PROPOSITIONS 42 AND 48: PROS AND CONS
(Tuesday, June 6- 10:15- 11:30 a.m.)
My name is Bill Byrne. I'm from the University of Oregon. We're here today to talk about Propositio] 42 and 48. Proposition 42 was the most controversial piece of legislation coming out of the 1989 NCAA Convention in San Francisco. Just yesterday, coach John Thompson from Georgetown, was quoted in USA Today saying he has "correspondence from The College Board acknowledging that there is racial bias in the SAT and ACT exams." There are also recent articles from the New York Times talking about gender bias in the ACT exams .
Our first speaker today is Dr. Stephen Ivens, the executive director of the program division of The College Board. Dr. Ivens has been associated with The College Board since 1970 when he began as the assistw director of the southern regional office. He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics at Illinois State University in 1963, completed his master's degree in guidance there in 1966. In 1970, he earned his Ph.D in educational research from Florida State University. While with The College Board, Steve has held the positions of director of program research services, executive director of research and development and executive director of DRP services. He is currently executive director of the program division which he tool over a year ago. In having coffee with Steve this morning, I want you to know that he is very interested in athletics. I told him that I didn't see Hootie Ingram from Florida State here today and he said, "Hootie should be at the College World Series." Let me introduce you to Dr. Stephen Ivens.
Thank you and good morning. The issues I'll be addressing today are far from simple and certainly, mol controversial. Bill did say to you that the controversy began yesterday with a quote in the paper from John Thompson. I hope during the course of my remarks, I'll respond to that quotes.
Before speaking about Propositions 42 and 48 directly, I want to share with you some information about the organization I represent. In doing so, I hope it will provide you with an appropriate context for understanding my direct remarks about the two Propositions, The formal name of the organization is The College Entrance Examination Board, but we're known as The College Board. We're a non-profit educational organization that is headquartered in New York City. For those of you who think we're in New Jersey, that's separate company called Educational Testing Service and not for public attribution, I like to refer to them i the factory on the other side of the river. They build the SAT for us, but the SAT is The College Board.
The College Board provides a broad array of services in both academic and financial assessments to support quality education in America. We were founded in 1900 and our primary focus has been, and continues to be, a transition of students from high school to college. Like the NCAA, our membership consists of educational institutions. Unlike the NCAA, our membership includes secondary schools as well as colleges an( universities. Currently, more than 2,600 institutions, colleges, universities, secondary schools, universities in school systems, as well as educational associations and agencies constitute the membership o The College Board.
Most of you represent institutions that are both members of The College Board and members of the NCAA. Also, like the NCAA, the chief executive officer at our member institutions identifies someone to be the voting representative to The College Board. While institutional representatives to the NCAA are frequently from the athletic department of the university or college, the representative to The College Board is typically someone from the admissions office and/or the financial aid office. Complex though our organization is, our structure makes possible informed and associational wisdom of the member schools and colleges throughout the nation with practical experiences of those who work on the staff in the New York Cit headquarters, our six regional offices, our Washington office and our office in Puerto Rico.
The argument over freshmen eligibility in collegiate athletics dates back to the beginning of intercollegiate athletics in the late 19th century. Charles Elliott, president of Harvard, made the argumen in 1889 that freshmen should not be allowed to participate in athletics. It's a relatively unimportant poin but I make it only because the same Charles Elliott was fundamental in the forming of The College Board a fe years later. While the NCAA and The College Board have clearly defined areas of interest in expertise, ther are at least two areas where our interests overlap.
Admissions tests have been part of The College Board since its founding in 1900. The primary reason the founding of The College Board is that students in private preparatory schools in the Northeast had to specific courses in school in order to be eligible for entrance into the private colleges and universities the Northeast in the late 1800s. For example, if you took the wrong course in Latin, you would either be eligible for admission to Harvard or not eligible for admission to Yale. It was the chaos in admissions
policies that prescribed a particular curriculum for students early in their secondary programs that gave rise to The College Board and the institution of admissions tests. In 1900, they were a far cry from the tests we
As a result of the forming of The College Board, academic standards, proper use of tests, admissions policies and practices; financial aid and practices have been topics of debate within our membership for
years. In addition, it was The College Board, in 1954, that developed the concept of need-based financial aid and has been a champion for the equitable allocation of financial assistance for students since that time.
You were interested in the question of academic standards in freshmen eligibility for athletes, Proposition 48 and the question of financial assistance, Proposition 42. In these two Propositions, the NCAA is addressing issues that have been, and continue to be, fundamental to the activities and the interests of The College Board. Therefore, I'm pleased to be here today to speak about them.
On issues of academic standards in the determination of freshmen eligibility, The College Board recognizes the difficult task undertaken by the NCAA and we applaud the motives of the presidents, through ACE and the NCAA representatives, who established the policies and procedures of Proposition 48. We recognize
that there's probably no right solution given the complexity of the issues and the diversity of interest, and particularly, given the diversity of the institutions and the students who must comply with Proposition 48. Whether or not you impose academic standards for perspective athletes, regardless of what you do, you inherit the problems of our K-12 educational system. Lack of educational opportunity, poor schools, ineffective teachers, non-existing standards and expectations, social promotions, the whole nine yards, you get it when
the perspective student-athlete shows up on your campus. You represent the last opportunity for most students for a quality education. If you don't hold your student-athletes to academic standards and expectations, who will?
