See if you can follow this: Orwell and March Madness
If you’ve been watching the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball championship — a k a March Madness — you’ve undoubtedly seen the commercial. It’s an N.C.A.A. ad that shows college athletes pumping iron, running sprints and playing games. The voice-over, though, talks not about athletic achievement but academic accomplishment. “African-American males who are student-athletes are 10 percent more likely to graduate,” says the narrator. As the ad concludes, a female athlete looks into the camera and says, “Still think we’re just a bunch of dumb jocks?”...
Is it true that black male athletes have a higher graduation rate than other students? It is not.
Notice the pea getting moved? Nocera say the ad is making a claim the ad certainly does not make. The ad only claims that black male student athletes graduate more often than black make non-athletes, which is interesting to know. Nocera misrepresents the ad in order to say it is lying, but the only person lying here is Nocera.
In fact, Nocera goes off the deep end and claims:
The N.C.A.A. has created several other Orwellian concepts, such as an Academic Progress Rate, which allows it to use data to create the illusion that athletes are doing better academically than their peers.... ...In comparing college basketball players with their true peer group — full-time college students...
What? So comparing black males athlete with black male non-athletes is not a "true peer" group comparison? On what planet? Really, Joe says comparing black athletes with, for example, white suburban kids who graduated in the Top 15% of their high school class would be a "true peer" comparison, while comparing a black football player from Detroit with other non-athletes blacks would be "Orwellian." Uh, OK.... good luck with that. Look there is plenty to criticize the NCAA for, but you don't have to do it so ineptly, or so dishonestly.