Amateur Athletics (Point Counterpoint) by Alan Marzilli

By Alan Marzilli

A few worry that the commercialism surrounding activities is corrupting the youth who play them.

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And average school SAT scores. . ” Zimbalist cautioned against schools reading too much into his conclusion that athletic success led to increased applications: “[The correlation] means that poor athletic performance will lead to fewer applications. ” 29 Zimbalist’s research suggests that the type of students impressed by athletic success might not be the type of students who contribute to the school’s academic environment. • Do winning sports teams provide a reason to apply to a college? Some have charged that big-time college sports might even have a negative impact on students already enrolled in school, distracting students from their studies as they travel to games, camp out for tickets, and watch games religiously.

55 Even before young athletes get to college, Knight believes, they have been led to believe that they do not really need a college education as much as they need the media exposure of college sports, which will help them get drafted by a professional team. At least partly as a result of this type of attitude, college athletes, especially in football and men’s basketball, have very low graduation rates. The graduation rates of athletes in big-time college sports programs are deplorable, in fact.

In the Spring of 1978, Mr. Ross was a promising senior basketball player at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas. Sometime during his senior year in high school, he accepted an athletic scholarship to attend Creighton and to play on its varsity basketball team. Creighton is an academically superior university. Mr. Ross comes from an academically disadvantaged background. At the time of his enrollment at Creighton, Mr. Ross was at an academic level far below that of the average Creighton student.

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