Borrowed from EDSBS, a look back at the days when academic standards for athletes were, uhhm, not really that strident:
Academic standards? Grades? You remember Bolenciecwcz, the great Ohio State tackle in Thurber's My Life and Hard Times. Thurber described an economics professor struggling to get Bolenciecwcz to answer just one question so he could give him a grade and thus make Bolenciecwcz eligible to play in the Illinois game.
"Name one means of transportation," the professor begged. "You may choose among steam, horse-drawn or electrically propelled vehicles."
Bolenciecwcz said nothing. He had "the look of a man who is being led into a trap." The profound silence lasted until the professor, in Thurber's words, broke it "in an amazing manner. 'Choo-choo-choo,' he said, and turned instantly scarlet...' How did you come to college this year, Mr. Bolenciecwcz? Chuffa, chuffa, chuffa, chuffa...' "
"M' father sent me," said Bolenciecwcz virtuously. "I git a 'lowance."
From a 1967 SI article which you can read here. Great offseason stuff this.