The Athletic Advantage in a College Education

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Attending college is not only a chance for students to further their education, but it also allows them to experience the lessons life has to offer. One of the hardest lessons to learn is how unfair life can be. Students who work diligently to achieve academic success in the classroom may quickly realize their academic efforts do not “pay off” as much as the student-athlete who possesses the ability to kick a football fifty yards. There is an evident failure in the educational system when the student-athlete’s performance and how they contribute to a winning season, is more valuable to the university, than the academic student who strives to graduate with honors. Students who focus their efforts on an academic based education are not rewarded with the same benefits, resources, and perks as their student-athlete counterparts.

College sports are a major revenue producing industry. Athletic programs and their student-athletes can achieve national recognition and generate millions of dollars in revenue for their university. Colleges use this revenue to invest in players, pay for their education, and provide state of the art training facilities, which are used to improve their athletic performance. As revenue driven colleges begin to prioritize athletics, the emphasis on the quality and standards of an undergraduate education are diminishing. Compromising their academic acceptance requirements, universities have now found that the educational ability of their newly accepted student athletes are inadequate, to say the least (Gurney). The same universities must then spend millions of dollars to provide these athletes with “learning specialists”, who in turn helps them to meet academic requirements and maintain their eligibility (...

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Jensen, Mark, et al. "The Athlete Stigma in Higher Education." College Student Journal 41.2 (2007): 251-273. Academic Search Premier. Web. 29 Nov. 2011.

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