There's no one, other than society itself, to inherit the problems that you pass on. Therefore, you
must establish and maintain academic standards for all students, including those who choose to be athletes. I commend the NCAA, once again, for trying to address the issue through the passage of 48. While you inherit
the problems of the K-12 educational system, it would be foolish for you to believe that you alone can solve them. More work needs to be done on Proposition 48, but, I also think there's another challenge for you, for the NCAA, the ACE and for The College Board.
I'd like to see the athletic directors use your powers of persuasion to get your counterparts in the schools to impose similar standards on the transition of athletes from junior high to high school. I'd like
to see your presidents, through the ACE, lobby with the school superintendents to impose and maintain academic standards in our schools. For those of you from public institutions, I'd like your governing boards to work with the chief state school officers to impose standards there. The problems are with us. All educational associations I know are trying to address it. None of them can address it by themselves, least of all, you. So you're the last hope. If we don't put in standards where you sit, where will we do so? See if we can't start a trickle-down effect and use your stance for standards on perspective athletes to start getting a better set of standards and expectations for athletes and students at all of our educational levels. I think that's the challenge and the hope.
Decisions about freshmen eligibility should be established on the basis of individual institutional standards, just as decisions about admissions are established. In considering their appropriate use of test scores, our own guidelines on the use of College Board test scores and related data state the tests scores should never be, and I quote, "used as the sole basis of important decisions effecting the lives of individuals." The press uses this quote, but forget to use the other half of the sentence; "when other information of either equal or greater relevance and the resources for using such information are available." Don't use test scores as the sole basis for important decisions, when other relevant information and the resources to use it are available. Test scores should not be used in ways that are not based on appropriate consideration of their validity.
Proposition 48 is in accord with best test practice. Test scores are combined with high school grade-point average to determine eligibility. In relation to the second guideline, however, Proposition 48 may need some fine-tuning. On what basis was an SAT total score of 700 or an ACT composite score of 15
chosen? Is there evidence that a student-athlete scoring below these minimums is unable in large measures to do college work? Is a minimum SAT score of 700 or an ACT composite score of 15 appropriate for all institutions? Would the student-athlete who just misses the requirements of Proposition 48 be just as great an academic risk at one institution as at another? In applying fixed standards across all institutions, the NCAA has made the assumption that college grades are comparable across all institutions in all major fields of study.
The NCAA has rejected using just high school grades to determine eligibility; rejected for a number or good reasons, particularly their lack or comparability across schools. If the grading practices or our schools are suspect, and I believe they are, then aren't the grading practices in our colleges and universities also suspect? If the grading practices in our colleges and universities are suspect, against what criterion do we validate the use or test scores? As grading standards become more lenient, and we are seeing signs today like we did in the late 60s and early 70s, the grade inflation is taking place once again.
High school grades become less useful as predictors of college success. In turn, as high school grades becol less useful, test scores by default become more useful. Not in any absolute sense, necessarily, but only in relation to the high school grades. In the extreme, if we can't predict college success from high school grades, the only thing left is test scores and test scores are not good enough to work by themselves.
The chief value of the SAT and the ACT tests lies in their unchanging meaning over time. Whatever you think the test scores mean and whatever you think they measure, they haven't changed over the last 20 years. The meaning of a total score on the SATs of 700 or an ACT composite of 15 hasn't changed. Unfortunately, th, meaning of grades, in both high schools and colleges, has not remained so stable. The one common element th: hasn't changed over the last 20 years is the test scores. The press knows it. The public knows it. Parent: know it and because of it, tests scores get inflated all out of proportion to their usefulness. Ask the
realtor where the highest SAT scores are. He'll know. We're always asked by realty associations if we woul, publish the SAT scores for all of the high school districts. Somehow property values, they think, are
influenced by SAT scores, of all things.
I read these issues because of the allegation of bias that almost always is brought up when test score are used. Students may get the same high school GPA in the NCAA courses, but they may earn different scores on admissions tests, like the SAT and the ACT. If one student is male and the other is female, or if one is white and the other is minority, the immediate allegation is that the test is biased. It is as if there is some universal truth in grades. In no other endeavor that I know of do we make the same kind of allegation. At some point we have to stop making excuses for students in their lack of intellectual development. To bla the test and excuse the student is a very dangerous form of paternalism, in my opinion. What better way to
keep them down on the farm than to praise the student, blame the test and hold the student to second class standards and expectations. You, of all people, would never consider such a stance on the athletic field. W would you consider it in the classroom? As a competitive swimmer in high school and college, never once did have a coach praise me for losing and saying it wan't my fault, the pool was biased.
Differential impact is not the same as bias. Those who so willingly make the allegation of bias are engaged in a serious denial of reality. The students who are dependent upon our elementary and secondary schools, most dependent, the minority and the poor, are those who are at least well served by them. Inequality of opportunity still exists in the country. Minorities and the poor, who suffer most from this inequality must be adequately supported and encouraged. Blaming the test is blaming the messenger. Messengers always bring unhappy tidings, but we can't live without them.
Test results simply confirm that we have a serious inequality of opportunity in education. But, the c of test bias is a straw man issue. That is one that obscures and deflects us from addressing the real issue that are before us.
