Wednesday, December 20, 2006
NCAA Persecution of Mormons!!!
BYU always comes up short in statistics regarding those who graduate in a timely manner. Recently it almost caused problems for the football program. But the statistics are unfair to a predominantly Mormon university, from which a LOT of students interrupt their studies to serve missions.
I have to admit, I gave the post its title in hopes that it would generate a lot of search engine hits. But the truth of the matter is, it wouldn't take much for the NCAA to make a sensible program that takes into account that BYU has a lot of missionaries who leave the team for three years.
The Deseret News recently posted an article claiming that BYU avoided NCAA sanctions by the skin of their teeth. On a 1,000-point scale, BYU scored 3 points above the minimum of 925 on the NCAA graduation statistics scale. A major factor in the scale deals with how many athletes graduate in 5 years.
Do the sanctions mean anything, or does the NCAA not really hand out sanctions? I hope so, but it doesn't seem like it. BYU has made its case for years and years, and no one at the NCAA seems to see the unfairness. But if the statistics were tabulated correctly, BYU would be at or near the top of the list for graduation.
I'm a database programmer for a living, and I could in less than 4 hours write a program that takes into account the two years that many BYU athletes take away from school and athletics to serve a mission for the LDS Church. The beginning and ending dates of every mission are common knowledge among BYU administrators, so it wouldn't even take pop-gun science to figure out which semesters a student-missionary missed from school. Then add those semesters to the NCAA baseline of 5 years, and that's how many years a BYU athlete/missionary would have to 'make the cut'. Purty easy, huh? So it can't be the prohibitive cost that the NCAA would undergo to update their programs.
I was just kidding about the persecution thing. But the lazy thing? I think the NCAA's got that going big time.