Devastating Reality of "Athletic Scholarships" vs. Ghetto Myth of "The Only Way Out"

Anybody who still thinks that high school sports provides any way of financing a college education must read this article in today's NYT:


This article doesn't even address the old and persistent ghetto myth that sports provides anybody "the only way out" of poverty. This article focuses on affluent parents who spend ten thousand bucks or so annually hoping that an oxymoronic "athletic scholarship" will fund their kid through college. Even the tiny fraction of kids who get one of these abominations find that it only funds a fraction of their college expense (rarely even repaying all the dollars invested before college!). Further, accepting one of these "scholarships" obligates the student to so much time as to limit his/her academic possibilities.

Conversely, real scholarships (ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIPS, a term that is actually redundant!), the article states, are much more financially rewarding. Plus, the effort spent directly pursuing these real scholarships actually helps the aspirant in college, whereas the efforts spent on obtaining "athletic scholarships" has the opposite effect.

The article does not discuss that persistent nonsense about ghetto boys having only one of two "ways out" of poverty: sports and crime. As all informed people know, algebra, writing, and book-reading have transformed a zillion times more ghetto kids from poverty to affluence than all the sports and crimes put together. And just imagine how many ghetto kids get left with nothing putting all their efforts into sports, compared to how many of those kids would make it to self-sufficiency if they instead focused on reading, writing, and arithmetic.

My recommendation: remove interscholastic sports teams from K-12 schools and from universities. Leave heavy-duty sports competition -- a worthy activity -- for other institutions. This would help sever the harmful and phony link between sports and academics.

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