In considering standards, one cannot avoid making an arbitrary decision. At issue is not the arbitral nature of Proposition 48 requirements, but rather the basis upon which the arbitrary decision was made. I understand that the NCAA Research Committee is engaged in the comprehensive study of the academic preparati< and performance of student-athletes. Importantly, the data that are being collected for this study are not only high school grades and test scores and college grades, but also major fields of study such as playing time, use of tutoring, and summer school hours. I hope the study will also take into account important institutional differences that we know exist.
Validity of test scores is always specific to particular institutions; therefore, to use test scores correctly, they must be used and understood within the context of the individual institution. I commend ti NCAA for initiating this study. It's a most important effort to understand fully the relationship of acadE performance and the student-athlete.
Proposition 42 primarily addresses the issue of financial assistance for perspective athletes. In essence, Prop 42 prohibits the awarding, in many forms, of financial assistance to recruited athletes who f; to meet the academic standards of Proposition 48. No matter what one feels about Proposition 48, I feel Proposition 42 is wrong. As a financial aid issue, Proposition 42 is in conflict with federal regulations regarding the awarding of some federal financial-aid funds, like the supplemental grants and the college WOI study funds. And, it has come under close scrutiny by the financial aid community within The College Board well as the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. In response to the concerns of many, the NCAA has appointed a Financial Aid in Amateurism Committee. It is chaired by Marvin Carmichael, , is the director of financial aid at Clemson. The committee has been asked to study the issues raised by Proposition 42 and to make recommendations accordingly. I've known Marvin for 20 years and he's been most active in the affairs of The College Board over that time and I have full confidence in his committee.
Athletic scholarships represent only a small portion of the federal, state, institutional and private financial assistance that is available for college students. Certainly, the NCAA has every right to impose restrictions on the awarding of athletic scholarships. I don't believe it has any right to impose
restrictions on the availability of other forms of financial assistance. Since athletes are expected to be students, they should have the right to be eligible for any and all forms of financial assistance that are
available to other students.
For recruited athletes who do not meet the academic standards of Proposition 48 and who cannot afford
the cost of college, Proposition 42 effectively denies them the opportunity to attend college. In effect, the recruited athlete is being singled out and penalized because his or her athletic achievements were sufficiently worthy to attract your attention. Proposition 42 discriminates against the poor, majorityand minorityalike. While I recognize that competitive balance needs to be maintained across institutions and that some of you have good and sufficient reasons to be suspicious of your colleagues when it comes to financing and the admissions in recruiting athletes, one must find some other ways to address these issues in penalizing these students. Proposition 42, as it now stands, should be opposed.
In conclusion, I support Proposition 48, even though I feel it needs fine-tuning. It's got to be there. It's got to be you. There's no one to follow to make up for the problems that you inherit. I have confidence in the Research Committee of the NCAA that it will find the appropriate answers. I cannot, however, at this time, support Proposition 42 as it's currently written. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Stephen. I'm Joan Cronan from the University of Tennessee. As Bill and I tried to attempt this timely program, we decided to have someone from The College Board to set the stage. Then, we would have a pro and a con for Propositions 48 and 42. As I reflect back on the 1989 Convention, I feel this convention will be remembered for Proposition 42. In fact, in the weeks that followed, I followed the newspapers and the air times, and, I can say, Proposition 42 got more press and more air time than the Super Bowl. So, to feel that academics and athletics is not important in the world today, is absolutely false.
As you remember at the convention, Proposition 42 was proposed by the SEC Conference. It was defeated and, as so often happens at the NCAA Convention, we changed our minds. We brought it back and it was passed. Speaking in favor of Proposition 42 was Roy Kramer, the athletic director of Vanderbilt University. For all
of us who know Roy or who have attended an NCAA Convention, you know that Roy is very opinionated and loves to speak his mind. We're privileged today to have Roy speak in favor of Proposition 42. Roy has been athletic director at Vanderbilt University for the past 10 years. He's a former football coach. He's been an active force in the NCAA and in college athletics. He's been a member of the Men's Basketball Committee and is currentlyon the Infractions Committee of the NCAA. Please help me welcome Roy Kramer.
Thank you, Joan. I did support, and I believe our conference supported Proposition 42, for all of the right reasons. This is not to say that Proposition 42 in its initial form as passed by the Convention last January could not be modified and could not be changed. To relieve the principle concern that Stephen has lifted with 42, which has nothing to do with the test score, and which has nothing to do with meeting sets of standards in order to gain freshmen eligibility, it will be very simple. We will see that Proposition 42 will be modified in such a way that a student who was recruited will be able to have access to financial aid from an institution other than direct athletic aid the same as any other student who applies to that university. That can be accommodated, very simply, with the modification of 42, which would have to require that that individual counts in the initial granting procedure in order to treat the competitive edge in the same way at all institutions. Or, we have to address it in such a way that it is in institutional aid which is totalling non-athletically related and is so identified by the appropriate chief financial officer or, perhaps, the
chief executive officer of that institution itself. The first modification is the simplest to monitor. That is absolutely necessary in order to treat all of our students, regardless of whether they're athletes or non-athletes, in the same way. Once that has been accomplished, there is no reason not to proceed with Prop 42 as it was intended. The real intention is to eliminate the partial qualifier which has been the bone of contention since we have put Proposition 48, as it was originally called, into action.
