and here you thought you were being helpful by providing suggestions for additional reading…

From the world of college athletics [story here]:

Nebraska self imposed a two-year probationary period as well as a fine because of NCAA violations pertaining to student-athletes who inadvertently received recommended course textbooks in addition to their required books. Recommended textbooks are not permissible under NCAA legislation. […]

Starting last November, NU found that a total of 238 student-athletes over a four-year span were allowed to use scholarship money to purchase “recommended” text books when only “required” are covered. Osborne said it happened due to confusion between the athletic department and the university bookstore. […]

NU also has imposed a fine of $28,000 on its athletic department.

…little did you know the harm your syllabus could cause to your university’s college football program.

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

5 thoughts on “and here you thought you were being helpful by providing suggestions for additional reading…”

  1. That’s ironic because – although I have never done this, of course – it has occurred to me that some people might assign books as “recommended” just to get the desk copies for free.

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  2. I love that the underlying implication here is that NCAA teams can gain unfair advantage by luring student athletes with supplementary course books.

    “Come to Nebraska, kid, and you can do all the extra sociology readings you want — gratis!”

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  3. When can we end the charade that college athletes aren’t professional? Big 12 (err,…I mean Big 10) schools like Nebraska rake in millions of dollars on the backs of athletes who get paid next to nothing. Then, they get nickeled and dimed on things like this.

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  4. Note to self:

    (1) Place a copy of any recommended books on reserve in the library.
    (2) Indicate this very clearly on the course syllabus and on the Ulearn class page.

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  5. Do student-athletes get to sell back books they buy? I presume they do, or at least that it would be difficult to enforce prohibiting it, and that might provide an incentive to buy new copies of as many books as possible. Well, that and the thirst for learning.

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