Academic performance of college athletes is dropping at an alarming rate. In fact, surveys from most universities that offer athletics scholarship have found that both female and male counterparts are guilty of either intentionally underperforming or ignoring basic concepts that would improve their grades.
This has raised debate among theorists as well as teachers. It is quite disappointing that students secure admissions in top colleges like Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina, among others, yet they put little effort to reflect their admission into these institutions. Some of the questions that have risen due to these happenings include considerations on whether students should be paid for their services as athletes or be given ultimatums on goals to be reached academically in order to continue with scholarship.
Moreover, questions have been raised on whether the program has been successful in achieving objectives of college or university education. Several theorists have come up with ideas of the best course to be taken with some suggesting elimination of the program in favor of intellectual and service (altruistic) education.
In essence, college athletics has failed to achieve some of its major goals, in the process, prompting a review on its course. Consequently, college athletics should be eliminated in favor of intellectual and service education. This paper will explore college athletics, its achievements and reasons why it has failed to achieve its full potentials (Glenn 656-677).
Sport is an integral part of college education. This is mainly because it produces some of the best athletes in the world. This starts at the lower levels of education like high schools and junior schools. These talents need nurturing in every step of the child. It is in this sense that college and universities offer scholarships to talented athletes in order to continue with development of their talents.
Colleges and universities undergo extensive selection processes to determine possible candidates for scholarship. In fact, they end up giving scholarships to best of the best. In their consideration, education and academic achievements in high schools becomes paramount. However, after admission, it is quite disappointing that a good number of students underachieve, when it comes to academics.
In fact, even students known to perform well in exams are seen to flop with time. To make matters worse, they are also more likely to cause disturbances in universities/colleges than the rest of students. This is quite astonishing given the fact that these scholarships can be revoked, yet for some reasons they are rarely threatened (Glenn 656-677).
On the other hand, lobbyists are working on plans to integrate pay for these athletes. This has also raised concerns and is believed to cause jitters in academic forums as universities stand less chance of affording these lump sum pays. In essence, the process is losing its initial taste and meaning.
Cartoons that have been designed are mainly aimed at stressing these facts. For instance, cartoon below stresses the fact that athletes are overworked without pay. This is highly hysterical given that colleges and universities are centers for development and not career centers for athletes. College athletics is therefore full of debates that will take decades, if not centuries to resolve (Branch 1).
The following cartoon emphasizes the need for reforms at NCAA (National Collegiate Athletes Association). It claims that rewards given to athletes through scholarships and allowances, among others, do not constitute a good fraction of what they bring to the institutions annually.
In essence, they believe that NCAA infringe on athletes’ right to payment of their performances. This has raised issues with lobbyists trying to cut out a deal for players. On the other hand, universities are finding it difficult to explain their roles in development of athletes with respect to education.
It has been found that most universities rely too much on athleticism of prospective students than their academic ability. This raises concerns on the rational of such universities. The cartoons cries foul on NCAA and universities, which receive lump sum of money in deals and endorsement from companies while they get nothing (Ruby 1).
Fig. 1. Cartoon.
Considering students for pay due to their deals and endorsements is a very sensitive matter. This is because there are other students in those colleges who strive to excel in academics. Rewarding students for sporting activities would discourage other students from taking the right initiatives.
Moreover, it would lead to inequality, which already exists due to preference of athletes to others. It is important to note that other disciplines have increasingly been neglected for sports. This is mainly because of the revenue sports generate in schools. To this point, another question arises on whether focus should be place on revenue generated by sports or on developing talents and academic qualifications.
Generally, universities are found to be inclined on one side. This makes it difficult to predict the future of such Universities and colleges in terms of academic viability. This is mainly attributed to their emphasis on athletics, which compromises on the universities’ mission and objectives of achieving excellence in academics for betterment of society (Glenn 656-677).
Is college athletics a rational focus for college or university?
From the discussion above, it is necessary to establish the rational focus of colleges or universities. For instance, there is reason beyond doubt that universities and colleges receive huge lump sums from sports. This can be attested to in the case study by Penn State University, which is said to have earned over 96.1 million dollars in revenue from sports. It has also been established that universities tend to favor athletes when it comes to national selection.
Another point of concern is the fact that some colleges have been found guilty of giving students illegal payments, which makes them better than the rest. Other evidences that have been raised include the fact that athletes tend to flop in academic results as they progress. This may be attributed to amount of time they actually put into books, although it is increasingly agreeable that they neglect studies. Another issue of great concern is the discipline associated with athletes.
Surveys in universities and colleges have shown that higher levels of indiscipline in athletes as compared to other students. Moreover, they gain opportunities in their choice of courses more easily than the rest of students. Going by the evidence shown, Colleges and universities are paying more attention to sports than other academic programs, which are more central to its achievement of objectives than athletics.
This is affecting progress of such universities with issues of corruption taking center stage. Clearly, a step towards this direction is misleading and irrational. In essence, athletics is not a rational focus for universities or colleges (Adler 401-417).
Why should not higher education eliminate athletic programs in favor of intellectual and service (altruistic) education?
As has been shown above, athletics generates revenues to universities or colleges. This has influenced their inclination towards sports. University selections are marred by scrambles for athletes rather than academic prospects. In fact, even though NCAA has introduced tough measures on academic achievements of such students, it remains to be seen what actions universities take to follow them.
Several pointers to negligence by athletes have been cited as the reason for underperforming, although some theorists argue that this is due to limited time they have with books. Several suggestions have been brought forward to help improve this situation.
They include possibility of extending athletes’ course by two years, introducing degree courses in various categories of sports and rewarding them for their contribution in revenues, among others. Clearly, the world sees fault in the current system. Consequently, it would be wise if education systems eliminate athletics programs in favor of intellectual and altruistic education (Infante 1).
College athletics has brought about a series of debates on its viability concerning college or university objectives. However, both parties concur that steps should be made to improve impact of college athletics. For instance, it has been noted that athletes perform poorly as compared to other students. Moreover, their focus is usually not in education, instead it is in their professional progress in athletics.
This has raised concern as to the future of academics in these institutions. Moreover, renewed debate on rewarding athletes is highly likely to demise importance of academics among students. Clearly, education systems should eliminate athletics programs in favor of intellectual and altruistic education. In essence, reforms are required in this sector in order to redefine its objectives (Bragley 1).
Adler, Patricia. “Intense Loyalty in Organizations: A Case Study of College Athletics.” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 401-417.
Bragley, Pat. “College Athletics Cartoon / September 7, 2011”. doninmass.com. DIM, 7 Sept. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.
Branch, Taylor. “The Shame of College Sports”. theatlantic.com. The Atlantic, 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.
Glenn, Cheryl. Making Sense: A Real-World Rhetorical Reader. New York, NY: Bedford Books, 2010. Print.
Infante, John. “DIII SAAC supports Management Council text messaging proposal”. ncaa.org. NCAA, 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.
Ruby, Patrick. “Should College Athletes Get Paid? Ending the Debate, Once and for All”. theatlantic.com. The Atlantic, 6 April. 2011. Web. 30 Nov. 2011.