Should athletes receive admissions privileges?


Each week, ESPN.com surveys the student-athletes on our panel to see how they feel about a topic that directly affects collegiate life.

Should a school's admissions standards be lowered for athletes?

Henley Henley

"I think athletes should receive some admission privileges, and I would be lying to say I haven't already benefited from them. I don't think a school's athletic programs should suffer just because of strict academic guidelines. It would be nearly impossible for tough academic schools to be competitive. Schools like Rice and Stanford would start at a huge disadvantage; Rice has been known to reject a large number of valedictorians each year. With such stringent admission standards, it would be difficult to fill a roster for each sport's team."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball

Murphy Murphy

"I do not think athletes should receive admissions privileges. A student-athlete's work in the classroom shows they are committed and know how to manage their time. Moreover, if standards are lowered, the student-athlete may struggle academically at their chosen university, compromising their education as well as their eligibility to compete."
-- Meghan Murphy, Notre Dame women's lacrosse

Tidwell Tidwell

"I think this is a common misnomer for many people. Colleges do not just throw out the admissions rule book when it comes to athletes. Every school has their minimum standards for admission and these are rarely breached. For most high school students, college admission is a competitive process and just meeting the minimum usually will not get you in a school. That being said, it is probably true that many athletes with less than competitive academic records (which still meet the minimum) are admitted into schools based on athletic merit. While I've said before that colleges are of course primarily academic institutions, there is no denying that athletics also play a major role, especially in the fund-raising department. Therefore, it shouldn't surprise or appall us to think that certain student's athletic abilities carry as much weight as their academic abilities. I think many idealists would say admissions should be solely based on academics. I would probably ask them how excited they were the last time their alma mater defeated their archrival in an football game and then ask them how they think their star quarterback got in the school."
-- Tyler Tidwell, Navy football

Vetter Vetter

"Athletes should be given a little break when it comes to academics because they were probably traveling throughout high school and had a lot more things to worry about compared to a normal student. I know that I was gone from on average a month every semester and that is tough to make up, but you just try your best."

-- Jessie Vetter, Wisconsin women's hockey

Wileman Wileman

"No, I don't think schools should lower their admission standards. Each school is different and that's why they have these standards. If a player wants to go to a particular school, then they have to work to achieve those particular grades to get in. If they don't get the grades to get in, then they should go to another school."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer