College sports is a big money business, which along with loads of cash is its share of criticism and concerns. A concern CNN looked into was the reading levels for college football and college basketball players by reaching out to public universities. Thirty-seven institutions were contacted, with 21 responding with data.
On Tuesday, CNN corrospondent Sara Ganim, known best for her award-winning work in the Jerry Sandusky scandal, published her research.
Based on data from those requests and dozens of interviews, a CNN investigation revealed that most schools have between 7% and 18% of revenue sport athletes who are reading at an elementary school level. Some had even higher percentages of below-threshold athletes.
According to those academic experts, the threshold for being college-literate is a score of 400 on the SAT critical reading or writing test. On the ACT, that threshold is 16.
Many student-athletes scored in the 200s and 300s on the SAT critical reading test — a threshold that experts told us was an elementary reading level and too low for college classes. The lowest score possible on that part of the SAT is 200, and the national average is 500.
On the ACT, we found some students scoring in the single digits, when the highest possible score is 36 and the national average is 20. In most cases, the team average ACT reading score was in the high teens.
Ganim breaks it down into five sections, beginning with the battle between academics and athletics to a move for a change in college sports. A very interesting read, well worth the time if you’re a college sports fan.