Thursday, January 23, 2014

Can't read? Can't write? Can throw a football or dribble a basketball? No problem!

I'm a little late coming to the party on this, but did any of you see this article from a couple of weeks ago?

It's not a surprise that so many of these college athletes are getting little or no education (a cynic might suggest that at some of these schools, the players are probably better off not learning what the institution has to teach), but that doesn't make it any less disgusting.  My first thought on reading this was that it was child abuse.  How these kids have been let down by the system!  To get all the way through to college, which allegedly prepares students for the real world, without even knowing to read?

As I thought about it, though, a stronger word came to mind.  Obscene.  It is an obscenity that this is happening in this country, that these - well, I don't think the schools even look at them as human beings, but as units of economic currency - are being chewed up, exploited for the school's profit, and then spit out. Excerpt:

"They're pushing them through," said Billy Hawkins, an associate professor and athlete mentor at the University of Georgia.
"They're graduating them. UGA is graduating No. 2 in the SEC, so they're able to graduate athletes, but have they learned anything? Are they productive citizens now? That's a thing I worry about. To get a degree is one thing, to be functional with that degree is totally different."

Yes, I know that many of these athletes stand to make a great deal of money themselves from the unholy alliance into which they've entered, but that's almost beside the point.  As a society - as adults - we're supposed to be stewards of the young, of the next generation.  We're supposed to help them, educate them, steer them in the right direction when they veer off path.  Is that being done here?  No.  Sure, there are plenty of reasons why, but none of them exculpate the responsibility of the college - many of which are being supported by taxpayer dollars.

I suspect there's a special ring in hell for the people letting these athletes down.

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