Comments about ‘NCAA bars BYU online credits for high school athletes’

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Published: Tuesday, May 25 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

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JJ Morales

It is obvious the the NCAA hates BYU. Fortunately for BYU, most people hate the NCAA.


?How can motivated Hi school students who do learn well teaching themselves with online courses be included by the NCAA rather than excluded by the few abusers?
The Hi school football player in the book The Blind
Side: the Evolution of a Game used 1 or more bYu continuing ed service courses according to news reports.
Maybe those courses met the email interaction criteria or other correspondence course rules the NCAA says qualify it.


Have 5 NCAA employees take BYU online classes, if TWO of them can pass the class, okay, but let's test the stupidest of all people to judge the courses...the NCAA employees....what a standard!


The NCAA clearinghouse is an antiquated system that clearly penalizes advanced students by not approving classes that are outside of what is considered their CORE. they make it exceedingly difficult for the high schools to keep up with yearly changes. Each year the high schools have to submit their entire list of all classes offered and the NCAA then chooses to approve or not that particular class....many AP classes are not approved, computer classes are not approved, advanced foreign language level classes can be excluded...so it is no surprise that online programs offered by ANY college not just BYU would be excluded. Our son was 1/4 credit shy of the core credit qualification to clear the clearinghouse because his 4th year AP English class had not been included by his high school on their annual list. He went on to be an All American and graduated with honors inspite of the NCAA


Two thoughts on this article:
1. I actually didn't know Oher used BYU's online High School classes. That makes me like his story even more, which I already find pretty awesome and inspirational. Which leads to my second thought...

2. What the heck is the NCAA thinking? The BYU classes are just as hard. The college level ones are, anyway, and I imagine the High School ones are not any different. I am a full time student at BYU and took a College level business writing class from BYU a few years ago because I needed to squeeze it in to get into the Accounting program. And it was every bit as challenging as other courses I have taken from BYU. The NCAA has no reason to do this, unless they do have some undue hatred for BYU... and for kids who (like Oher) didn't have the opportunity for one reason or another to finish High School in the traditional way. Shame on the NCAA.


Ah, the only university in the state of Utah to provide a high school degree!

As a former high school teacher, BYU classes were the easy way for kids who didn't do the regular work in high school to fill the blanks in some programmed learning books and get credit - often in days!

No wonder the PAC10 is not interested!


The biggest problem of online courses, you don't know who is doing the work. It's very easy to find other students to pay to complete the courses in their name. Who knows any different?

What this also means is that students are being released from public education failing to meet the standards of a high school education. A large percentage of college students would never get in to college if it wasn't for the state and federal government funding colleges by head count. The same thing that plagues public education is now plaguing college education. Students are not getting a college education, just toilet paper degrees. Education is focused on money, not learning. If students fail in education, public and college, eduction loose funds so no one can fail or be allowed to get failing grades.

This happens in all classes even at college level, plagiarizing class work to play sports or other self interests. Athletes have been stigmatized by this and why they are usually portrayed as brawn and no brain. In the last decades many athletes have taken education more serious and done better but the stigma is still there.

Conservative Democrat

I tend to agree with Samwise. In spite of the line from the movie, online courses tend to be harder so that they can qualify for accreditation. I never studied harder or worked harder than when I was getting my Masters degree and my teaching certificates through on-line programs at different schools. I had regular interactive contact with the instructors (and my classmates) 2 - 3 times a week plus faster, more constructive feedback for assignments than I had during classroom course in high school and college.

Does the NCAA also disqualify all distance learning programs used by high schools so that teachers can be available at multiple schools simultaneously. For instance, my first hour class is Business Math and in addition to the students at my school, I have students (mostly athletes) watching me at schools 12 and 50 miles away. Does that violate NCAA policies as well? What about the 50,000 or so students taking on-line home-study classes in Minnesota because the communities and the state can not afford to maintain community schools in all the rural districts. Do those programs violate NCAA policies?

The NCAA needs to rethink its policy.


What this is is protection of the old order. Distance learning is on the rise and a lot of education will occur through online programs. The world of education is changing with technology, and the NCUA must not have gotten the memo.


Until the NCAA does away with the BCS, they have no credibility at all.


The Blind Side's description of Michael Oher's use of BYU online credits is pretty hilarious, and Michael Lewis does a good job of implying the ridiculousness of a system that would allow a student to get credit for an entire semester's worth of work for a three-hour online course. That BYU even offered this service only shows how little their academic standards really mean to them. I mean, how do you feel good about giving some an entire semester's worth of credit for a three hour online class unless, of course, the online course program happens to be a cash cow.


