So much for the high academic load Stanfurd athletes supposedly carry.
A drama class in "Beginning Improvising" and another in "Social Dances of North America III" were among dozens of classes on a closely guarded quarterly list distributed only to Stanford athletes to help them choose courses.
Stanford officials said the list was designed to accommodate athletes' demanding schedules and disputed that the list was made up of easy classes. Officials discontinued the list last week after student reporters working for California Watch began asking about it.
The list, which has existed at least since 2001, was widely regarded by athletes as an easy class list. More than a quarter of the courses on the list did not fulfill university general education requirements.
"It’s definitely not going to be a hard class if it’s coming off that list," said Karissa Cook, a sophomore women’s volleyball player who consulted the list to pick classes in her first quarter at Stanford.
The classes on the list were "always chock-full of athletes and very easy A's," added Kira Maker, a women’s soccer player who used the list her freshman year.
Other professors were unconcerned that a class they taught made it onto the list. Some, in fact, said they believed student athletes should be treated differently than the typical student.
Stanford "accommodates athletes in the manner that they accommodate students with disabilities," said Donald Barr, who teaches a course titled "Social Class, Race, Ethnicity, Health," which was highlighted by resource center advisers.
Austin Lee, director of academic services at the Athletic Academic Resource Center, disagreed.
"An objective evaluation of the courses included on the list reveals several courses that most students would consider to be academically rigorous," Lee said. He did not identify specific classes.
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