University of South Florida Provides MacBook Pros to All Student-Athletes

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The University of South Florida announced Wednesday a program that provides all of the school's student-athletes with access to a 13" MacBook Pro. The school said in a statement that the program was intended to allow student-athletes the ability to work on course assignments and to view academic materials "at any time." The university also said it would be adding new lectures to iTunes U for all of its students.

"The goal is to create an anywhere, anytime learning environment for each of our student-athletes," USF Director of Athletics Doug Woolard said in a statement. "Apple's MacBook Pro will assist in providing comprehensive academic support services while accommodating the demanding practice and travel schedules of our student-athletes. Our traveling teams will now be connected to classes, academic advisors and tutors anywhere in America, or for that matter the entire world."

The laptops must remain property of the school -- in this case the Athletics Department of USF -- due to NCAA Bylaw 12.5.2. As such, the devices will be checked out to students every semester.

USF also said that the program was being funded by the NCAA Academic Enhancement Fund, private funds raised from the school's Bulls Club annual auction, and a grant from the Verizon Foundation.

USF Student-Athletes & Their MacBook Pros
Roughly 360 USF Student-Athletes & Their MacBook Pros
Photo Courtesy of USF



On one hand I think: Great, more Macs out in the field and more sales for Apple. smile

On the other hand I think: Great, another benefit for the jocks that the regular kid trying to work his or her way through school can’t access. :(

Very ambivalent on this.

Bryan Chaffin

You know. I understand that ambivalence. In this case, however, the Athletics department of USF secured funding for this program with a fundraiser and outside grants that they went out and secured. 

That’s a lot different than the school itself showering presents down on jocks with money from general student fees.

So I say good on ‘em! smile


I’m all for it, as long as the funding is as described…and they’re Macs!


ARRGH! I lost everything when the page refreshed. That should NOT happen.

That?s a lot different than the school itself showering presents down on jocks with money from general student fees.

Technically, yes, but it will probably be perceived as a special privilege by other students and the faculty.

I taught in an undergrad engineering program for 3 years. I ran into several cases where athletes (especially football players) got special privileges. (The school changed its calendar so that there would be no conflict between exams and early bowl games.) I was asked to overlook that an athlete had missed all but one weekly lab session. (I suggested that he attend another section and offered to let him do the labs on his own, but he didn’t bother.)

OTOH, the star of the football team was in a class I taught for non-engineering majors. He struggled, but, with extra instruction (available for all students), he brought himself up from D-level to B-level work by the end of the semester. I called the football coach & Director of Athletics to praise this young man. I only wish that more students showed his dedication & determination.

Bryan Chaffin

Our article pages shouldn’t be refreshing! I apologize, George, and we’ll get it corrected ASAP.

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