College Sports

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College Sports

Parents that have children who are involved in intercollegiate athletics should
be concerned about their childs education. College athletics have taken a
toll on their athletes and it is being seen in the classroom first. In 1991 the
Knights Commission Report called for a new model whereby intercollegiate
athletics would keep faith with the student athlete ideal. (Thelin 1980)
Today colleges are recruiting and spending more money on athletes then they are
scholars. This might not seem like a big deal because most of the public loves
to watch intercollegiate sports, but do we really want athletes to be working in
our community or do we want scholars? John Thelin realized that intercollegiate
athletics were out of control. Players no longer considered themselves
student-athletes, and were even asking for a share of the coaches earnings
from endorsements. He then decided to take a poll of what Americans thought
about this 48 percent thought that they were out of control, this was a 30
percent drop from the previous 78 percent. The Knights commission believed that
reform was taking place, but this was not the case the fact is that they are
becoming far removed from any educational activities. While most parents believe
that there is a definite need for education most dont realize that their
children arent really getting one. When Robert Hutchenson was explaining his
concepts of college, he discussed what college wasnt like in reality: College
is not a great athletic association and social club, in which provision is made
merely for intellectual activity on the part of the physically and socially
unfit. College is an association of scholars in which provision is made for the
development of traits and powers, which must be cultivated, if one wants to
become a well-balanced member of the community. Surveys were sent to the parents
of athletes asking if they thought that the sport was taking away from their
childs schoolwork. The majority of the parents responded by saying that they
were concerned with their childs grades, and they believed there was
definitely some room for improvement. This book was very well written and was
easy to understand due to the organization of the chapters that were divided
into categories. Thelins goal was to help athletes and teachers realize
what is happening. He made a very convincing argument and definitely convinced
me that intercollegiate athletics are taking away from education. Thelin also
made me realize that there are other problems with college athletics besides
education. He sums one of his articles up by saying: The court is not saying
that athletes are incapable of scholarship:however they are given little
incentive to be scholars and few people care how the student athlete performs
academically, including the athletes themselves. If this situation causes harm
to the university, its because they have fostered it and they should be the
ones to suffer. The statements that Thelin offers support my thesis that
intercollegiate athletics promote scandal make the school a booster
college, and they have an effect on the athletes education. The findings from
this book also validate my feelings towards the fact that athletes should be
winners in the classroom as well as on the field.


Thelin, John R. Games Colleges Play Scandal and Reform in
Intercollegiate Athletics. (1980) 3-61.

Sports and Games