In the book Social Issues in Sport by Ronald B. Woods chapter 7: Interscholastic and Intercollegiate sport the author talks about high school and college athletes and some of the issues they face whether it is academic or even financial issues. According to the NFHS, the number of students participating in high school sports has increased for 20 consecutive years and continues to grow each year (Woods 122). The chapter stated that both swimming and diving have had the largest gains in participants for both boys and girls (Woods 122).
This brings the question, are parents keeping their kids from playing in physical sports that are more dangerous such as football and hockey. Football is still the number one participating sport for boys but soccer and basketball are rising more. The number one reason why boys and girls participate in high school sports for both boys and girls is “to have fun” and a few reasons why some athletes stop playing is because practices were not very fun, they were not getting much playing time and coaching reasons (Woods 123).
At an interscholastic level of athletics participants can be put into three categories. First reluctant participants: about 25% of kids felt like they had to be in a sport because of outside pressure. Next is image-conscious socializers: this group represent 40% of athletes. These athletes draw motivation from rewards or the approval of others. The last is competence oriented: this athletes love playing the sport and are likely to continue after school days are over (Woods 124).
Another important question when discussing high school sports is if schools should require a fee to play a sport/who should pay for high school sports? The other section the chapter discusses is college sports and the social issues involved at that level. Since the 1970s many changes have been made, the biggest is probably title IX which has opened the doors for women athletic scholarships. Basketball is the top sport in number of teams for both men and women, however when calculating number of participant’s football is number one for men and soccer is number one for women (Woods 30). Some of the social issues in college sports include: lack of female administrators and coaches in women sports, lack of coaches from minority groups except at historically black colleges, separation of athletes from life on campus and most importantly the differing standards for admission at many schools for athletes compared to other applicants (Woods 140). The HBO special Costas Now was a mini documentary that discussed the issues of academics in the NCAA.
Costas interviewed players, professors, athletic directors and the president at the University of Miami, he had Reggie Miller (former UCLA star) and the President of the NCAA give their insight on the important issue. The first person Costas interviewed was former Texas A&M star Antoine Wright and he revealed some shady academic practices going on at the University. He started his interview by saying “I had more of an education in high school”. He also talked about how many college athletes are steered into agricultural majors.
Wright said that in these classes you would see a quarterback, running back, him and a farmer. The most shocking part about the interview was when Antoine stated that athletes were provided cheat sheet, this is including old exams. The craziest statistic in my mind was that 98% of all college athletes will not make it to the professional level, this was a little shocking to me. Bob Costas also interviewed a professor and judge from the University of Miami and talked about how he would be more lenient on college athletes and sometime even pass them even if they didn’t deserve it.
An example of this was a few years ago when Andre Johnson (star receiver from the University of Miami) was failing his class and he was caught when the teacher found out his girlfriend wrote the paper but the professor still passed him so he could continue to play. The president at the University of Miami was very upset with the comments made and kept saying that we don’t do that, there is no proof that we do that. The president of the NCAA argued that graduation rates have increased and are above 45%. Outside the Lines (ESPN show) did a segment on Grove City High School and how.
The short script was about how students at Grove City High were on strike and rallying trying to get people to vote NO on question 7 which would allow these students to play sports again. Grove City High had sports before but then decided to charge a big time waiver fee and this cause many students to refuse to participate. As they were rallying one of students was talking about how it is a shame and that sports have been taken from kids who cannot afford it and they don’t have anything to look forward to after school.
One of the star players from Grove City who is a top high school recruit had to transfer to a nearby school so she could play basketball. One mother who voted believed that taxes should not pay for sports and they can get sponsors like Nike or Adidas (I laughed). The result of question 7 was at first a yes, but a few days later they missed some votes and it was voted no so taxes would pay for sports instead of have a user fee. This videos tie in perfectly with the chapter as they discuss all the major issues surrounding both high school and college sports.
First off the community benefits a lot off of both interscholastic and intercollegiate sports, which is probably something that is always overlooked. Sporting events are usually what brings together a community as they often have rallies to support their teams and athletes. These high school and college athletes can also be big time role models to younger kids and can motivate them to be like them and better themselves. Some arguments for interscholastic sports can be it involves students in activities, builds self-esteem, enhance fitness and lifetime participation etc.
Some arguments against high school sports are they distract attention from academics, create dependence and can increase injuries. Interscholastic sports are also valuable as it can connect young people with adult advocates in their lives. There are several benefits of intercollegiate programs especially for the University. High profile sport teams can be used in connection with fund raising efforts. Sport teams may attract attention among potential students. Another factor is sports provide on campus social events and occasions.
Some of the problems facing intercollegiate sports is lack of athletes’ rights as they have a separate life from other students and sports can take resources away from extracurricular activities. Last is only 1% of “student-athletes” will go pro so 99% of these students feel like everything they worked hard for in life is gone and they don’t have anything to fall back on. In my opinion, I think it is extremely vital that we continue to get as many high school athletes to participate and stay involved in sports as it has so many benefits.
Every high school should have sports available to their students whether it requires money or not. I agree with how college football athletes have to wait 3 years before entering the NFL draft because they are not physically prepared for that level of play but I disagree with how they make basketball players go to school for ONE year, either have them go for two, three, all four or don’t have them have to go at all because it ruins some college programs as it is harder for coaches to build a team.
I don’t think college athletes as they are already getting a full scholarship ($140,000) and I believe that the money these athletes will go towards nothing good and may lead them to trouble. Giving them no money makes them more competitive and want it more. Plus, they are getting the best housing and the best of everything. Why do you think some football players that are going to be a first round pick stay for their senior year (Jake Locker, Matt Barkley)?
I also believe that if you’re a 5 start Division 1 athlete your focus should not be on academics and a 2. 0 GPA should not be required. You have been training your entire life to be a professional athlete that should be your only focus. They are getting a scholarship for playing sports not answering essay questions, they are making the school millions because of their athletic skills not their calculating skills.