Should colleges need to monitor athletes’ class attendance?

Better get to class before I’m caught. (Boston Public Library via Flickr)

Drexel University sport management professor Ellen J. Staurowsky tells MPR’s Daily Circuit  about one expense related to NCAA Division I athletics:

“We have an academic support service area on campus. Part of the job of some of the employees in that area is [to act as] what are called class checkers, where they walk  around campus, and they have to make sure athletes are actually in class.

That is a condition that simply is not existent for the average student. And I think that emblematically this speaks to a system that is distorted relative to its priority system. Because when you look at that practice of class checkers,  that’s really an issue just to make sure that the athlete is eligible to play. There’s something dramatically wrong about a system that has to employ a device like that to control behavior in order to get an athlete out on the field to play.

… It speaks to how many adjustments have to be made in order to keep this pretense of education going, without ever really dealing with the central issues associated with: ‘Well, why is it the case that we have to have this mechanism in place?’ And of course, that would lead us to have to realize that for whatever reason, some athletes actually are going to college to play their sport – and not to get an education. And the system has helped to promote that.”

You can listen to the interview on college athletics and read more background here.