Author: Juliet Suess
I am cheering for UConn right now; I am hoping that they win another championship. For some unknown reason, my family has cheered for UConn, something about my mom going to a game or something. It’s illogical probably, but fandom usually is.
But not as illogical as the fact that UConn graduates only eight percent of its basketball players, according to the NCAA. I need to say that again: UConn graduates only eight percent of its basketball players.
Thus, in the past eight years, of the 12 players who started as first-years, only one person has graduated with a degree or in good academic standing, according to vox.com. Of the Final Four teams, UConn has the lowest graduation rate; Wisconsin is the next lowest at 44 percent.
That is horrifying. Sure, some graduate to go on and make millions of dollars in the NBA, so perhaps a college degree is superfluous.
But Americans sit around and idealize these people as figures and examples for who were are supposed to be. So that really just tells people that as long as you can shoot a three, you do not need an education.
Rather than working hard in school as a youth, Americans hope for the chance at NBA; they work harder on the court than in the classroom. It does not set a good precedent when Americans allow their children to falter in school in order to play sports.
Some say, “Well, there is a minimum GPA one needs to achieve to play.” That GPA is in the 2.0 range. That’s averaging a C, which by definition is “average.” So we are settling for average in the classroom for excellence in sport.
Americans need to prioritize their studies. Graduating from college (if one chooses to attend) should be the goal. Obviously, there are some extenuating circumstances that cause people to leave. Some people just are not meant to go to college for a variety of reasons.
But athletics should not be the reason that one does not graduate. Furthermore, Americans need to stop idealizing athletes who do not graduate. It should be expected that the student-athlete achieve greatness in all aspects of collegiate life.
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