5 Things to Know (Week 8)

Don’t have time to watch or read the news? No problem! The Butler Collegian’s editor-in-chief has compiled a list of the top five things he thinks readers should know this week.

Let’s keep this relatively short, sweet and to the point. Yabba dabba do!

President Obama

Fact 1: President Obama’s approval ratings shift: Obama’s approval rating jumped 7 percentage points among Democrats and independents as well as 8 points among minorities since October, according to the Allstate National Journal Heartland Poll. Obama’s gains with Caucasians were much more muted: He stood at 37 percent with them in the new survey, up only 3 percentage points since last fall. His approval rating among Caucasians has exceeded 41 percent in the Heartland poll only twice since 2009. He drew positive approval ratings from just 26 percent of non-college-educated white men, 33 percent of college-educated white men, and 34 percent of white women without a college degree. In addition, Congress’s approval rating is still below 20 percent.

Kentucky is going for an undefeated season.

Fact 2: Extremely thin odds of a perfect bracket: If anyone says his or her NCAA tournament bracket is still perfect, there is a great chance that the person is a liar. The odds of picking a completely perfect bracket is 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. Just to be clear, that is 1 in 9.2 quintillion, according to Forbes. There is a higher chance that someone will die by a falling coconut or a vending machine than make a perfect bracket. But if an individual has some knowledge of basketball and the teams and match-ups, the odds should increase to 1 in 128 billion, according to Jeff Bergen, a DePaul University math professor.

Coach K is one of the highest paid coaches in college basketball.

Fact 3: Income gap between men’s and women’s sports: Men’s college sports are far more profitable than women’s sports. In 2010, only 14 athletic departments in Division I turned a profit, according to Business Insider. The rest of the money is made up by student fees and university general funds. As part of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, salaries of men and women must be equally tied to the profit their respective sports make, making it legal to pay certain coaches more than others. For example, Bonnie Henrickson, who coached the University of Kansas’ women’s basketball team until last season, earned $505,000. Her counterpart for the men’s team, Bill Self, will make close to $5 million this season, pre-bonuses, according to The Atlantic. Coaching salaries do not appear to be tied to the success of a program. Geno Auriema, the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team, will make over $2 million this season. He has won nine national titles in his career. But Duke men’s coach Mike Krzyzewski, who makes makes almost $10 million a year, has won only four national championships.

Fact 4: Changing students’ study habits: The average student spends approximately 17 hours each week preparing for classes, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement. Preparation for classes includes homework, reading and any other assignments. Roger Mancastroppa, associate director at the Academic Skills Center at the University Richmond, said students have been taught that memorization is the best way to achieve success. In his opinion, students should study using a critical-thinking model instead of memorizing facts and figures, even if it takes more time to understand the concepts.

Fact 5: Switching majors could be costly: Nearly 80 percent of college students change majors at least once, according to a 2013 report from the National Center for Education Statistics. When a student changes majors, it may take extra semesters to graduate. Forty-three percent of Butler students in the class of 2009 who were on a four-year track did not graduate in that time frame. Just under half of the nation’s students at private universities who plan to graduate in four years actually finish in four years.

There you have it. Check the news section next week for another set of facts you can use to impress (and annoy) your friends with. Who doesn’t love a smart aleck, right?

P.S. It pains me to see Xavier University still in the tournament. Let’s hope they lose the next one.

Written and compiled by Julian Wyllie