After years of stressing the importance of education for student athletes, the NCAA is now saying they have no legal responsibility to ensure that a quality education is given to college athletes.
On its website, the NCAA states, “It’s our commitment — and our responsibility — to give young people opportunities to learn, play and succeed.” While later stating that the competing young women and men are “students first, athletes second.”
But now, the organization is taking a different stance in response to a lawsuit filed by former University of North Carolina athletes who claim they didn’t get a quality education because they were caught up in the NCAA academic scandal that involved advisers fudging grades and accepting plagiarism so the students could remain eligible to play sports. In response, the association says it has no legal responsibility to “to ensure the academic integrity of the courses offered to student-athletes at its member institutions.”
Gerald Gurney, a former athletic academic director who is now president of The Drake Group, said the NCAA remarks are “nonsense.”
“If you look at their basic core principles, it’s all about academics, the experience, the integration of academics, and the education of the student is paramount,” Gurney said. “They seem to talk out of both sides of their mouths.”
The NCAA referred calls for comment to an online statement which read, “The NCAA believes that the lawsuit misunderstands the NCAA’s role with respect to its member schools and ignores the myriad steps the NCAA has taken to assist student-athletes in being equipped to excel both in the classroom and on the playing field.”