The Case Against High School Sports

Topics: Education, High school, United States Pages: 3 (1087 words) Published: February 17, 2014
In the article, “The Case Against High Sports,” Amanda Ripley outlines the flaw of the United States education system as prioritizing athletic sports over academics. The article is a well thought out argument that has supporting evidence, a strong thesis, and a counterargument that can be disapproved. Looking over the article and various other sources, I have come to support Amanda Ripley’s central claim: “as states and districts continue to slash education budgets, as more kids play on traveling teams outside of school, and as the globalized economy demands that children learn higher order skills so they can compete down the line, it’s worth re-evaluating the American sporting tradition” (Ripley 75).

Aside from what the title gives away about the article, it covers a handful of connecting arguments, all heard before in some shape or form, to defend Ripley’s central claim. Arguments such as—a majority of school districts waste too much money on sports instead of using that money for academics, other leading nations recognize the inverse relationship between academic performance and athletics, teachers who are also coaches degrade the quality of teaching, and a lot of universities’ reputations are based on the success of their athletic programs instead of academics. Ripley also includes a true story of a school district that was on the verge of shutting down that did the unspeakable—removed sports from school. The school districts shared the same thought process as Ripley, “eliminating sports would save money and refocus everyone’s attention on academics” (Ripley 76). After a semester with no sports, eighty percent of Premont’s students were passing their classes, compared to the previous fifty. Premont’s success led other states to cut back on their athletic programs, although some of them were only temporary.

To me, the most interesting argument was that high school sports are bad for those students who do not play a sport. Ripley cites a study on the...
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