The NCAA is well-intentioned but is missing the mark by approving a higher APR standard and harsher penalties. The APR is a flawed measure that is not about education, but rather perception. And the perception the NCAA wants is that it is in the business of educating students. Of course, it is not.
Individual schools admit, educate and graduate students. But that is not what the NCAA does.
The collective membership of the NCAA has never taught a class, educated a student in any real way, or graduated a student. It should not be expected to do any of those things. The NCAA runs championship events, sells sponsorships, creates and manages a secondary market for its tickets, collects money and then divides it up. That's what the NCAA is competent to do. It is not competent to educate. That job should be left to its member schools.
When "regular students" drop out of school to pursue a career, it is their choice and does not reflect upon the school. When a regular student fails, it is the student's fault and no professor or advisor is blamed. While the school may be concerned, it probably does not lose too much sleep over retention, and does not blame the admissions directors for not admitting students that will stay, or fire professors for failing to motivate and teach to a level that would ensure the student's graduation.
But, through the lens of the APR, when an athlete leaves to pursue a professional career, the coach and school are to blame. If a player fails, it is the coach's fault for putting the player up for admission and for failing to properly motivate the athlete to graduate. The double standard is ridiculous.
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