We're now addressing bylaw 14.3, which is the actual wording of the bylaw in the new NCAA Manual. The issue from the beginning in most cases, has been the issue of a test score. Why do we have a test score? I happen to believe that we must absolutely have some type of non-manipulative factor in the process of freshmen eligibility. Those of you who were recruiting, coaching or administering at the time we had the 1.6 predictability are well aware of how it was manipulated in order to make people eligible. You simply went in and found out what the test score was, informed the high school of the grade that was necessary and the grade very shortly was produced. The net result was that we had very few people who did not qualify under the 1.6 predictability because we were able to manipulate the process.
In order to make Proposition 48 succeed, we must have some factor which we cannot manipulate at the
local level and that factor is a test score. Now, that's the same purpose that universities in general use test scores for in the first place. Stephen referred to this. It is very difficult to compare high schools. It is very difficult to compare grade point averages. The only standardized way to establish the integrity of those high school grade-point averages is with some type of a national testing mechanism.
I've said on many occasions that if the SAT and the ACT are not proper tests, than I ask the SAT
and the ACT people to come up with an appropriate test. But, I happen to believe that these two instruments are the best we have at the present time and, therefore, we must use them. We are using them for the rest of our student body and I believe we should use them for our athletes.
The College Board Manual itself states that the SAT measures reading comprehension, sentence completion, word meanings and analogy. If that's not what proper preparation for going to college is all about, I don't believe we understand going to college. Until someone comes up with a better mechanism, that mechanism has to be one of those two test scores.
I am well aware of the charges that the tests are bias, but I happen to believe that the tests do not create differences, they simply reveal those differences. From the SAT people themselves, I would point out
to you that on the form that the students fill out before they take the test, it is indicated that 77 percent of the white students taking the test had three years of Science, while approximately 67 percent of the minorities had three years of Science. What we are actually showing in the test is the difference in preparation, not the difference in individuals. It measures academic preparation and there is a difference in academic preparation in this country. As referred to by Stephen, we do have an academic crisis in many of our high schools. That is revealed, almost on a daily basis, by the test scores.
I believe we could look at Props 42 and 48 together. Look at them in a way to address most of the criticisms that are there. First of all, as I indicated, I would alter the financial aid provision to enable the individual to receive non-athletic institutional aid and that could be done very simply at the next Convention. Secondly, we could perhaps modify that test score to some degree based on an institutional certification of its own student body. The primary purpose of all of our academic requirements in the NCAA is to, as far as possible, attempt to address the issue that our student-athletes should be reasonably representative of the rest of the student body of our particular university.
I want to say to you on the front end, very strongly, that every university and college in this country should not be a Vanderbilt, should not be a Duke, should not be a Stanford. Far from it. But, I also believe very strongly that the student-athletes at all universities, regardless of the type of institution they are, should be reasonably representative of that student body. It may well be over the course of the next two or three years that we need to seriously address the differences in institutions that Stephen referred to.
In the original proposal of the modification of Prop 48, we made a suggestion which was never pursued by the NCAA, that an individual institution could apply to the NCAA for a waiver of the exact test score. Whereby, if an institution could show that the average student at that institution has a test score below 700, if that's 680, or whatever it might be, they could apply for a waiver of the test score requirement for that particular institution. I believe that those institutions, particularly those institutions that are primarily minority base, serve a very unique and special and important purpose in this country. By addressing that in some small way, we would meet that concern.
That does not change the purpose of Prop 42. That does not change the purpose of Prop 48. The purpose of both of those Proposals is to ensure the integrity of the word that is used more in the NCAA Manual than any other combination of words in that manual, and that is, student-athlete. Unfortunately, in our burning desire to win, have often reversed the use of that word. We have forgotten that the individual is a
student first and an athlete second. We have also forgotten that the purpose of the universities of this country is education and not winning football and basketball games. In that light, we have tempered our understanding of what academic requirements should be and what they are all about.
I think that is unfortunate. In so doing, we have penalized the young people of this country and held out false expectations for them. There is not always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after four years of competition at our institutions that will assure them a professional contract. Far from it. Ninety-nine percent of those individuals competing across this country will be required to find a job, just as you and I and all of the other people were forced to do. Unless we send that message out across the country to the young people in high schools and in junior high schools, we're doing a great.disservice to them. It is important to send that message that in order to compete in intercollegiate athletics, you must not only be prepared athletically, but you must also be mentally prepared to be a student. In so doing, we can do a great service for public education in this country because the athletes in many of our high schools are the role models. If that role model has to meet certain standards of academic achievement in order to pursue their dream of being a college athlete, than we are sending a clear-cut message to the other students and that is, academics are important. Unless we send that message from the NCAA, no one else will.
To turn our back on an academic requirement in order to get in one more basketball or football player for the sake of sacrificing an academic requirement, flies in the face of all of the philosophies we have in the NCAA and that you and I should have as administrators. Finally, we must realize what our purpose is. It is to administer a program of intercollegiate competition. To maintain that program within the concept and within the stature of what higher education is about in this country. Higher education is about education, not basketball, not football and not baseball or any other sport we may sponsor. It is time that we accept that challenge. We set some standards. This country is based on standards and we make those
standards at a level where they can be reached. We have not set a test score that is out of reach for the average young person, but yet, measures to a degree a willingness to accept the responsibility to be a student once they arrive on our campus.
