Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What are the majors of Michigan football players?

Oiho State fail
(image via MGoBlog)
In reponse to this article from Graham Watson at Yahoo! Sports about the majors of Michigan and Ohio State football players, I give you the following data concerning the majors of scholarship Wolverines.  Walk-ons were left out of the study because, well, programs generally aren't trying to woo walk-ons to their school by saying they can major in fancy things.

Afro-American and African Studies (4)
- Ricky Barnum, Brandin Hawthorne, Vincent Smith, Fitzgerald Toussaint

Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science (1)
- Brandon Moore

Communication (1)
- Patrick Omameh (dual)

General Studies (20)
- Isaiah Bell, William Campbell, Michael Cox, Kenny Demens, J.T. Floyd, Brendan Gibbons, Cam Gordon, Junior Hemingway, Brandon Herron, Mike Jones, Taylor Lewan, Mike Martin, Elliott Mealer, Martavious Odoms, Denard Robinson, Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw, Quinton Washington, Steve Watson, Troy Woolfolk

Movement Science (3)
- Drew Dileo, Thomas Gordon, Jordan Kovacs

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (1)
- Mark Huyge

Physical Education (1)
- Michael Schofield

Political Science (1)
-  Rocko Khoury

Sociology (4)
- Jeremy Gallon, Patrick Omameh (dual), Terrence Robinson, Ryan Van Bergen

Sport Management (9)
- J.B. Fitzgerald, Will Heininger, Stephen Hopkins, Jeremy Jackson, Kevin Koger, David Molk, Jerald Robinson, Marvin Robinson, Craig Roh

Undeclared (27)
* - Richard Ash, Courtney Avery, Russell Bellomy, Brennen Beyer, Jibreel Black, Chris Bryant, Tamani Carter, Frank Clark, Blake Countess, Joshua Furman, Devin Gardner, Will Hagerup, Justice Hayes, Keith Heitzman, Delonte Hollowell, Jack Miller, Ricardo Miller, Desmond Morgan, Jordan Paskorz, Antonio Poole, Thomas Rawls, Chris Rock, Jake Ryan, Terrence Talbott, Raymon Taylor, Matt Wile, Ken Wilkins

*Students don't generally choose a major until their junior year of college, so all of the undeclared players are either freshmen or sophomores


  1. My degree is General Studies. One day I was setting up for my junior year and the school counselor told me it happens to all of the GS majors at this time. All of your classess will have to be Junior and senior classes, you cannot take a music listening or other easy lower level class to complete your degree. The other problem is inorder to take some of the Jr and Sr classes you will need to have had the prerequisite class. so I did took prerequistie classes all total what is normally a 120 Semester hours for any other degree I ended up with 135 Semester hours for my Bachelors. GS is harder and longer

    But really
    In the real work world College Majors are margianlly significant and only if the person is working in that field. What most employers really want to see is that you actually have a degree and what was your GPA in some cases.

    I sat on a selection board with a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and a Social Worker, myself a substance abuse counselor. We were interviewing Social Work and Counselor posistions nobody cared what college the applicants attended, nobody cared about GPAs the only consideration was that they completed their degree and they had actually done something worthwhile in the profession they were applying to. In the real world where nobody is really impressed by a Michigan vs Ohio State degree it's what have you done in the field and what do you bring to the table to help our organization and what can you bring to help our patients.

    1. I agree with this wholeheartedly. I think the "General Studies" degree gets a bad rap because of its name and lack of specificity. I had General Studies friends at U of M who did not have an easy schedule. In my professional career, the subject of my major has rarely been broached. It seems the "University of Michigan" on my degree is much more important than anything else.

  2. Remember Danny Hope's potshot last summer concerning the studies of other football programs? This reminds me a bit of that.

    However, my girlfriend went to Purdue and they basically fancy up the names of the majors so they don't sound vanilla like "General Studies." It's the same program.

  3. Elliot Mealer is breaking the color barrier!

    1. Haha. I put him in the wrong category. Thanks for pointing it out.

  4. Looking at the numbers, it seems absolutely true that the student-athletes aren't taking advantage of some of the more in-demand majors at Michigan. Engineering, finance(accounting), business, etc. Unless these athletes are pre-dental, pre-med or pre-law students, this isn't something to brag about.

