Student Athletes and Academics

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Academic Motivation of Student Athletes

For decades there has been a debate on student athletes and their drive to succeed in the classroom. From the very beginning of organized college level athletics, the goal to want to succeed in athletics has forced students to put academics to the back burner. In spite of the goal to want to succeed over a hundred years of attempts to check limits of intercollegiate athletic programs on colleges' academic standards still seems to struggle to this day. This brings to surface one of the most asked questions in sports, “What effect does college sports have on academics and economics?” Herbert D. Simons, Derek Van Rheenen, and Martin V. Covington, authors of “Academic Motivation and the Student Athlete” researched the topic on whether athletics and academics benefit each other. Bryan Flynn, the author of “College Sports vs. Academics” poses the question “Should institutions of higher learning continue to involve themselves in athletic programs that often turn out to be virtual arms races for recruiting talented players who bring big money and prestige, but put academics to the back burner?” Although both authors agree that sports have an impact on an athlete’s academics, the focus of their argument differs.

Herbet D. Simans, Derek Van Rheenen, and Martin V. Covington focuses their argument on academic motivation of student athletes and what drives them to want to succeed in the classroom as well as on the court or field. Although Flynn also focuses on academic motivation of student athletes, he also discusses how colleges tend to spend more money on sports related necessities for the students instead of towards their education. Flynn’s argument displays how colleges are basically a business...

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... for failure that leaves the perceptions of one’s ability and self-worth intact.

As stated in my introductory paragraphs, both authors examine the academic motivation of student athletes, but focus their arguments on different aspects. Since both authors agree on the fact that athletics make big impacts, it makes it harder to choose one argument over the other. Both Flynn and Herbert D. Simon’s have similar ideas in which they discuss, but they add their own opinions. Both authors have a strong agreement but the way they present their ideas are completely diverse.

Works Cited

Power, Clark. "Athletics vs. Academics." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 Jan. 2014. Web. 07 Apr. 2014.

White, Fred D., and Simone J. Billings. The Well-crafted Argument: Across the Curriculum. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.

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