I will tell you that as I have looked across this country at some of the problems we have in intercollegiate athletics, and from a personal standpoint to some degree, with the infractions problems we
have across this country, I see time and time again individuals involved in those situations primarily because they have no goal academically on a particular campus. They are not there to be a student. They are there to simply move through the system and, hopefully, reach that goal as a professional athlete at the end. Unfortunately, that process does great damage to the system.
It's time for us to send a clear message to those young people. We want you to represent us on the playing fields. We want you to use your talents to the best of your ability to succeed and strive for excellence, and yes, to win. But, in so doing, you have a responsibility to be a student and as a student, to move through the educational process as other students do within our colleges and graduate. Thus, we can provide for you an opportunity which will last long after your competing days are over.
Thank you, Roy. Our next speaker is a man that I became acquainted with through the newspapers;
through a column called, "Ravelings Ramblings," when he was the head coach at Washington State University. From there he went to Iowa. He's also been an assistant for the 1979 Pan Am Games and the 1984 Olympic basketball team. As a player at Villanova, and as a successful coach, George Raveling has used those experiences to write two best-selling books, War on The Boards and, A Rebounder's Workshop, as well as a number of instructional manuals for coaches. Away from the basketball court, Mr. Raveling also serves on the advisory board of the Joseph P. Kennedy Foundation For The Mentally Retarded as well as on the boards of Lettermen and Coach and Athlete Magazine. May I present to you our next speaker, George Raveling, the head coach at the University of Southern California.
Thank you very much.
It's an extreme pleasure for me to have the opportu~ity to visit with you this morning about a subject matter that is of grave importance to all of us. I come to you this morning as a missionary. Not a missionary in the religious sense of the word, though I do harbor a similar conviction for my mission. A missionary simply stated, is an individual with a mission. What is my mission this morning? My mission is to bring a message to you, to college presidents, to college representatives and all interested parties nationally, that Proposition 48, bylaw 5.1 (j) and its offspring, Proposition 42, possess some grave inequities which require immediate correction.
Many of you in this room are individuals I know personally, and others, I know by reputation. You are individuals of significant integrity. That's one of the reasons I'm here this morning. I was to appeal to
you and remind you that you have a moral obligation to make right these wrongs. Please know that there is a better way and a fairer way when it comes to how best to implement these desired academic regulations. If the Ravelings and the Thompsons and the Chaneys of the intercollegiate world don't come before you and the public to state that this legislation has numerous flaws and that you have a moral obligation to correct them, then I'm afraid that history will speak ill of us.
My opposition to Proposition 48 and its bed partner, Proposition 42, should be of no surprise to you. The stance has not been a secret, nor have I wished it to be. In the interest of time, I want to discuss
three separate areas which have grown out of these Propositions; the rules and associated penalties, required testing measures and last, a viable option for consideration.
The intent of Proposition 48 is not as foreign to me, nor to many of its outspoken opponents,
as some people may believe. The pursuit of academic excellence by establishing standards which support that goal is appropriate for college-bound students. The minimum 2.0 grade-point average in the core curriculum has definite merit. It makes sense to have a foundation that should keep a student in good stead in the college classroom. The flaws in the requirement, however, are as many as there are perspective student-athletes. One school's C average might be different from another's, for instance.
When the C combines with the required SAT or ACT score, it gives a standardized test the same importance as a classroom experience. I challenge anyone in this room to show me a conclusive study which shows a significant correlation between academic success in college and scoring well on a standardized test. Neither of these tests measure the full-range of desirable characteristics in a college student. The standardized
test places the blame on the student and protects the educational system. In the end, both the student and the system lose when a mechanical assessment replaces an understanding, human relationship. The abilities
of a human being cannot be judged or assessed based on a testing instrument that presupposes a mean for all social strata. My good friend, John Thompson, put it best when he said, "I'll be in favor of standardized
testing when there's standardized opportunities for our youngsters." Kindly allow me to ask for a show of hands of those who have ever taken the ACT or the SAT. I'd further like to see a show of hands of the people who have thoroughly reviewed the test.
Those of you who have neither reviewed nor taken a test, then I ask you how in good conscience can you advocate a standardized test as a portion of this proposition? Those of you who have taken it, I certainly think that you have concluded that this would be an extremely difficult test for minority students to take
when they come from a non-standardized educational opportunity environment. The college testing agencies have openly admitted that these tests are being incorrectly used as we heard here this morning.
