Letter to the Editor: Athletes need their education


I’m writing in response to The Chronicle’s View (“Better athletic programs punished? Think again NCAA,” March 4).

If an athlete comes to a university for publicity in hoping that professional scouts and teams will further his or her athletic career, they are coming for the wrong reasons.

A university is a place where students learn about the world. If Andrew Bogut decides to turn pro and drops out of school early, he may not have the education in science, math, art, humanities and basic English grammar he’ll need.

To think that if an athlete decides to turn pro that they are just a product of the athletic program that they came out of is like saying that everyone that comes out of North Carolina should be as good as Michael Jordan. Who knows when a professional athlete might suffer an injury or sickness and be unable to play? Shouldn’t he or she have a proper education to help him or her through the rest of their lives?

After all, just because one turns pro doesn’t mean he or she has to drop out of school.

Many professionals have been able to finish a university degree while still in competition-Emit Smith and Steve Young to name just two.

The NCAA 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 Salisbury

Junior, Performing Arts Design