Sunday, October 7, 2007

How to Decrease [sic] Football Graduation Rates at BigU

Or, Stiff the Student-Athlete After You Think It Is Too Late for Him to Do Anything About It

Or, Millions for Coaches But We Can't Afford a Football "Scholarship" for an Academic All-American Who Lettered Last Year

Business As Usual at BigU?

Bonzo has previously ranted on the pitiful graduation rates of revenue producing athletics programs at BigU.

We learn from the Daily:

many student-athletes feel pressure to balance the time commitment of Division I athletics and the demands of going to college.

Without a scholarship, that only intensifies.

"It can't realistically be done without the financial help," former Gopher football player Brody Grandas said. "It's tough to throw the burden of all that on your parents."

A senior studying business management and communications, Grandas joined the team as a first-year without a scholarship and quit this season for financial reasons after his scholarship was not renewed. Grandas said he is 30 credits away from graduation.

After learning that his scholarship was not going to be renewed, he spoke to head football coach Tim Brewster. Brewster told him there were no scholarships available, Grandas said.

The football team currently has 81 scholarship athletes, Dan Wolter, University spokesman, said. The maximum scholarships allowed are 85 for football teams, according to NCAA rules. [So it would appear that the U has room to give the kid a scholarship?]

Before last season Grandas was awarded a "one-year renewable scholarship," which was "based on performance" from former head football coach Glen Mason, Grandas said. He appeared in 10 to 15 plays per game last season and earned a letter.

He also appeared in the Gophers' first game this season against Bowling Green, Grandas said. But after practice the following week he was told his scholarship would not be renewed.

Information about Grandas was erased from the Gopher sports Web site the same day he quit, he said.

Grandas said when he spoke with Brewster, the coach told him he'd love to continue to have him on the team, but with finances, if it wasn't a realistic option then he wished him the best. [Can you imagine a coach making the money that Brewster does, telling a kid that finances were a problem? ]

From the comments section in the Daily for this article:

Greek Gopher from Chicago, IL writes: Well written article, but I found out a couple additional facts that I found very interesting in just googling Grandas' name.

Grandas was an academic All-Big Ten selection last year.

To earn this award you must earn a Big Ten letter by playing in a certain amount of plays and hold a high GPA as well.

Minnesota Football ranks 10th (2nd to last) behind Michigan state in graduation rate. The Gophers are at an alarmingly low rate of 49% graduation rate (Star Tribune Oct. 3rd, 2007).

Brewster's choice of not renewing Grandas' scholarship does not make sense to myself when Grandas contributed last year on a team that is significantly better record wise.

Also Brewster clearly stated in the article that he had no intentions of renewing Grandas' scholarship but wanted him on the team.

Why did he not give Grandas fair warning about this decision so Grandas could align arrangements to help pay for school?

The article stated Grandas was given warning after the first game of the season, a game that he ironically played in.

So it looks as if business proceeds as usual in the BigU football program. OurLeader, as a member of the NCAA leadership on athletic/academic issues, bears personal responsibility for this kind of behavior.

Dr. Bruininks, are you sincerely interested in the graduation rate of Gopher athletes and do you approve of Brewster's behavior in this matter?

This is sick.


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