Rose Says He Took SAT, Larger Issues of Academics and Athletics at Stake

Aaron LoweContributor ISeptember 25, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 30: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls brings the ball upcourt against the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 30, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Celtics 128-127 in triple-overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

On the day that the Chicago Bulls reported for training camp, Bulls guard Derrick Rose told reporters, "I took it, I took it," in reference to the scandal over whether or not he took his SAT or someone else took it for him.  Rose, who was NBA Rookie of the Year, played one year of college ball at Memphis before being drafted by the Bulls.  The scandal arose after the NCAA ruled that Memphis must vacate its 38 wins and national championship game appearance during the 2007-08 season for using an ineligible player. 


Although the school is appealing the ruling, The NCAA said an unknown person took the SAT for a player ,with his knowledge, and that the player used it to get admitted. The NCAA also said that the athlete played for the Memphis Tigers only during the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. Although Rose is the only person who fits that description he insists that he took the test himself.


Whether or not Rose actually took the SAT is meaningless overall in this story (although I do not condone him cheating).  What is meaningful is the fact that in this country, and particularly in Chicago receive these types of free passes.  When the scandal originally broke out earlier this year, most of the attention focused on Rose and Memphis.  During that time the Chicago Sun-Times reported that someone with access to Rose's academic records at Simeon High School changed a D to a C on his transcript. 


Changing grades is probably the biggest academic offense a teacher, coach, or administrator can commit.  So why did this happen in the case of Rose?  In Chicago however this appears to be the norm.  One in five Chicago Public Schools teachers felt pressured to change grades according to survey by the Sun-Times and Chicago Teachers Union.  What this tells me is that CPS has a major problem on its hands.


If the typical student gets their grades changed in CPS, what does this mean for the stereotypical spoon-fed athletic?  Not only are they being shortchanged like their fellow students, they are being led to believe that everything in life will be handed to them.  That is a terrible attitude to hold in life and is a prime reason many sports fans resent players today.


What is the solution to all of these problems and how does it invovle Rose?  Even if he cheated on his SAT, he should admit it.  He should not passively encourage this type of behavior.  Rose should then embark on a program of getting students to stay in school, receive their educations, and go to college.  The abysmal conditions of many CPS facilities do not even make the teachers excited to go to work, but they still have to show up and so should the students.  If a positive role model in the form of Rose was to arise, how many wonders could it do for the students of CPS?


In a selfish way for athletes, this also works out.  If they were able to learn critical analysis and quick thinking skills, they would be helped tremendously on the court or field.  If these same athletes had a good academic work ethic, then it is also safe to assume they would have a good athletic work ethic.  Then not only do they win, but we as fans or sports win with their performance.