Personal Foul! Low Test Scores

Mitch Cooper

Low test scores for Kent State football’s incoming recruiting class

With the economy at one of its lowest points in decades, paying for college is

becoming more and more difficult. To get a scholarship you have to get good grades. Well maybe not.

Last month the Kent State Golden Flashes football team signed 23 players to its 2009 recruiting class. All 23 were given full-ride scholarships. That pays for their tuition, housing, food and even their books.

Kent State Athletic Director Laing Kennedy said those scholarships are well deserved.

“I would hold the standard of this department against any department on this campus, we’re higher,” Kennedy said. “We are one of the jewels of this university academically.”

But just how bright does that jewel really shine?

We filed a public records request to the athletic department getting the forms of every football player who visited Kent State. Those forms include players’ ACT and SAT test scores. We then matched the players to their scores.

Finally, we talked to the Director of Admissions, Nancy Dellavecchia, asking her what it takes to get a scholarship.

“We recommend that students have a 21 on the ACT or a 980 on the SAT,” Dellavecchia said. “Now for scholarship purposes, students need to have a minimum of a 21 on the ACT.”

Some players’ recorded ACT scores in the 16s, 15s and even a 14.

Dellavecchia said incoming students with these scores most likely wouldn’t receive scholarships.

“No. You wouldn’t be eligible for scholarships at that range.”

We asked Kennedy for his thoughts on these low scores.

“Now keep in mind too, alright, many, many students who are admitted to Kent State University with an ACT score, maybe there is a learning deficiency,” Kennedy said.” Maybe there are other factors that went into the admitting standard. See we do not set the admitting standard.”

We didn’t ask the director of admissions how many students with learning disabilities get full-ride scholarships. But we did discover the athletic director doesn’t like being asked about athletes on full scholarships with low-test scores.

“These are tough questions gentlemen. I wish I’d had time to prepare for this kind of an interview,” Kennedy said.” I feel somewhat attacked here.”

Low Test Scores for Recruiting Class/Mitch Cooper/

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