As a student enters the gym doors of Smith-Cotton, one can see various trophies from our athletic teams, along with our JROTC National Championship banners that hang up from the walls. One can see by the quality of our gym that our sports are a main part of our school, but as one wanders on into the hallways of our school, he can see how dull they are. By the plainness of the walls, there seems to be no life; however, in the JROTC hallway you see the trophy cabinet full of multiple national trophies, and as you venture on you get to see images of what these teams do, along with the bulletin board that shows newspaper articles of the success of the program. But as you continue to walk toward the other side of the classroom, one can only see some bulletin boards that do not have many things on them except for some advertising. Just by observing this, a new student can see that our school has a great deal to do with sports, but what he cannot see is how well this school performs academically. As we walk down the halls, you rarely see a student’s work displayed. So one can assume what James Coleman thinks to be correct, that “altogether, the trophy case would suggest to the innocent visitor that he was entering an athletic club, not an educational institution." This is a dilemma among many schools that is sometime not dealt with adequately. (qtd. in Bowen)
There are some films that only display the glory of being on a team and winning championship titles; there are hardly ever any films that display the problem of placing sports over academics. A film that actually attempts to display the issue is Coach Carter, where Carter encounters a problem when he realizes the poor academic performance of his team members. Carter then makes it his mission to improve the academic performance among his players along with their skills on the basketball court, even if it cost him losing the championship. Even though the movie sends the intended message that academics are above sports, do others learn from it or will they continue to go without facing the problem? Will coaches keep on letting athletes continue to ignore their academics, allowing sports to continue being their priority when academics are what will lead these students to success? Will they place the needs of athletes come above the needs of other student’s education?
Unfortunately, there are some who will continue to ignore the academic needs of their athletes and will focus on the needs of their sport. This will have a massive effect on their athlete’s school career, since only about five percent of athletes continue on playing professionally.
There are only a few coaches who happen to share the same belief as Carter, who believe that academic success comes before athletic success. Command Sergeant Major Randall Woods is one of those coaches who share the same belief, and has demonstrated to the members of his team that he is not going to hesitate in take a cadet out of the team if they are doing...