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June 8, 2007

I'm too hung over for class. Can you spot me $10?

More $10 bills in his wallet than a stripper.

Damon Evans, athletic director at the University of Georgia, received crazy good press from the associated press for our new academic attendance program. The logic behind the program is pretty straightforward. If you're an athlete you know that if you miss practice, you're going to miss game time.

Why not apply the same logic to class and study hall attendance? The program works like this:
Student-athletes who miss more than two classes in the same course will be suspended for about 10 percent of their team's games for each additional class they miss. Student-athletes who miss more than one academic appointment must pay a $10 fine (a United Way Donation). They face suspensions for missing more than four.
Initially, my thought on the program..."We're putting ourselves at a competitive disadvantage if other schools don't have hard ass attendance policies?" I also wondered what Damon was going to spend the $10 billion dollars he was about to raise in missed classes. My brother summed up the program better by saying:
    If that policy were in place when I was in school, I wouldn’t be allowed in Sanford Stadium until 2029. I once had an undergrad class that I went to 5 times including the final and 2 tests. In other words, I missed that class 40 times, which means 1 class would have cost me a 4 year suspension. BTW, I made a B in that class.
But hell...who can argue with the results so far? The program was implemented in January. Consider the stats:
  • For the first time, more than 50 percent of Georgia's student-athletes had 3.0 or better grade-point averages in the spring semester.

  • Also, when compared with last spring, there were far fewer dropped classes and a sharp increase in credit hours earned -- 954 this spring, compared with 770 last spring.

  • In a three-week period in January, student-athletes missed 46 classes or academic appointments, a 90 percent drop from 421 over a three-week period in September.
The program is working so well that other schools are ringing Damon's phone off the hook wanting to learn more. I constantly say this, but I really appreciate the work that Damon is doing at UGA.

Don't miss the ESPN article.



Anonymous said...

my sophomore year i took an Econ class at UGA. the first day the teacher said the only grades were three exams, and if you chose not to take one it would just increase the weight of the final exam. i went to that class the first day, then the next time i went back was for the final exam, which would be worth 100% of my grade. i got a B and now teach economics in a Georgia high school.


Anonymous said...

From one anon to another...... I'm quite sure you teach in a public school.

Anonymous said...

The biggest difference in me skipping classes when I was in school, and the athlete skipping class, is that I had to pay for my schooling. If they are getting a free ride, they should have to go to class, and if this makes that behavior more diligent - great.

Damon has certainly shown his worth in his short tenure, and we need to make sure he doesn't get bigger dollars somewhere else - alum or not.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but the monetary fines are just for missed tutoring sessions which the AA is paying for whether the athlete shows up or not. Missed classes only mean a possible suspension.

Anonymous said...

you are right - clt dawg was wrong.

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing in my econ 107 class back in '92. The night before my first test Sid Bream slid in to home and all hell broke loose in Athens. I bagged the exam, all the rest of the classes and took a final that counted 100%. I made a C.

Anonymous said...

As a freshman, I took math 102. I showed up for the "make up" computer tests only adn the final. I failed the crap out of that class.

Nathan said...

Ladies and Gentlemen ... we present the difficulty of a University of Georgia education!

In all seriousness though - it's a good program and seems to be having good results. After the Harrick mess, UGa has quietly done a very good job rebuilding the athletic department's image in regards to athlete's education.

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