When a person forms an opinion on something, he’ll have a tendency to find information that confirms the belief and completely ignore any information that disproves the belief.
College football fans are very aware of confirmation bias. It’s evident every time a team loses. “We only lost because of [insert some random variable].” as if identifying a specific reason for the loss makes the loss not as bad.
Due to my personal confirmation bias, it’s my opinion that Auburn University is awesome and Not-Auburn University sucks. A few weeks ago, it was revealed that Florida quarterback Chris Leak scored an 8/50 on the Wonderlic test (the standardized test given to all NFL recruits).
Naturally, I thought “Ha ha, Chris Leak is dumb. Florida is lame. Auburn is awesome.”
A few days ago, it was revealed that David Irons, a recipient of much adoration from this website, scored a 4/50. It was the lowest score of any other football player tested this year.
Apparently, I need to reevaluate my thoughts to uphold my high opinion of Auburn. Luckily, I think I’ve found a pretty reasonable solution.
According to sample Wonderlic tests online, the test shows ability to pick out patterns and how fast you can process information. It’s the kind of test that studying won’t help and college can’t improve – it’s natural ability stuff. I’m pretty sure the score I’d make on it now is the same score I would have made when I was 16.
Do you think Auburn officials should have denied him from attending Auburn? Do you think that while cruel, an institute of higher learning shouldn’t allow people with severe learning disabilities to attend? That’s not an outrageous thought to have. But David Irons is not talentless. I’m not saying that in a feel-good ‘everybody is special’ type way. I’m saying that in a ‘he is one of the best college cornerbacks in the world’ kind of way.
It's not just his jersey number.
As an Auburn student, he has a skill which can be utilized to benefit all of Auburn.
Should Julliard turn away a gifted musician who performs poorly on tests due to dyslexia? Not if the person’s a gifted musician. Julliard would be acting in the best interest of the musician and the school.
By having David Irons as a student, Auburn acted in their
best interest and in the best interest of David Irons. You can’t fault
Auburn for that.
While standardized test scores have a purpose, if you think a person's status in life should be determined by a score on a test and not personal merit and works - you're probably a socialist.
There is the issue of “But, Auburn gave David Irons a degree!”. That’s true, but remember he was in college for 6 years, we’ve heard countless accounts of his hard work despite a learning disability obtained from being ill as a child. Hard work has a tendency of overcoming natural ability. Also, his degree was in Sociology. It’s not that I believe that Auburn’s sociology program is a joke – I just think all liberal arts programs at every university are jokes (I’m kidding… or I should be).
I think Auburn’s Sociology department should release the average starting salary for their recent graduates, with Ronnie Brown’s salary along with a few other NFL players I wouldn’t be surprised if the average was over $100,000 a year.
Students come to Auburn wanting to learn how to do a job they’ll enjoy and hopefully make some money along the way. That’s not a very glamorous mission statement but I think we can all agree that it’s why people go to college. It’s why David Irons wanted to go to college.
One month from now, David Irons will be 24 years old and he’ll
have his dream job. At his dream job, he’ll be making at LEAST six figures
– he may even be a millionaire – all while doing something he
loves. Hey, maybe the critics are right - maybe he really is borderline retarded,
but his hard work has made him happy and successful. Can
you say the same for yourself?
E-mail Mark at email@example.com
*I don't think he is.