If you were 19, male, and had a chance to earn millions just to sit on the bench and learn from the vets how to better play a game you love, how motivated would you be to "be all you can be" in the classroom you're forced to sit in while you build up your resume?
That's exactly the dilemma that faces college athletes year after year. In a recent AP report:
410 DI Schools Below NCAA Academic Standard
INDIANAPOLIS -- More than 400 sports teams at the nation's Division I schools could lose scholarships next year under the NCAA's new academic standards, according to a report released Monday.
Most of the scholarship losses, which would be for one year, were expected in football, baseball and men's basketball. ...
The NCAA's new calculation generates a score between 0 and 1,000. The number is determined by a points formula that rewards long-term eligibility and retention of student-athletes. Programs can lose points when athletes transfer, drop out, leave for the pros or become academically ineligible while still at the school. read more
It seems to me that there are more than enough top schools for the top players to find somewhere to play that won't bug them too much about academics. I'm a scientist so I suppose I ought to make some predictions. I predict that the institution of a minimum age requirement
in the NBA will lead to an increase in "sports management" majors, and an increase in the enrollment in such classes as the traditional "rocks for jocks." Minimum GPA requirements are a start, but until school athletic officials start caring more about the overall quality of the PEOPLE who play sports, rather than the accolades of the athletes that convince alums to give money nothing's really going to change. Care to disagree?
In related news, VOTE
in a fantasy poll for this year's champs if the NBA required 4 years of college prior to entry. Talk about an exciting college game!