College Sports: Education Not Required

College. Ah, how do I love those days. Those four, five, maybe eight years, (I lost count) of your life where you begin to know yourself and know something about the world in which you live. A college education of any value is one which reminds you that you do not know everything, but you can learn how and where to find the information you need. Life after college is just an extension of college. Life is or at least should be a never ending education.

Unfortunately, for some the education system is not always about learning. Just like High School, at least in the U.S., some people are there because they feel they need to be or they are there for the parties. Some people are there because their parents have too much money and know nothing better to do with it but spend it on their child’s tuition and partying. Other people, as a recent CNN article explained, are there to play sports and apparently not much else.

CNN article suggested that some college athletes are not doing well with their education. It said some are having difficulty reading and some cannot read at all. Is not reading and writing one of the major requirements for admission to College? How did they get into the school? Oh, that is right, they play sports and they play well.

When I got into college I thought there was something special about me. I thought as a freshman in college I was accepted because of my intelligence or the admissions department thought I had potential. Well, I quickly found that anyone with the ability to get money for college can get into some college somewhere. I studied hard. I did very well. I am not perfect. I make mistakes as many of you will probably see with my writing, but I believe I received an education. Other people, some of my classmates, did not do so well and eventually failed out. This is where money or the ability to get money is not important. After you are in, you must be able to get the grades and meet certain performance standards when it comes to education. After all, education is why a college even exists, does it not?

Apparently, some people think under the roof of education academics is not as important as sports. It appears whether you can read or not, if you can play well, you can get into college and stay in college. That is where the system has failed these “students” who play for the college teams. I was appalled that such a thing can happen and apparently happens more frequently than I thought it could.

Well, this sounds familiar, does it not? Why, you may ask, does this sound familiar? Oh, that is right, because someone was caught before when they gave special treatment to college athletes. In 2011, according to the New York Times, a professor was allegedly paid to give students passing grades. Now, in 2014, we are reminded by CNN the problem is not about students getting grades for work they did not do, but it is about students who may not be able to do it because of their poor reading and writing skills. It is a shame how the education system has failed students in teaching. It is a shame how they are giving these athletes false hopes for a piece of paper which will mean nothing if they cannot get the education which should accompany that piece of paper.

It is not the athlete’s fault. It is the education they received from elementary to high school to blame, and the continuing failure of the college they are attending which should be teaching them. Sports, while valuable, are not and should not be the foundation for a place of education.

What does it do to the institution? What does it do to the reputation of students who did not go to college for sports? It may suggest to some people that education takes a back seat at the institution. It may make people question the validity of an education under this particular house of education’s roof. It may make people wonder if a degree holder has the abilities and education to meet employer expectations if other students who do not have basic reading skills are under the same roof of those who can read.

I do hope someone can help these students get their reading skills up. I do hope someone can help these people do as well in the classroom as they do on the field or the court. I do hope someone reevaluates the priorities as it pertains to sports because it seems some educational institutions believe sports are more important  than a quality education.

I repeat, it is not the athlete’s fault. They should be recognized, appreciated, and honored for their talents. My argument, along with other people I am sure, is that there is an expectation of a student when in the school and after exiting the school. Students are expected to be able to demonstrate the education they received. Please help these people, and if they cannot meet the requirements, then they need not be there and need to be dismissed. If a person comes from under an education roof with a degree or some recognition that said person was under that roof and he or she cannot demonstrate an expected level of education, then he or she needs to find a new roof to claim as his or her own.


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