Where there’s smoke…

Football…there most likely is a psychology professor puffing on his pipe, teaching Shawn Crable the finer points of his Franklin Day Planner.

It appears that the layers of the onion that is Michigan Athletic department are being pulled back, and it’s causing people to cry. Part one of a four part series has been published today in the Ann Arbor News about certain *ahem* anomalies with respect to student athletes, their academic choices and opportunities made available to said athletes. The first article is concerned with John Hagen, a psychology professor and independent study leader to the stars.

Far be it from me, a fan of the team that once counted a starting wide receiver sporting a 0.0 GPA among its ranks, to call foul on any other program, but it appears that things have been cleaned up considerably since Tressel arrived. That, and the fact that special attention and opportunities are given to student athletes nationwide, whether it be at a powerhouse like Michigan or not. Pot, kettle, you’ve met, I’m sure. That being said, there are still some “uh, what?!” moments reading this article. A couple that stuck out most to me:

Athletes have enrolled in independent studies with Hagen several weeks beyond the normal deadline to add classes, which is 21 days after a semester begins. For example, in the winter 2005 semester that began Jan. 5 and ended April 19, two football players enrolled in independent studies with Hagen on March 18.


The News analyzed transcripts from 29 athletes who are either currently enrolled at Michigan, or left the school within the past three years. Twenty one of the athletes took 32 graded courses from Hagen – 25 independent study courses and seven standard classes. They averaged a grade of 3.62 in the professor’s courses, compared to an overall grade point average of 2.57 in the athletes’ other classes. No athlete received a grade worse than a B-minus from Hagen.

Maybe this Hagen character grades on a gentle curve and he really is worried about teaching some of these athletes life lessons. It’s possible. I took an engineering orientation class my first year at OSU. They taught us life lessons, how to study, how to use a day planner, stuff like that. It was also graded pass/fail, was worth one credit hour and had no bearing on our GPA.

This is going to get uglier before it gets better.

Mike over at BSD is all over this like Buckeye Leaves on Beanie’s helmet.


  1. Jeff at The BBC says

    Somebody owes Jim Harbaugh a HUGE apology.

    Mike Hart, I’m looking your way…..

  2. @Jeff – Yeah, I’ve been thinking the same thing. Hart said Harbaugh wasn’t a Michigan man, right?


  1. […] majoring in Quarterbacking: I mentioned yesterday about the academic shenanigans going on up north. Part two of the story is […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: