There is a scandal going on in college athletic programs these days. The Pacific Athletic Conference, composed of the major West Coast schools, is under fire because evidence is building up that certain athletes were given credit for courses they never took, and also non-athletes took tests for college players who, for one reason or another, were unable to study for them.
I believe the schools are taking a bad rap. Every college coach I've talked to has assured me that each student on his team has a faculty adviser, who counsels the athlete on his education and makes sure the keeps up his grades.
I was even permitted to attend a session with an All-American running back and his adviser at Unbeaten State of Southern California.
The adviser said, "Lightning, I've been studying your transcripts, and you're doing quite well."
"I should hope so. I run over 1,000 yards last season."
"I just received your grade for your debating class. You got a B minus."
"A B minus! Who the heck took that course for me?"
"A guy named Mark Kovey. We were hoping he'd do better, but apparently he's having girl trouble and has developed a stutter."
"I don't know why I should take a B Minus because some dope has personal problems. This could bring down my whole grade average. I was counting on at least a B plus in debating. It was one of my best subjects."
"Don't worry, Lightning. You got an A in Advanced Economics. We had a Rhodes scholar take the final for you."
"Now you're talking. I ain't going to bust my butt out there on the gridiron every Saturday if I can't get a good grade in economics."
"You had quite a bit of problem this year with Shakespeare 1-B."
"Yes. Apparently the student we assigned to take the course for you was more interested in her own grades than she was in yours. I called her in at midterm and warned her that if she didn't shape up, you might be declared ineligible for next year. But she said she hates Shakespeare. You wound up with a D."
"Can't we protest to the professor?"
"He said it was too late. He didn't know the girl was taking the course for you."
"Well, you better do something about it. I ain't taking no D. The coach promised, when he recruited me, that I'd graduate summa cum laude, and ride away in a new yellow Cadillac."
"You will, Lightning, even if I have to take your nuclear physics exam myself."