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Shaquille O'Neal, Barry University Student, Is Not Actually Doing a Dissertation

Categories: Sports
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Former superstar basketball center and current TNT mumbling head Shaquille O'Neal has told Jon Stewart, the New York Times, and ESPN that he's getting his doctorate at Miami's Barry University, where he defended his dissertation this month. His purported title? "How Leaders Utilize Humor or Aggression in Leadership Styles."

Unfortunately, we've learned Shaq is not actually defending a traditional dissertation. Which is very disappointing for one reason: Dissertations are peer-reviewed and publicly available. And we already know from Shaq's Miami Beach Police application -- on which he listed "Laptop computer, binnochulars, master of surveillance" under special skills-- that his writing style is incredible. We were really looking forward to dissecting Dr. O'Neal's academic argument.

But alas, Shaq is getting not a PhD but a Ed.D., in Leadership in Education with a specialization in Human Resource Development. That department's chair, Dr. David M. Kopp, tells us that instead of a dissertation, Shaq has been working on a "Capstone Project".

"You present the project findings and any reflections that you have as a student to your committee," explains Kopp. The project is not peer-reviewed.

Kopp confirms of Shaq's Capstone Project: "He is looking at humor and seriousness in leadership styles."

News outlets have reported that Shaq-- who previously got his MBA from the University of Phoenix-- has "secretly" taken courses at Barry since his NBA days. We're not exactly sure how one of the largest and most famous men in the world can go unnoticed in a moderately-sized Catholic school. 

Kopp assured us that Shaq has not gotten special treatment in taking his classes: "He's done everything a traditional student would do. He has come to classes, but we have accomodated his NBA schedule and his work schedule."

He adds: "He's a very impressive guy, very inquisitive, and it's a pleasure to have him as a student. I think the degree will serve as an example for others, and he should be very proud of himself."

On May 5, Shaq will hold a press conference about his impending graduation, according to Kopp. That will most likely be one of those trademark wacky events Shaq likes to put on.

Shaq, we know you're reading this. Don't be The Big Ivory Tower. The world wants to know the proper ratio of humor and seriousness that should be utilized when leading things. So release your Capstone Project, and let the Internet be your peer review.

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22 comments
soemotional1
soemotional1

If anyone earns a doctorate, an accomplishment that changes the way people see you and address you, should be available for others to view. All my (doctor) professors at my university had published works in journals of which we could use and cite in OUR research. Therefore, Shaq's capstone project should have been videotaped for that purpose. There is also a writing portion to most capstone projects that should be available to read. That's just my opinion. I don't take the accomplishment of earning a doctorate lightly. If it's too easy, everyone with the money to pay the tuition will have one.

Writing an abstract
Writing an abstract

I think the ability to lead always depends on understanding what actually move people to participate and the art of leadership has the ability to understand what inspire the individuals  to take the particular action and to avail the chances to meet personal and the organization needs at the same time.

T
T

Gus, Gus, Gus, jealousy does not become you. Just because you're probably 5 foot 2 doesn't give you an excuse to bag someone trying to do better for themselves and the world at large.

Cajun13
Cajun13

Shaq's not a bad guy, just a barely literate one. He butchers the english language every night he commontates on TNT.

Linda
Linda

A poorly written article alluding to writing deficiencies. How ironic.

E_Joyce
E_Joyce

Barry University is an accredited, non-profit university.  So I'm not real clear as to why all the sour grapes here.  What, he's shattering the perceptions and paradigms of those who see Black men as big and dumb?  So sorry to disappoint. (NOT)

Steven Miller
Steven Miller

So Shaq sets an example for kids and athletes everywhere by taking real steps to further his education and New Times takes poshots? Nice work, fellas. 

Terry Piper, Barry University
Terry Piper, Barry University

 A doctoral degree in Education (EdD) often requiresa final project that is not a research dissertation. Nevertheless, it is alegitimate academic degree offered by many professional disciplines including Psychology,Social Work, Nursing and Human Resource Development. The Capstone Project is theculminating event to these degrees. The “Carnegie Project on the EducationDoctorate” has described the Capstone Project as an opportunity for candidatesto demonstrate the analytic abilities, professional understanding, contextualknowledge and self-directed learning skills they have acquired throughout theprogram. Many institutions, including Ivy League universities, offer the EdDwith a Capstone Project.  

Dhdjdh
Dhdjdh

The program barley has any students and shaq was never on campus. May 5th is graduation and im hoping he doesn't make this a publicity stunt and allow real students to enjoy their day. I can just imagaine everyone going crazy cause shaq is graduating with us. He got private instruction from Kopp in Orlando. Let him graduate in Orlando. I'm tired of hearing how this campus ghost is tied to Barry (barley) university.

Jacarlius
Jacarlius

Shame on you New Times, Shaq NOT receiving preferential treatment? I think you should interview the actual students and see if this is true. How can one "adjust" to one's NBA schedule and not others? How much is Shaq donating to Barely, I mean Barry University?

Bart
Bart

SHAQ DON'T DO IT. DO THE MATHBack man with a degree + Miami = Unemployed now divide that by you not being able to speak spanish Unemployed / spanish = unemployed (homeless). 

Tatp
Tatp

It is commentates not commontates check yourself before criticizing others. I agree that he didn't do as much work as I did to earn my Doctorate degree. That is why there are different doctoral designations PhD and EdD.

Genuine30096
Genuine30096

@ Cajun ... So, you noticed that too?  I'm shivering just thinking about it.

Reality
Reality

They are just speaking the truth

Clahey
Clahey

I understand that, Ms Piper, .... but then why not let everyone see it, do you think?  I just don't understand if the university allowed special scheduling around his NBA schedule, how that isn't "preferential" treatment?  Would any other non celebrity get such treatment to work around their work schedule?  I certainly am not at my university, where I am getting my Master's Degree in Education.....

Shaq Supporter
Shaq Supporter

 I am a student at Barry University & we are an accredited school. To take shots at us & call us "barely university" is WRONG! Barry is a GREAT private school & I am glad I chose to attend graduate school there. I will also be graduating this Saturday May 5th, and I look forward to seeing him there. If he does not come it will not be a surprise, BUT CONGRATS  SHAQ FROM A FELLOW BUCCANEER & BARRY C/O 2012! Keep up the GREAT WORK & keep encouraging black men to seek a higher education! =]

Letzcamp
Letzcamp

Do u know anything anything about Barry University yourself? They happen to beat HARVARD LAW in this years mock trials. It's private and very difficult but well worth it.

GusGarciaRoberts
GusGarciaRoberts

Whoa whoa, you do understand the meaning of quotes, right? It was Prof. Kopp who insisted to us that he wasn't getting preferential treatment. If you have information to the contrary, we'd love to hear it. gus.garcia-roberts@miaminewtimes.com

Clahey
Clahey

I think that was an ironic joke at how he commentates.......

Wherethetruthlies
Wherethetruthlies

She helped him Clahey. Heard that she's not too friendly towards the poor students at Barry racking up the loans.

Jacarlius
Jacarlius

i'm sure you got special treatment too ... there is clear bias at barry university. it is considered barely university in many aspects, deal with it

Weretheone
Weretheone

will be emailing you soon about the realities of that program

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