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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag

    Sports writer wrong about student athletes

    I must respectfully disagree with Bryan Roy’s recent “”con”” argument concerning the importance of NCAA graduation rates. (“”Pro/Con: Do Graduation Rates Matter?”” Oct. 15, 2008) At a time of such fiscal uncertainty at our university, the issue of student-athletes graduation rates and the scholarships involved is certainly a pertinent one.

    For the sake of argument, I’ll stay away from any discussion of the perverse notion of using our nation’s university system as a training ground for professional athletes. Instead, let’s just talk pure dollars and cents.

    If we give these young men and women a full or even partial scholarship to our university, should we not expect them then to stay and graduate? I’m not talking about the (still important) academic principles, but rather about the financial stability of the UA.

    Everyone understands that the only reason universities around this nation pour truckloads of money into high-profile athletics programs, especially men’s

    basketball and football, is because of the fact that alumni giving to their alma maters directly correlates to the nightly highlight reel on “”SportsCenter.””

    So, if only for the sake of our university’s finances and its alumni giving rate, we should expect our very best student-athletes to stay and at the very least play out their four years of NCAA eligibility. If that means writing a stipulation into their scholarships, so be it. If we’re going to treat our university as a business venture, then let’s start acting like it.

    I imagine, though I am no expert on the matter, that such a stipulation in a scholarship is against NCAA regulations. If it is as I suspect and my proposal cannot be implemented, then you, Roy, should at least be prepared for the public dismay stemming from the UA’s abysmal student-athlete graduation rate. It is part and parcel of the entire broken system of using our nation’s universities as the minor leagues of professional sports, which you so clearly have endorsed.

    Michael Hughes

    junior majoring in English and Near Eastern studies

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