Maintaining a Certain Grade Point Average as a College Athlete Should Be an Absolute Requirement Statistics show that only 2-3% of all college athletes will actually go pro. These students need to have other options when they are finished with college. Many college student athletes are poorly prepared for life when they graduate, and most are unprepared for anything but a professional sports career. Maintaining a certain grade point average as an athlete on a college sports team is imperative to the success of the individual.

Therefore all college student athletes should be required to maintain a certain grade point average. At a recent NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) convention, educators finally began taking steps to insure that athletes receive an education in something besides their chosen sport. One such step was requiring that schools make public their institutions graduation rate among athletes and compare this with the rate for the student body as a whole. While this may be admirable, it still is not enough to ensure “student athletes” to graduate without an education adequate for anything but an athletic career. Petina] When there is no GPA requirement student athletes are able to complete their four years without a degree and at worst not even learning anything. Take for example, former defensive end for the Washington Redskins, Dexter Manley who left Oklahoma State University after four years, illiterate, unable to even read about his previous game’s accomplishments in the sports page on Monday morning. Another example is former running back for the University of Iowa, Ron Harmon whose course load included such courses as bowling, billiards, and watercolor painting.

Although these courses may be good for diversity, to broaden a student’s horizons, it is ridiculous to build a course study around them. These are the courses Ron took while pursuing a degree in physical education, a degree he never did receive. The above mentioned are just two cases which are pitiful reflections of the “education” athletes receive at far too many institutions. Unfortunately, the only thing separating Manley and Harmon from many scholar athletes is talent. [Petina] If college athletes do make it to pro, about how long do their careers last?

What will they do when their careers are over if they do not have an education to fall back on? Often times these athletes will end up in trouble, on drugs, or even worse, in jail. Does not requiring academic standards really benefit the students? Some say college athletes are the people responsible for bringing funding into the schools. Because they are bringing in money to the school, their grades do not matter? If they never make it to pro but have spent four years at a college to end up with nothing, who is this benefiting?

Is the money more important than the education of the student? [Tyzeigler] All students that receive a degree from the same institution should be held to the same standards. Some people say college athletes deserve special treatment because of their circumstances. They say college athletes work twice as hard as everyone else. They do not have as much time to focus on class, their bodies are drained from training, and when they are not practicing, they are spending time studying.

They receive free tutoring, permission slips to miss class, and make-up tests which are not as difficult as the test given to the non-athlete students. In comparison, what about student parents? They have children to take care of, meals to cook, and everything else that goes along with being a parent yet they are still required to make the grades. If non-athlete students do not complete the homework, pass the test, or show up to class, they fail. Athletes should have the same requirements. After all, they are students first and foremost.

These athletes should be role models to our youth. What kind of message are we giving the new students or potential athletes coming in if we do not set standards? “If I play sports, I will not have to get good grades. ” Is this how being a college athlete should be looked at? These athletes should have something other than sports to fall back on. Too many athletes are slipping through the cracks and failing out of college. They should not be advised to take the easy route just because they could potentially make the school money.

This is saying it is ok for the school to use the students for their possible sports potential regardless of the outcome. School is a place to learn. These are just a few of the problems to come if this issue is not addressed and resolved. In conclusion, as statistics show, only a small percent of college athletes will ever go pro. These students need to be prepared for life outside of sports. There needs to be a GPA (grade point average) structure for all college athletes. A professional athlete, who attended a university for four years and left, illiterate, is unacceptable.

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