While affirmative action is being attacked around the country as bestowing”special preferences” on minorities and women, many true “specialpreferences” in education and employment are being ignored. The AmericanCouncil on Education has exposed a “preference” for football players at theNaval Academy. The Academy recruits, prepares, and sometimes acceptsfootball players who do not meet the minimum academic qualifications for theAcademy. The majority of the Academy football recruits are white, and allare male.
Recruited football players (as well as other recruits) who do not meet Academystandards can be sent, attaxpayer expense, for 10 months of additional preparation to the NavalAcademy Preparatory School (NAPS). In 1995 the Academy sent 71 recruitedathletes, 87 minorities (some of whom were also recruited athletes), and 55previously enlisted servicement to NAPS.
In addition, football players who do meet academic standards receive specialAcademy admissions preference — they do not need to compete with othercivilians for admission. And sometimes, recruited football players who donot meet academic standards, and who do not wish to attend NAPS, are acceptedinto the Naval Academy anyway, where they receive special study skillsinstruction.
The Naval Academy mission statement makes no mention of the specialpreference for football players and other athletes, although it does mentionrecruitment priorities for minorities and enlisted servicemen.