Friday, September 28, 2007

Functional Illiteracy

I have to admit I'm a little torn over this issue. Read the beginning of the article below.

TRENTON, N.J. -- A longtime critic of Rutgers University's drive into big-time sports is being criticized over a newspaper article comment that university officials have branded as racist.

At the end of a New York Times article Wednesday about William C. Dowling's failed efforts to get Rutgers to turn away from high-stakes athletics, the tenured English professor responded to arguments that athletic scholarships provide opportunity to low-income, minority students.

"If you were giving the scholarship to an intellectually brilliant kid who happens to play a sport, that's fine," Dowling said. "But they give it to a functional illiterate who can't read a cereal box, and then make him spend 50 hours a week on physical skills. That's not opportunity. If you want to give financial help to minorities, go find the ones who are at the library after school."

Rutgers Athletic Director Bob Mulcahy told local newspapers that Dowling's comment was "a blatantly racist statement."

I remember being annoyed that there were those who received scholarships, but not for any academic prowess. Of course, my annoyance was not in the context specified above ... I was pissed off at anyone who received the ill-begotten assistance.

I'm with the professor. Give the money where it will do the most good.

I wonder what the one or two who read this blog think?

6 Swings of the bat:

Wonder Woman said...

Having issues with this very idea - scholarships; one in particular.

SITUATION: He gets an amazing scholarship. Now, he can't get a "student loan" to cover his living costs as he's far from home. Tuition is paid for, through his scholarship - the rest of his life (food, shelter, books) are paid for how???

Hmm, perhaps I just needed to vent - THANKS!

Other Side said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Other Side said...

I remember having those same issues. I can't imagine what my children will do, though we strive to have them ready for the costs of college.

And, deleted my own comment above to add this for Wonder Woman: Happy to provide a place to vent.

capper said...

Wow, I never get superheroes (outside of you OS) to read my stuff.

Anyway. Scholarships. I don't know if I have an issue that they give a sports star without a high GPA a scholarship. I would have a problem with them giving it to the athlete year after year if said student did not do anything academically while using the scholarship.

Billiam said...

I find myself in agreement with Capper.

capper said...

With which part, Bill? The scholarship or that Tim is a superhero?