Each year, graduation rate numbers and academic progress figures are paraded out relative to college athletics.
Rarely are the convoluted formulas and parameters used in those studies paraded out simultaneously, but that's a subject for another time.
The fact is that, normally, the statistics are used to portray college athletics in a negative light.
MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough dismissed a recent graduation rate number as not high enough, ignoring the fact that it probably ran almost parallel to that of non-athletes.
Negativity, to some anyway, sells.
Last Thursday, the ESPN All-District VI Academic team was announced. The 24-man squad included three members of Oklahoma's football team. Of the state's two largest newspapers, one devoted 51 words to the story, the other didn't print it at all.
That's not to pick on the state's newspapers. They figured out a while back that the reports on academics rarely tell the whole story. Their recognition of things like early departures for professional careers and how those departures tip the numbers is uncommon.
But the fact remains that most, media and otherwise, pay lip service to the importance of academic success in the athletics realm, yet when it occurs, react with a yawn.
Brian Lepak, Jamarkus McFarland and Demontre Hurst, and the others who made the team, deserve better.
Either this subject is important or it's not, but it can't only be important at times when it's convenient for criticism.