College athletes are presented with many opportunities, experiences, and even experience some downfalls. One of the downfalls is that the perceived value of athletic scholarships is steadily decreasing. According to Ashley Benjamin, athletic competition is on the rise. It detracts from the student’s academic opportunities; therefore, academic pursuits are not treated as a priority (10). Competition for athletes today has become more of a challenge than ever. Every year across the country, more athletic scholarships are awarded than academic scholarships. In view of that, many students feel pressured to be successful in a chosen sport rather than focusing their efforts in the classroom. They often forget about the future value of a Brayer 2
good marketable education. Athletic scholarships should be awarded in addition to academic scholarships in recognition of a student’s performance in the classroom. Opposing sides of college athletic programs argue, “College athletics programs have become too commercialized and at odds with the educational values of the nation’s schools. By devoting enormous attention and resources to sports, colleges and universities have neglected their academic mission. Moreover, the creation of an “athlete culture” has proven detrimental to the development of a vibrant campus” (College Athletics Programs 1).
While the athletic competition to be successful has steadily increased, athletic programs are highly beneficial to the public. Benjamin states, “…college campuses have argued that athletics are educational for participants; athletics provide a source of entertainment and serve a unifying function for the university; and athletics generate direct and indirect revenue” (11). Over the years, federal lawmakers have sent strong signals that college sports generate a great deal of revenue, not only for the college, but for many local businesses (Athletes' Hours Renew Debate Over College Sports 2). Many colleges spend a vast amount of money on their school’s organizations with regard to the athletic facilities, coaching staff, and equipment. They are then able to produce substantial revenue from their intercollegiate athletic programs through ticket sales and team memorabilia when it is made available. The tremendous economic impact is reflected when one considers the differences between the United States collegiate athletic programs and college athletic programs in other countries. Athletic programs provide an avenue whereby the students, faculty and alumni can share a common interest and display a sense of pride. All over the country people are seen with school banners, logos on their cars, shirts, hats, towels, jackets and even kitchenware as a sign of pride. It is imperative in the student’s learning experience and personal development that (s)he is engaged in purposeful activities that contribute to desired outcomes (Student Engagement and Sport Participation 316).
Athletes that decide to further their...