Report: 'Easy' class list at Stanford!

March, 9, 2011
3/09/11
1:53
PM ET
Stanford recently stopped distributing an "easy class list" to athletes after reporters started inquiring about it, according to this report.

An easy class list. In college. No way.

In other news, water is wet. Fire is hot. And Charlie Sheen is strange.

There are two issues here worth noting.

First, the list was given an institutional rubber stamp: Titled, "Courses of Interest," it was distributed by the Athletic Academic Resource Center. Few folks would really care if this wasn't Stanford, which is supposed to be, you know, Stanford-y.

Second, the school certainly makes itself look guilty when it allegedly kills said list when it is asked about it.

When will folks learn? Allow the Pac-12 blog to act as a Stanford flack for a moment.

Reporter: Does this list exist?

Pac-12 blog: Yes.

Reporter: Why?

Pac-12 blog: It's a resource for athletes. It helps them balance Stanford's academic demands with the extraordinary extracurricular demands of playing Division I-A sports. Whether they use the list is up to them. Each student at Stanford has his or her specific academic goals. Some seek challenges. Some just want a degree. That's not unique to athletes.

Reporter: But is it fair for it to be distributed just to athletes?

Pac-12 blog: Without question. This is the athletic department. We support our athletes in a variety of ways because we know the daily sacrifices they make when they play a sport at a high level. The commitment these athletes give to this institution in sports needs to be met with academic support, whether that's tutoring or guidance with class selection. Have you reviewed other parts of our university, such as clubs or fraternities, to see what sort of resources they offer? Or have you investigated just how many of these classes athletes actually take?

Reporter: No.

Pac-12 blog: Why not?

Reporter: I'll ask the questions here!

Pac-12 blog: Because if an athlete who is majoring in biology or English or political science also takes Social Dances of North America III, what's the big deal? He still has to complete his major.

Reporter: Hello, who's the reporter here?

Pac-12 blog: OK. Continue.

Reporter: [Crickets].

Pac-12 blog: Are we done?

Reporter: No. Aren't you concerned that "some faculty and students say the list may have offered an academic advantage for the athletes who requested it -- especially since the general population was unaware it was available?"

Pac-12 blog: So the existence of this list isn't an issue. It's that non-athlete students might want to get a look at it, too?

Reporter: Yes. It's unfair.

Pac-12 blog: Life is unfair. This list is a resource for athletes, who give back to the University in ways an average student does not and sacrifice in ways an average student does not. It helps them balance their academic demands with the extraordinary demands of playing Division I-A sports. If you want a look at the list, try out for a sport.

Reporter: Could you hurry up? I want to get in 45 minutes of studying before I go to this party.

Pac-12 blog: Sure. I'm going to watch the two and half hour football practice.

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