    When other schools or former players turned coaches accuse us of advocating 'easy' majors, rather than blasting them as haters and traitors, why don't we do something about this? Strongly recommend freshman to start classes in the summer to get a head start. Provide a detailed 4/5 year schedule of classes of all majors at Michigan. Since graduating in 4 years with a tougher degree while playing football is tough(virtually impossible), guarantee a 5th year academic scholarship to finish any major. Have small groups of players major in the same thing so they can assist each other.

    Sure we're probably no different from other schools, but we're Michigan. Shouldn't we be doing what is best on and off the field?

    1. I think I understand what you are getting at here, and achieving more is certainly admirable. However, I think you need to be cautious to not suggest that there is no value in achieving a General Studies degree only.

      Sure, it works for the pre-degrees you have listed; but it also in and of itself can offer many options after college. You don't have to be a dentist, lawyer, engineer, accountant, etc... to be successful for yourself or family. These athletes aren't failing themselves by going to college and not achieving the perceived "top" degrees by others, because they "only" got a General Studies degree.

      Just my "opinion" like many other I have read the last couple of days, are all a matter of personal perspective.

    2. Sorry for sounding like a General Studies degree is not worth it. However, when I graduated in '06, the difference in job opportunities between certain majors was stunning. Even 6 years later now, a lot of my friends are who majored in Econ, history, English, etc are studying something else or thinking about a different career path.

      I agree that you're major is not important compared to what you do with it.

  5. @Anonymous 5:16

    Do you or did you go to Michigan? I'm a current student and we do almost all of what you suggest.

    The accusers you mention are blasted as haters because their potshots are dishonest and unwarranted, not because there's any truth behind it.

    1. Yep, graduated in '06. Looking at the list of majors, I don't think anyone can disagree with Harbaugh saying players are taking 'easy' majors. The reality is, it's easier to start a career in certain majors than others, especially in this economy we have today. If my own son was not sure what to study, I'd tell him to choose one that has a better chance to a promising career. Just wish these student athletes, who are doing so much for the University and has made my degree that much more valuable, would get the most out of their education since most of them will become professionals in something other than sports.

    2. So you're certain that these players aren't getting the most out of their education? That's rather judgmental. Have you met ANY of them? I have. They definitely know that most of them won't go to the NFL.

      Most people don't use 90% of what they learn in college. 40% of college grads will end up in a career that doesn't require a degree and most of the rest will end up outside their field of study. I'm a graduate engineering major with an A- GPA and I've never been called for an interview despite countless applications. You're forgetting that the "problems" you're assigning to the football team plague all college students.

    3. Most professional friends I have use alot of what they learned in college. You'll be surprised at how much those seemingly useless 200 level engineering classes come in handy, how those papers help prepare reports and long emails. Sure people might work in something completely different, but I'd rather use what I learned in college that I payed an insane amount of money to study.

      If saying certain majors are at an relative advantage when it comes to starting careers ruffles your feathers, so be it. By no means am I saying one major is worth more than the other.

  6. I am a high school math teacher in Michigan. This is why I no longer watch college football.
    I teach a regular Algebra 2 course and an honors one. In my career I have had two students recruited by U of M. The first was in my regular class and was a subpar student. He was a fantastic young man and very respectful, but a terrible student. He received a full scholarship and played there one year before transferring to another school. That same year one of my honors students was put on the waiting list for acceptance. She was an amazing student and had really high grades, but her ACT score wasn't exactly what they were looking for. His classes were football player only classes and were very easy. He learned nothing, and I believe the scholarship was wasted. It wasn't his fault, but the university was just using him to stay eligible and not have to worry about actually learning anything.
    A few years later I had another student recruited by U of M. He was in my honors class and wanted to major in mechanical engineering. He was told that if he played football he would not be able to pursue that major because it was too intense and he wouldn't have time to devote to football fully. He attended Northwestern instead, played football, and got a degree in mechanical engineering.
    If this happens at U of M, I can only imagine what it is like at other schools. I have lost all faith and realize the entire system is money based and has nothing to do with the best interests of the students or athletes.