Allow me to share with you some correspondence relative to this matter. This letter was dated January 18, 1983. It was from Greg Enrue to Walter Byers, executive director, NCAA, Box 1906, Mission, Kansas. "Dear Mr. Byers: I have studied carefully the recent decisions of Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association aimed at strengthening standards for athletic ability. I recognize the serious problems that this adopted resolution aims to address. I very much support the intent to establish clearer and higher standings for athletic participation. I have serious concerns, however, about the particular effects of using the SAT in the manor by which Division I uses it. Based on the enclosed 1981 figures, the fixed requirement of the combined SAT score of at least 700 would have eliminated 51 percent of black males and 60 percent of black females from athletic eligibility in this one year alone. While the percentages for white students are smaller, the total number of white students that would have been effected in 1981 by the new cut-off rule were
90,527, more than twice the total of black students who would have been effected. I certainly support the strengthening of academic standards through required specific academic courses and a minimum grade-point average for courses. It is possible that the SAT performance can be used fairlyas part of these basic standards in some way. The particular use of fixed cut-off scores, as contained in the adopted resolution however, may undermine the overall effectiveness of this worthy effort to raise standards for athletes. I
wish to offer you the assistance pro bono of educational testing services as you examine the implications of the Division I decision and possibly consider modification to better achieve the objectives of this
decision. I understand that George Hanford of The College Board has been in contact with you on this matter. I have talked with George about this and would be pleased for ETS to collaborate with The College Board in offering any possible assistance to you and your colleagues as you work on this important task. Please let me know how we might be of help to you." It's signed by Greg. This was written in January, 1983. I find it interesting that that information was brought up and nothing was said about it.
Even The College Board's publications admit, "the single best predictor of college performance is a high school record." President Dirk Bock, one of the originators of Prop 48, said, "it was designed to give at- risk athletes one year without the burdens of practice and competition." Of Proposition 48, he said, "I
don't see how the purpose is furthered by saying they can't receive aid. It looks like a way of penalizing them to me."
Speaking of penalties. Do you realize that the penalties for failure to pass a standardized test are far more severe than should an athlete test positive for drugs or accept illegal recruiting overtures. A student who accepts money or a car can be granted immunity and keep the gain if he reveals who gave them the gifts. Should the athlete test positive for drugs, he or she would be subject to a loss of postseason eligibility which would be a minimum of ninety days. But, the Prop 48-42 student receives the most severe of penalties; one, a loss of a year's eligibility; two, the loss of financial aid; three, he cannot practice with the team and four, he is tattooed with the label of being a Prop 48 student, which well might be the most severe penalty of all.
I ask you, where is our sense of fairness? I firmly believe that we have a moral obligation to correct these wrongs. With the spector of Prop 42 in effect in 1990, the insult of pre-judgement of individual abilities is added to injury. Prop 42 would deny athletic scholarships or any institutional administered aid to freshmen who fail to make the grade as defined by Proposition 48. With Proposition 48, these young people lose a year. With Proposition 48, we may start losing lives. There will be no financial aid given for the first year, no matter the hope, the promise nor the proof of ability. Robert Atwell, president for the American Council on Education, called Proposition 42 discriminatory. Greg Andrick of the Educational Testing Service was quoted as saying, "Proposition 42 is ill-advised." Both you and I know that the majority of the positive votes for Prop 42 were not motivated for a sincere desire for educational enhancement as much as they were along athletic and economic lines.
Let's be honest about this. It was packaged and positioned to the public as education enhancement. The news media reported that the entire proposal developed because former Georgia football coach Vince Dooley was angry with his counterpart at Auburn, Pat Dye, because he was gaining a recruiting edge. Georgia, in the wake of the Jan Kemp saga, decided not to accept Prop 48 students, while Dye was carpetbagging such students throughout the South. The trouble among SEC schools was that only Vanderbilt abided by the same standard of not accepting Prop 48 students. Auburn, reportedly, took 15 Prop 48 non-qualifiers in the ensuing three years and last year, LSU took three Prop 48 basketball players. With this recruiting scope limited, Georgia feared that it was falling behind. Officials at Georgia proposed conference legislation in order to phase out Prop 48 non-qualifiers by 1993 and choke off the advantage held by other schools within the SEC.
By a vote of nine to one, the SEC presidents last June supported that proposal. Thus, the conference which was the last to include blacks had now become the first to want to exclude a significant number of
them. Now having eliminated its internal problems, the entire SEC was at potential recruiting disadvantage compared with the rest of the nation. So the SEC, attending the national convention, led the charge for Prop 42. This Proposition was adopted by a vote of 162 to 155; not exactly an overwhelming mandate for change. If one reads the surveys taken by the Washington Post, the New York Times and USA Today, they would conclude that the accuracy of the vote count conjures up memories of Chicago in the old Mayor Daly days. One media count reported that there was a vote recorded "yes" for an institution that admitted it didn't send a representative. I find that interesting, but certainly not fair.
Skeptics further point out that Prop 42 would merely transfer scholarship expense to an institution's general fund and save an estimate six million dollars for money-strapped athletic departments. We need to realize that Prop 42 is hurting the very students that Prop 48 was designed to help. If a doctor were guilty of some of the mistakes which I've outlined for you this morning, they'd be sued for malpractice. Some of us would like to offer for your consideration an option which we believe is a more sensible method for accomplishing your stated goals.
We would begin by repealing Prop 48 and 42. As a substitute, our proposal calls for declaring freshmen students to be ineligible for the first year's athletic competition only in the sports of football and basketball. In order to be eligible for the next three years of competition, the student must be certified for satisfactory academic progress. Upon completion of the third year, the student would be awarded a fourth year competition, should he or she be within 24-hours of graduation or enrolled in graduate school. Let me hasten to say that there would be no freshmen competition. Freshmen would not be allowed to travel, but we would allow them to practice with the team. There might be a need for an additional scholarship and, if so, if that's the price one has to pay for higher graduation rates, then so be it.
