My understanding is that colleges with sports programs will admit students with "low end" but not "off the charts low" grades if the respective sports teams want them. By this, I mean grades just above the "cut-off" for admissions, without having to make a special case or allowance for the athlete.
Suppose a certified athlete tried to get into a graduate program with similarly minimum grades. To take an example, suppose the Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter retired, went to college, and got something like a 3.3 GPA which is the cut-off for certain graduate school programs.
What constituencies (if any) might such a graduate applicant have (e.g. celebrity value)? Or are "athlete" slots open only to undergraduates?