PolitiFact: Shalala Wrong About UM Student-Athletes

Former UM booster Nevin Shapiro and Kellen Winslow Jr. of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, formerly a University of Miami football player.
TAMPA (2011-9-16) -

You’ve probably heard the story about the University of Miami football players allegedly getting cash, jewelry and even prostitutes from Hurricanes booster Nevin Shapiro.

That’s according to Shapiro himself, who’s sitting in jail now for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

In a video on the school’s website, University of Miami President Donna Shalala defends the university’s football program in general – especially its academic record.

“The academic achievements of our student-athletes are mentioned in the same breath and spirit as Notre Dame and Stanford," Shalala said.

But Aaron Sharockman of PolitiFact Florida says that claim is “mostly false.”

Shalala is looking at the school’s so-called academic progress rate, or what percentage of student athletes get good enough grades to stay eligible.

Sharockman says APR isn’t a good measure of student achievement.

“So for instance a D or a C in basket weaving would look the same to the APR as getting an A in calculus or trigonometry or some other course I couldn’t pass,” he said.

He says Shalala gave no hard evidence to prove the University of Miami’s student athletes are on the same level as Stanford or Notre Dame.

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