What is value of such a proposal? Number one, higher graduation rates; number two, no longer a necessity for Propositions 42 and 48; number three, there's time to adjust to the rigors of freshman
academic work and having the character to reach for your fourth year competition through academic achievement; number four it signals a sincere commitment to the student-athlete.
In conclusion, I wish to state that I'm not convinced that the NCAA membership set about the tasks of designing these Proposals with the single purpose of eliminating black youths from the collegiate process, but the results are the same. It is morally wrong for the NCAA, as a body, or we as individuals, to be part of excluding people from the path of progress. Our minds must match the scope of this challenge. Thank you.
Thank you, George. Now, we're going to ask each of the speakers, if they choose, to give their response. Then we'll have some questions from the audience.
I assumed that we would have people take opposite sides of the issue. I'm a little surprised that there's as much agreement up here as I thought I heard, particularly on Proposition 42. If I took notes correctly, George Raveling challenged anyone to show significant relationship between college academic success and test scores. I'II use data from southern California to demonstrate it. It's not a question of whether there's a significant relationship between test scores and college grades, that's relatively easy to show. The greater issue is whether test scores make any significant contribution over and above the contribution made by high school grades.
George quoted one of our publications saying that high school grades are the best predictor of college success. Generally, that's a true statement, but I suspect in 40 percent of the colleges represented here today, test scores are a better predictor of college success than grades. Sixty percent is the other way around. With high school grade inflation, we see a trend of declining significance in the correlation of high school grades and an increasing significance of the correlation of test scores. I wish it weren't that way. The fault lies primarily in the standards by which grades are awarded, both in high school and in college. Test score significance with academic success is relatively easy to show and we can show it most anywhere.
In showing it, however, I think institutions are lax in not recognizing that men predict differently
than women, that whites predict differently than blacks and if you use the same prediction equation for all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, regardless of gender, regardless of major field of study, then you will put bias into the prediction process. The bias isn't the result of the test or of the high school
grades, but it's a bias that comes about because of the failure to recognize that men and women are different and the course patterns they take are different. Women with the same SAT scores will get better grades in college than men. All that means is that you shouldn't treat men and women alike.
There's the accusation that because women get higher grades and lower test scores, the tests are biased against women. To take it out of that explosive context, education majors get higher grades than science majors, but they get lower test scores. I assume then, we're supposed to conclude then that the SAT is biased against education majors. Once again, we put a lot of faith in the awarding of grades as though, somehow, they're infallible and they represent truth. The hardest grades to earn in college are in your hard sciences; chemistry, physics and engineering. People with the same test scores and highest SAT averages will be for your students enrolled in chemistry, physics and engineering.
Grading standards are different. We all know it and, yet, when it suits our purpose, we choose to treat them as being all the same. Lastly, the SAT doesn't represent all the college experience, all the high school experience. Neither does the ACT. They were never intended to. The SAT only represents two things; how well do students reason, using words, using symbols. There's much more to college than ability to reason with
words and symbols, and grades are awarded on the basis of much more than one's ability to do those two tasks. As my freshmen and senior daughters in college would say, there's a lot of attributes that go to the awarding of good grades; diligence, work, attendance and participation. They would acknowledge that those are
qualities that are often in short supply among their freshmen male counterparts. When we go to the awarding of grades and what does it take to get a grade, keep in mind that there is only one way to get As and there are a lot of ways of getting Fs, and being dumb is one of them.
Let me defend George on the concept of Prop 42. Having been in the conference for 11 years, I have
never defended the University of Georgia. But, I will defend the purpose that the presidents felt in Prop 42. The purpose was not to exclude one single student-athlete, black, white, yellow, green or red. The purpose was to enhance the opportunity for that student-athlete, and particularly that minority student-athlete, to have a chance to succeed on our campuses, not as athletes, but as students. Unless we send a message out to prepare these young people, the Dexter Manley cases of the world will be even more dramatic. To move an individual through our institutions for four years and gain a thousand yards on the football field and not be able to read or write is a crime that this organization, the NCAA, had better address, or somebody outside
this organization is going to have to address in a very strong way. That's the purpose of Prop 48 and Prop
42; not to exclude, but to enhance.
I do not believe that these young people are inherently dumb, far from it. If we will set goals and standards they will achieve, and in so doing, they will be able to make a contribution to society far beyond the height of their vertical jump and the speed of their 4O-yard dash. In most cases, the aid that will go in the case of 42, will still go to a minority student-athlete. The difference will be that that aid, perhaps, may go to a minority athlete who worked a little bit harder in high school and whose goals were a little bit higher. He prepared himself or herself a little bit better. They will not go to the individual who jumps a little bit higher or who runs a little bit raster than that same minority student.
As I stated earlier, it is important that we be able to have student-athletes, if we're going to say they're student-athletes, who reasonably represent the rest of our university. The average SAT of those individuals going to the Division I schools we are talking about is significantly different than the average SAT of the total group of students who take the SAT. That includes minorities where that average SAT is perhaps 100 or 150 points higher than the average SAT of all minorities who take the test. If we're going to bring those young people onto our campus, they've got to have a chance to compete in the classroom and to do that, they've got to have a background in high school that permits them to have that chance. That's the message we're sending out there.
