mural of “Touchdown Jesus”) and didn’t mingle with the football players of that era. But one day I saw Ara Parseghian playing golf and Alan Paige sat next to me in Con Law. Paige played for the Minnesota Vikings and later served as an associate judge of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

I really liked the Loyola basketball players that I got to know, but I fear many never graduated.

Graduation rates and college “athletes” don’t go together unless you design a program that assures their graduation. That is tough to do, especially in football–and win–as Notre Dame’s 2016 losses in football demonstrate and a recent NCAA censure taking away Notre Dame “wins” in 2012 and 2013.

But, it can be done.

Larry Platt who writes for a Philadelphia newspaper has created a bracket of NCAA basketball teams based on graduation rates. Take a look, and if your team isn’t listed, contact your University’s president.

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