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HomeEducationCollege athlete education still woefully lacking

College athlete education still woefully lacking

On May 18, 1989, Dexter Manley left the nation in shock—at least those who didn’t know the score until then—when he testified before a United States Senate panel on literacy.

Manley was a star NFL defensive end with Washington at the time. Before that, he had enrolled academically to become a senior at Oklahoma State under head coach Jimmy Johnson, who later coached in the NFL and then ended up with Fox Sports.

On that day, Manley revealed that his entire experience as a student athlete with a full scholarship was fraudulent, as he could not read or write.

Manley did have a learning disability, which made it more challenging to pass or even gain admission into most universities. Still, the system predictably failed him.

Many were left in shock, stunned. Moral outrage as proclaimed by the national news media ensued.

And that gnashing of teeth over such a sickening win-at-all-costs story lasted about, oh, a week.

After that, it was back to the big football and basketball business as usual, with universities serving as fronts for teams assembled according to the design of anything, including loopholes, winks, and kinks.

By 1989, TV money had long been the cause of both semi-literacy and growing crime among “student athletes,” so the incentive to act on Manley’s sad story was nil.

Dexter Manley
Dexter Manley
Getty Images

The enablers, like ESPN, didn’t make value judgments outside of national rankings and popularity about which schools to schedule.

In fact, in an astonishing piece of on-air rationalization, ESPN college basketball know-it-all Jay Bilas once stated that it doesn’t matter if enlisted players take classes, because being on campus alone improves his “socialization skills.”

Then there was the University of North Carolina academic scandal, in which athletic recruits continued to qualify with A grades in no-show or made-up courses for 18 years. 2005 NBA first-round roster Rashad McCants claimed that after nearly failing, he made it through the UNC’s academic Dean’s List — which included four A’s — without attending a class. That claim was refuted by some teammates and coaches.

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Today, and virtually every day and for too many consecutive years, NFL and NBA players, short of college, demonstrate their minimal literacy and lack of social skills.

Last Sunday, following the Bears’ win over the 49ers, Chicago defenseman Jaylon Johnson, a three-year University of Utah man, was asked to judge the opponent’s QB Trey Lance play.

Johnson: “He doesn’t do a s-t.”

Latest in an endless series.

This is what increasingly produces high-ticket college football and basketball. And for those uneducated semi-literates or with no social skills — all college folks — the vast majority of whom don’t make the pros can return from where they were recruited.

None upside down, all upside down. Dexter Manley’s shocking testimony in the Senate was hardly worth a shrug.

Torres’ showboating costs Yanks a base again

It doesn’t matter if the Amazon Prime Video Yankees run off with the AL East, they’re still in danger after the season if they continue to play Aaron Boone Baseball, the kind of baseball that inexcusably falls short of the foundation on which they should stand. .

Wednesday, Gleyber Torres. Again. Leading 4-2 in the ninth, runner in second place, Torres hit one deep in the middle. At first he posed by the plate as if he thought he had hit a home run. Then he ran to first, looking. It wasn’t until he saw the ball drop from the heel of Abraham Almonte’s glove at the roll-up gate of Fenway Park’s midfield that he ran away.

Gleyber Torres
Gleyber Torres
Charles Wenzelberg

Torres came in second, standing, when he should have been third, standing. Still, he had the energy to show his smiling self-aggrandizement to the Yankees dugout. “Yes! Check me out!”

JA then presented an isolated recording. Torres was seen posing and then jogging. But neither Michael Kay nor David Cone said anything. The default YES Network Insult: Viewers are too weak to see or know better.

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Last postseason, the Yankees were one game and lost the wild-card game to the Red Sox, 6-2, in Boston. In that one, all-or-nothing, Giancarlo Stanton posed a “home run” high off the wall in a single.

From day 1 this season, Boone should have told his troops that those days are over. They will no longer choose to minimize the Yankees’ chances of winning. Running to first base is no longer an option.

But nothing has changed. Whenever and wherever he is good at unforgivably bad baseball.

A dear friend and generous volunteer elder in central New Jersey recently attended a board meeting at which a Jewish Family Services therapist said he had become “overwhelmed” by young gambling-related clients.

My friend paraphrased the therapist, “They all thought they knew sports, so they would all make a fortune.”

Stands for the hand. These sports betting companies know who they are targeting and why. You can see their tracks in the TV commercials – young adult, high-fiving men, often with team caps twisted back, celebrating another money-for-nothing win. Nobody loses!

And everyone is joining this solution, all eager for their share of the losses. Our sport’s commissioners, team owners, TV and radio network owners and all forms of commercial media want their share of the action and destruction.

SNY has a tight attack zone

Reader Jim Curnal, astute baseball observer, notes that SNY’s parent “tell all” strike zone box is a long way off, and he sent screenshots as proof. The box shows the attack zone from waist to knees. MLB’s prescribed hitting zone runs from what’s known as “the letters,” well above the waist to just below the knees.

What now? The same media outlets that spent a week spreading the blatant lie that Serena Williams is the greatest person to ever play tennis must now report that Roger Federer, a gracious champion and gentleman who is retiring next week, did not quite live up to the standards set by Williams? After all, the best Federer could do was come in second.

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Roger Federer
Roger Federer
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What we speculated here months ago is still a possibility: a record-breaking Aaron Judge home run that only appears on – exclusively on – Amazon Prime Video, the Yankees’ just-pay-us replacement for Ch. 11.

Everything you need to know about Aaron Judge and his pursuit of the home run record:

Slightly exaggerated claim of the week: Ch. 4 sports anchor Bruce Beck on Monday declared the Giants’ Week 1 game, “A win for all ages!”

Reader Joe Martingano, on Jets head coach Robert Saleh: “If he wants to ‘take receipts,’ he has to work the door at Costco.”

Robert Saleh
Robert Saleh
Bill Kostroun/New York Post

There’s a new one going around on TV. Instead of saying ‘fumble’ you go in the long form, so a failure of ‘ball security’. It is a second cousin of the Discipline Twins, ‘Arm’ and ‘Eye’.

To think Jack Buck, a pro’s pro, mentioned “Monday Night Football” on national radio. Now we’re down to “Hollerin'” Kevin Harlan, whose key to modern success screams so often and so loudly that listeners often have no idea what he’s screaming about.

Kevin Harlan
Kevin Harlan
Getty Images

Maybe it’s time to freshen up. Mets radio via WCBS 880 continues to run ads for Key Foods supermarkets reminding us, “Baseball is back!”

I was flattered to get updates from Anthony Varvaro’s proud grandfather as Anthony worked his way up to pitching for the Braves in the 2010s. I was told that regardless of making the big ones, he is special, a sweetheart to friends, family and strangers. We had Staten Island in common.

Varvaro — a father of three, a St. John’s graduate and a Port Authority police officer — was killed on his way to a 9/11 memorial last week when his car was reportedly hit by a wrong-way driver. He was 37. Good luck.



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