I certainly would agree that we do, in the process, label individuals. But George, unfortunately, the day you become a talented athlete, you're labeled. You're labeled whether you fail in the degree of your success with regard to Prop 48 or your're labeled with regard to your private conduct on our campus. There can be 298 people picked up on West End Avenue that goes by Vanderbilt University every night, 25 to 50 of them can be Vanderbilt students. But, if one of them happened to be the starting guard on my basketball team, he will be labeled far beyond anyone else in the community. That's the beast that we have created. We have to live with that, but we cannot say that's a reason to turn our back on academic integrity. Thank you very much.
While I'm not 100 percent sure that it was Chief Justice Black who authored this quotation, I feel confident in saying it was him. Chief Justice Black said, "it's better to let one guilty party go free than to incarcerate two innocent people." While the intercollegiate athletic program might have an example of a Dexter Manley, I go back to what Chief Justice Black said, that maybe it's not all that bad to let one guilty party go free, etc. It was said that tests don't make the differences in racial bias. But, society has made a difference in racial bias and in the educational opportunities for minorities. Roy, the purpose of the SEC might not have been to exclude blacks, but the end result is the same. So while I think your intentions are good, I cannot agree with the results. I think that what all of us in this room need to understand is this. We're not dealing with standardized opportunities. You can color it anyway you want.
What I seem to hear from everybody up here this morning is that we have an educational crisis in America today. When I look around at society today and see where our priorities are, it's no wonder we're here this morning discussing an educational problem. I want to say something that tells me where education is as a priority in our nation today. Anytime we pay the mailman more money to deliver our children's magazines than we do to teach the school teacher how to read that magazine, something is wrong. We'll continue to have unequalopportunities.
Thank you, George. I'd like to recognize Nancy Mitchell and Steve Morgan from the NCAA office. Steve would like to make a comment .
I didn't want anyone to leave today without making sure that everyone understood what Proposals 48 and 42 really do and how they interrelate with one another. There's been, accidentally I think, mistaken characterizations of those Proposals here this morning. Since many of you are going to be on the floor as delegates at the NCAA Convention in January when some further debates take place, I want to make sure that everybody understands what they do.
Proposal 42 actually didn't do anything to the legislation that was originally Proposal 48. At the Convention in 1983, when 48 was adopted, there was a companion Proposal that said, let's take into account those individuals who would have met the old qualifier rule. That's simply a 2.0 in high school. Let's
make some accommodation for them, even if they don't meet the new qualifier rule, the core curriculum courses and the test score. So, those individuals were identified as this category known as the partial qualifier and that group was permitted to go ahead and receive financial assistance even though the students could not compete or practice during their first year. All that Proposal 42 did was eliminate that category of partial qualifier and say, you either meet that 48 criteria or you don't. If you don't, then you suffer the full consequences of 48 as they relate to both practice and competition eligibility and eligibility for financial aid.
But, what interestingly has occurred is that with the adoption of 42, apparently a number of people have become aware, for the first time, that an individual who is a non-qualifier cannot receive financial aid during that first year of any type that's institutionally administered. That doesn't mean no financial aid. Obviously, there are programs such as the Pell Grant Program that are not administered by the institution. But, anybody who's been a non-qualifier and didn't happen to rise to the level of partial-qualifier has been ineligible for any of these financial aid programs for a long time. Not only with Proposal 48, but with its predecessor, the old 2.0 rule. Those individuals could not receive institutionally-administered financial assistance.
As Stephen Ivens indicated, it is correct that federal regulations concerning financial aid may conflict in some ways with that legislation. Unfortunately, that was never recorded until now with Proposal 42's
public attention. So, the Financial Aid Committee is setting about to make a recommendation to the membership that will provide an opportunity to correct at least that part of the rule that may run counter to federal regulations. That's how those proposals core late and don't be confused that Proposal 42 is for the first-time introducing this financial aid question.
Because of national publicity and George's mention of it this morning, the letter from ETS in 1983 is worthy of note. That was a part of a considerable amount of mail which I'm sure many of you received as
voters in the 1983 Convention. It raised questions about what had just occurred. As you heard from the tone of that letter, there was a concern by people at ETS at that time as to whether this was an appropriate use of the test score. The response to that letter and the numerous other amounts of public attention given at that time, looking back to what the impact would have been to those who had taken the tests before, has prompted research. This research is trying to determine what the real impact of Prop 48 is. The response at that time was, that's interesting information, but, how does it relate to what we're really dealing with with
Proposition 48 because 48 introduced another element besides the test score. That was, that in order to be a qualifier, you had to take a core curriculum. What that letter makes no mention of, is what percentage of
that 51 percent or 90,000 athletes in the two categories divided racially took the core curriculum courses. Of that group, what part failed to score at the sufficient level to be a qualifier.- That's what the research is trying to find out now. Is there some inappropriate or an improper correlation between the test scores, 700 and 15 and the high school performance in the core curriculum. I think it is a flaw in the original
legislation that there was no research done to justify the 700-15. We will see from this research once we've had a chance to look at a class that came in under the Proposal 48 legislation to see what happens to them and what their performance is l1ke.
I think we knew when we planned this morning that it would be interesting and exciting. I think the panel has issued a challenge for us and I'd like to thank them for their presentation.