As the Supreme Court takes up affirmative action based on race once again, we wonder if the Supreme Court will ever take up Affirmative Action based on athletic ability. Recruited athletes, after all, have better odds in the college admissions process than minority applicants who don’t happen to be recruited athletes. Basketball and football players in particular gain admission to highly selective schools in spite of subpar grades and SAT scores. The standards are truly lowered for athletes. It might be trite to say but it’s trite because it’s true.
At Ivy League colleges, the eight member institutions use what is called the Academic Index system. Each of the eight Ivy League schools computes an average Academic Index for the student body. While each applicant to an Ivy League school has an Academic Index, the system was designed to measure recruited athletes against the rest of the incoming class. Recruited athletes must meet a minimum Academic Index to compete in the Ivy League (though indeed there have been exceptions to this rule in the past). And let’s just say that the Academic Index of a typical recruited basketball player isn’t exactly on par with the Academic Index of a first-chair violinist.
If you’re a top running back who is drawing the attention of a ton of Division I scouts and you’ve got respectable SAT scores and grades, you’ve got a much better shot at admission to an Ivy League school that a violinist with perfect or near-perfect SATs and high school grades. It is how it is, unfair as it may be. Do you think the Supreme Court of the United States should take up the issue of affirmative action for athletes? Do you think athletes should have just as good of a chance of admission as other applicants? This would inevitably hurt the quality of the teams universities could field. Your football team may not be as competitive. Does this change your opinion? Let us know your thoughts on athletes and college admission by posting below!