At this point, is there anything about collegiate athletics that can surprise folks anymore?
In an interesting San Francisco Chronicle report, it was revealed that Stanford athletes had access to an “Easy Class List.” You know, a little something that the powers that be put together so that the football players, basketball players and whoever else was handy with a ball didn’t overheat their brains on their way to, and from practice.
This list, apparently, was “discontinued” last week after reporters got wind of it and began asking the administration some hard-to-answer questions.
What did this “Easy Class List” entail?
Well, there was the Beginning Improvising drama class, to start. The brains behind the Stanford operation probably figured this would be ideal for athletes who would need to issue off-the-cuff denials about this mess when the press came-a-calling.
Social Dances of North America III was another class that was available on this list. This course was great because, if by some unfortunate twist of fate not every athlete from Stanford was able to make the professional ranks, they would have the necessary skills and abilities to find work as a…North American dancer.
As per the report, the athletes would learn about these classes courtesy of the Athletic Academic Resource Center. This “resource center” had a list titled “Courses of Interest,” and those courses of interest -- coincidentally enough -- fit perfectly with the athletes’ schedules.
Perhaps the best quote to come out of this whole mess came from Donald Barr, who heads up a Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, Health course – one of the ones noted by the “resource center”:
“(Stanford) accommodates athletes in the manner that they accommodate students with disabilities.”
Wow. That says it all right there.