To: Florida State Alumni, Friends and Supporters
From: Athletics Director Randy Spetman
Re: Dec. 13 ESPN "Outside the Lines" program
Date: Dec. 11, 2009
Dear Florida State Supporter:
I want to let you know about an upcoming ESPN "Outside the Lines" television program that we know will portray the academic profile of student-athletes and the admissions and retention process at The Florida State University in a negative way. The promotions for this program already have shown that it contains false information.
Therefore, I and other top administrators have called and e-mailed Vince Doria, vice president of News at ESPN who has oversight of "Outside the Lines," to report our concerns and urge the network not to air this program. That e-mail follows, and we encourage you to read it.
We also have chosen not to grant the producer of this program interviews that were requested of Florida State University President T.K. Wetherell and football Head Coach Bobby Bowden, and we wanted you to know why.
We want you to understand we are very limited in how we can respond to this type of editorial reporting. Federal law prohibits the university from divulging academic information about individual students, even if it would be positive to us. The university also is being sued by one of the sources for this "Outside the Lines" story.
An accurate view of student-athletes' admission and retention at Florida State would reflect that the university admits hundreds of student-athletes who are talented in the classroom as well as in their sport. For example, student-athletes have been three of the last four Rhodes Scholars finalists, and two of them were recipients. Along with other public universities in the state, Florida State does admit some student-athletes with documented learning disabilities. Under federal and state law, and Florida Board of Governors policy, all students with learning disabilities as documented by licensed professionals are provided with appropriate academic accommodations.
According to our Admissions Office, Florida State ordinarily enrolls more than 6,000 "first time in college" students each year, including about 125 who will compete in sports. Typically, such as in 2009, just over 93% of incoming students are admitted through our standard processes. Another 5.9% are admitted because they are just below our cutoff scores for standard admission and have special talents or an academic record indicating a high probability of success. The categories for such students admitted in 2009 were: 234 strong academic record, 62 special talent in the arts, 43 in athletics and 14 on appeal.
There is another admission option that requires the support of the university admission committee (consisting of a faculty majority) and involves an appeal to the committee and, if the committee admits the student, an academic plan must be approved by both the student and the admissions committee.
We think it is important to note that of the 41 students admitted through the committee admissions process in 2009, only 17 were student-athletes, who competed in various sports.
We take great pride in the academic performance of our student-athletes, as evidenced by these achievements in 2008-09:
3 ACC SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARDS
5 ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
1 NCAA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP AWARD
3 ACC POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS
6 ARTHUR ASHE, JR. SCHOLAR AWARDS
15 COSIDA/ESPN ACADEMIC ALL DISTRICT
61 STUDENT-ATHLETES ON ALL ACC ACADEMIC TEAMS
175 STUDENT-ATHLETES ON ACC ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL
17 STUDENT-ATHLETES MADE THE PRESIDENT'S LIST
139 STUDENT-ATHLETES MADE THE DEAN'S LIST
41% OF ALL STUDENT-ATHLETES EARNED A 3.0 GPA OR HIGHER
10 TEAMS EARNED A 3.0 GPA OR HIGHER
For more information about student-athletes at Florida State, email: everythingFSU@fsu.com.
Athletic Director Randy Spetman