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Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

Athletic scholarships detract from integrity of academics

When college athletics first began, they were not high profile games that we see today that bring in huge revenue and garner national attention.
They were simple gatherings of students from different schools in order to compete against each other in a friendly environment.
Since then, college athletics has developed into an entity that has given many students who normally would not be able to attend or afford college the opportunity to further their education.
While athletic recruitment was about enticing good student athletes to the schools, the main focus was that colleges were still seeking good students.
Today, the original concept of why and who we give the scholarships to has drastically changed.
As I previously stated, athletic scholarships were designed to assist college ready students in attending college.
It was not about making a profit from the top athletes; it was about school pride and beating your rival.
For that matter, the origin of collegiate sports was a gathering of students desiring to compete against each other.
The original idea of student athletes is still in the minds of the NCAA too because there is a minimum GPA requirement to be able to receive the college scholarship.
The priority is supposed to be about the academics of the student, not just their athletic ability.
The students are not professional athletes. That is why the NCAA was founded, to protect the students and ensure they remain students, and not become professional athletes by simply playing for the university.
The NCAA keeps track of the amateur status of these athletes and makes sure that they are not being paid to play.
The students’ focus is supposed to be primarily on their education.
However, there has been a shift in the university’s perspective.
Colleges have now become more likely, for the most part, to give their scholarships to the best athlete as opposed to the slightly less dominant athlete with the better GPA.
If a college is looking at a student that is a great athlete but only has a 2.5 GPA as opposed to a lesser athlete with a 3.5 GPA, they are more often than not going to chase the 2.5 athlete because they are mainly focused on winning at their sport.
One more example is how many colleges are looking outside of the United States for soccer recruits.
They are being recruited over in-state students because of their talent level.
However, there are issues with bringing in international students.
There is a language barrier, especially for many European student athletes, that make schooling difficult and their grades may suffer because of the barrier.
Colleges have completely lost the concept of why we should be offering athletic scholarships.
Yes, you want to win in your sport. Yes, you need good athletes to do so. However, you do not want to bring in students that have no place in a college classroom.
It is detrimental to the student because they will struggle in school, and it is detrimental to that student who did not receive the scholarship and maybe was not able to attend a good university.


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