There is a "Stanford Confessions" group on Facebook that allows people to anonymously post their opinions about various Stanford-related issues, and one post in particular caught the attention of Cardinal linebacker Shayne Skov (via Reddit CFB). The confession questioned the academic standards for the school's athletes and wondered if the Stanford athletic department cares at all about standards for athletes playing in revenue sports.
Skov first responded sarcastically:
Me so stupid. I playz football?
After a commenter suggested a walk down the hall of a dorm in which football players live would illustrate that athletes aren't as intelligent as the general student population:
Yes let's make judge the academic capacity of a large segment of people by taking a small sample size and analyzing their behavior at home...
Skov later added some numbers to the discussion:
couldnt pull the numbers for the entire athletic department but in case you were worried we weren't competent enough to survive the rigors of Stanford, the general graduation rate? 79% Football? 90%
Stanford does indeed graduate 90 percent of its football players.
To the larger point, head coach David Shaw has said that the school isn't loosening its admittance standards now that the program is more prominent nationally. Those standards are higher than the vast majority of major-conference college football programs, which does create some challenges on the recruiting trail. Shaw's approach to recruiting is different from a lot of other coaches as a result, because he has a smaller pool of players from which to choose.
But this is also a bonus for Stanford on the recruiting trail, to some extent. Because the Cardinal offer fewer players scholarships, there's an exclusivity factor that may make its offers more meaningful to recruits. And Shaw of course has the school's stellar academic reputation to sell.