HBO Real Sports to Air ‘Eye-Opening’ Investigation on NCAA’s Academic Reform Next Tuesday

by March 20, 2014


Yesterday we shared a recently released NCAA commercial that light-hearted touched on the new academic standards it will begin to implement in 2016, including raising the minimum core GPA from 2.0 to 2.3. Today, HBO Real Sports announced that next week it will air an in-depth investigation into the NCAA student-athlete academic reforms, particularly new requirements that were passed in 2003. Real Sports’ investigative teams always does a great job in digging up stuff, so you know this self-touted “eye-opening” report is bound to be good.   

More from HBO Sports: 

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL, TV’s most honored sports journalism series, continues its 20th season with more enterprising features and reporting when the show’s 204th edition debuts TUESDAY, MARCH 25 (10:00 p.m. ET/PT & 9:00 p.m. CT), exclusively on HBO.

Other HBO playdates: March 25 (3:45 a.m.), 28 (9:30 a.m., 5:00 p.m.) and 29 (10:45 a.m., 12:45 a.m.), and April 3 (1:30 p.m., 8:00 p.m.), 6 (9:30 a.m.) and 9 (7:00 p.m., 1:30 a.m.)

HBO On Demand® availability: March 26-April 14

Segments include:

Gaming the System. In 2003, the NCAA instituted an academic reform initiative to reemphasize a commitment to the education of all student-athletes, mandating that schools graduate a majority of each team, or face punishments ranging from a loss of scholarships to a ban on postseason play. Later that year, the NCAA eliminated the requirement that student-athletes have a minimum SAT score of 820, which was determined to hurt the chances of minority acceptance in athletic programs. Lower admission standards, coupled with higher graduation requirements, meant that many top-flight schools needed to commit resources for learning specialists to ensure their student-athletes measured up.

What resulted, however, fell short of expectations. REAL SPORTS’ investigative team spent six months vetting the multi-million dollar academic advising centers, which operate as “schools within schools” and are responsible for enabling student-athletes with elementary educations to graduate from big-time universities. Correspondent Bernard Goldberg reports on some alarming discoveries.