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COLLEGE ATHLETES: Focus as much on education as sports

Letter by Stan R. Sidor, Tacoma on March 17, 2011 at 11:40 am with 5 Comments »
March 17, 2011 11:40 am

Re: “Overton rejoins team” (TNT, 3-16)/

So, Washington Husky basketball player Venoy Overton knows that the damage to his reputation may linger, and he doesn’t want to be known, especially in his hometown, for providing alcohol to a minor or anything even more serious than this (he wasn’t charged with a more serious infraction).

While not diminishing the significance of what he has been charged with, he should also be concerned with the impact on his reputation when you consider that he is supposedly college-educated, yet cannot even speak using proper English (assuming he was quoted correctly).

I cringe every time I read a quote from a college-level athlete who demonstrates that his focus has been less on receiving a good education than being a good athlete. These student-athletes should seriously consider that very few of them will have a future playing a sport, but they will all need a good education as a fallback in order to earn a living other than as an athlete.

The ability to not only read and write but also speak well are critically important skills in our society.

So, Overton is being coached well in basketball, but what level of “coaching” has been happening in the classroom, and how much “practice” (ie., studying) has he done outside the classroom?

Perhaps he might consider also sitting out the NCAA tournament and focus instead on honing his English skills?

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. Anyone who still buys into the myth that there is still such a thing as a “student-athlete” in any major college sports program must have just woke up after a 50 year coma.

    Big-time college sports is a cash cow, with coaches making many times more than the university president (who makes many times more than the state governor). Athletes – other than maybe baseball players (who already have an established farm system), are basically in-training for a pro-career.

    Sadly, only a fraction get to make the pros – but the adulation and special privileges accorded them as college jocks is what takes the place of applying themselves to an education.

    Take away the big bucks and you might get back to a truly student-athlete (who must meet the same SAT and grades to get admitted to college in the first place as other students). That may mean these athletes may need to take their high-school studies more seriously too. A nice dream, but the reality is that we live in a society driven by celebrity privileges.

    Push that even further back, how many parents spend more in time and effort to support their kids athletic endeavors rather than participate in the PTA or to just insure their kids spend more time on their homework than tv?

  2. lotsa money to be made by those students.

  3. frankiethomas says:

    He is drinking and having sex with 16 year old girls and is stil ON the team. And you are worried about what they are not teaching him about GRAMMAR?

  4. I get the feeling that Athletes can do no wrong,and it seems if they do something that most citizens consider a moral violation,there is a lot of crying out for no punishment for the athletic Idol!I feel if the athlete isn’t holding up his or her grade average,there will be a tutor hired to somehow or someway,get the school grade up to an acceptable level.Of course the tutors fee will probably come from the schools athletic departments funds.

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