NCAA Academic Progress Rates

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

Dear Editor-I’m writing in response to the unsigned editorial of Friday March 4, 2005. The author of the editorial thinks that if a student is tall enough and can make a spectacular slam dunk “possesses mental stability and maturity to handle” the world with out a college education.

An athlete that comes to a University just for publicity in hoping that professional scouts and teams will further his athletic career is coming for the wrong reasons.

The word “university” comes from the words Universe and city. It is the preparation to go from one to another. If the soul purpose of institutions of higher education is to prepare one for a career only, they would be called vocational or trade schools.

A University is a place where students learn about the world. If Andrew Bogut decides to turn pro, and drop out of school early, he may not have the education in Science, Math, Art, Humanities and Basic English Grammar. Shouldn’t the people that teach, coach and intimately mentor students also encourage them to learn more about the world and not just about how to dribble a ball?

To think that if an athlete decides to turn pro that he is just a product of the Athletic Program that he came out of is like saying that everyone that comes out of North Carolina should be as good as Michael Jordan. The author is also forgetting that the number of athletes that turn pro in something other than their sport far outnumbers those who are able to make a career in it, and that the number of them that have the opportunity to turn pro before they graduate is microscopic. The scholarships aren’t just for those in Basketball and Football.

Coaches should continue with the teaching that we all have had since second grade, that a college degree is a great thing to have in case anything should happen. Who knows when a professional athlete might suffer an injury or sickness and be unable to play; shouldn’t they have a proper education to help them through the rest of their lives?

When athletes leave school early, they just end up making a fool of themselves in interviews, when they don’t even have proper English. After all just because one turns pro, doesn’t mean they have to drop out of school. Because they are professionals, they are ineligible to compete in the NCAA, but they are still eligible to take college courses. Many professionals have been able to finish a University Degree while still in competition, Emit Smith and Steve Young to name just two.

One of the last things I want is a world full of professional athletes that don’t know how to admire art and its place in society, think they are God’s gift to the world, and don’t know how to put their clothes on properly.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association has a responsibility to encourage education and learning. Shouldn’t scholarships be based on scholarship?

In the words of Coach Carter, these are student athletes. Student comes first.

Merlin James Alexandre SalisburyPerforming Arts DesignJunior