These courses are evil! So evil in fact that if allowed to spread an epidemic of evil will permeate the NCAA. How un-American would this condition of evilness be as a result of rampant evilness due to correspondence courses. Insidiousness of the worst order. Correspondence courses have corrupted the NCAA and it's athletes. How could University Presidents have allowed such evilness to find it's way into this paragon of purity? Wringing of my hands and gnashing of my teeth is all I can do as I contemplate what is obviously a conspiracy of the first, worst order. Shame on the NCAA for even tolerating courses to get this far.

DEW Cougars

one month ago my son had to take some other courses online to graduate in this year HS. He took bowling online and at public bowling lane. He had to take finals at BYU taking the written test. So, there is no way around that anyone would do this for him. Too bad NCAA had to do this and I don't think that NCAA is being biased on BYU.


BYU Independent Study's High School program is accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (NAAS) and the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC).

The NAAS accredits distance education, elementary, foreign nation, high, K‑12, middle level, post secondary nondegree granting, residential, special purpose, supplementary education, and travel education schools. The NAAS is one of the nation's six acknowledged accreditation agencies.

The DETC was founded in 1926 to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices within the correspondence field. The independent nine-member Accrediting Commission of the DETC was established in 1955; shortly thereafter it gained the approval of the U.S. Department of Education as the "nationally recognized accrediting agency" under terms of Public Law.

It would seem the NCAA is now challenging these accreditations. Why would they do that?

SB Fan

I knew a student who had 4 F's 3 of which were in PE classes. The baseball team so desperately wanted him to play and his mom would come to school every day (Where he WASN'T), In order to gain his eligibility he needed to pass 3 classes. Suddenly he was enrolled into 2 classes that are released to the parents and then a BYU course that he had to take the test that Saturday to get passed... WEIRD, how a kid can miss an entire TERM and then pass a test to become eligible??? Who took the test and how hard was it??? I like this new accountability NCAA is making! Class/Seat time is required of all other students why should athletes NOT be held at a higher level of accountability???


Don't criticize BYU. They're not going to listen anyway. They have never made any mistakes. Any talk that it has, as an institution, violated every possible ethical standard known to mankind is out of place. The impact these so-called courses have on the students and the rest of society is unimportant. The financial impact on the university and its online education personnel is important.


To those questioning how you can know who does the course work: yes, it is possible that others may do the course work for them. However, the exams are totally different. They must take the exams at a nearby testing center or with a certified proctor who is independent of the student. Since for most of the courses the exams are the biggest part of the grade, it would be pretty hard to get a good grade by having someone else do the course work and then do poorly on the exams. Not to mention it would be suspicious. Moreover, the program is accredited by the proper organizations, and the NCAA should stop thinking it needs to be more strict then the organizations set up to decide these things.

Also, to the Ute who criticized BYU for offering online High School classes (and a diploma, as it is not actually a degree that you get from a High School): do you scoff this much at all innovation? Or do you just hate BYU so you are searching for anything you can to twist to make it sound like BYU is not a good institution?

Big R

I was just at a national seminar where this topic was discussed. The NCAA people were very careful to not assign blame to BYU and actually gave BYU credit for trying to address the problem. Then administrators from colleges and universities from around the nation got up and spoke. Some brought actual transcripts with them. One kid replaced his high school sr English class, history class and another class with BYU online classes. He did the work all in one day over Christmas break. Another showed a high school student who replaced a sr math class. He did the work in four hours on one day. BYU has a legitimate program, but abusers know how to cheat it and BYU had its head buried in he sand when problems came up. It really devalues the BYU education in the minds of those outside the state of Utah. I have a master's from BYU, but was extremely embarrassed listening to example after example of what a joke the online classes were.


The fact that the work can be done quickly does not (in my mind) negate the value of the work or indicate that the students were cheating. It might just mean that they are very bright. The fact that these athletes failed their regular English classes might just mean that they never turned in their homework. They might have understood everything the teacher ever said in class. Or maybe she was too distracted by cute boy in the front of the class. Or maybe some tragedy made school quite impossible that term. Trying to fit every student into a STANDARDIZED educational program is one of the problems with the system. Correspondence courses are one of the solutions.


I just wonder how much first- and second-round NFL draft-caliber talent got into D1 schools that aren't BYU with the help of these courses.

The courses should have a tag line: "BYU Online Study, making other college football teams better!"

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