Academia Vs. Athleticism Essay

1428 words - 6 pages

Children’s hopes and dreams are embedded in their hearts and minds from when they are in elementary school. Some may mention they want to be doctors, nurses, and artists while others answer “I want to be famous.” There is no bigger dream among childhood sports than making it into a professional league. Those children feel a little bit of exposure will be enough to open the door and answer their prayers of stardom. The instructions are well known even among some of the youngest of players. They just need to play well in high school, then accept an athletic scholarship to a university, and excel in that sport while getting airtime on television. More often than not, the kids do not value their education, and they do just enough in order to qualify to play on their team. The NCAA is failing student athletes because it prioritizes athleticism over academics by changing the rules, which now allow subpar academic students onto college teams. All too often, the students see the dream of stardom more so than the reality of needed education.
The love of the game usually resonates in student athletes from an early age. If in the right settings, the students will be taught that excelling in academics is far better than athletics because of the benefits over time. The goal of student athletes should be to nurture academics first, then nurture their athletic gifts. The NCAA website states, “We support learning through sports by integrating athletics and higher education to enrich the college experience of student-athletes. NCAA members – mostly colleges and universities, but also conferences and affiliated groups – work together to create the framework of rules for fair and safe competition.” (“Who We Are”) This shows that the intention of the NCAA is to blend the athleticism with post-secondary education for the students equally. This also shows their members, the college and universities are generating the rules, ergo, determining what is fair in the college sports world.
While trying to repair the NCAA reputation for dismal graduation rates, in 2003 they eliminated the standardized test scores requirement for student athletes. In order to compete, the colleges were obligated to graduate at least half of their athletes (Real Sports). This change in the requirements resulted in students going to the top athletic schools with elementary scholastic abilities. While the colleges are allowing this disservice to their athletes, it is the NCAA that regulates and penalizes these institutions. In order justify students’ academic abilities, some schools have labeled these athletes as having learning disabilities; whereas, other schools have found their loophole by creating classes that did not require students to attend a class, and resulted in graduates with degrees that amount to nothing (Real Sports). Since the schools are behind the rules, the oversight would be weak making it difficult to reprimand. From time to time, they...

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