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“Dough” To Go “Pro”

Posted in New Posts, News on January 20th, 2011 by Troy Miles

It’s a long arduous journey from little league performer to college athlete. It takes discipline, dedication, not to mention a heaping measure of talent and passion. After all, by the time an individual dons the jersey of his or her respective college institution, they have established themselves  as a top performer in their field.  Only the top 2% of  those participating at the high school level earn college scholarships.  Imagine what they would typically command (in salary) for being the top in any field– particularly when gaudy revenue numbers can be attributed to their association with the organization.  However, most college athletes are bereft of the opportunity to cash in on their chart-topping abilities– unless of course they are fortunate enough to play sports professionally.  What about the academic opportunity you might ask? Let’s talk about it.

Watch:  Pay for Play and        “Outside the Lines”

I absolutely believe a  full ride scholarship can be a powerful tool to help any individual upward mobilize. Unfortunately many student-athletes (athlete-students) are required to give an inordinate amount of energy toward their respective sport in order to maintain “scholarship” status–which goes beyond physically demanding practices.  For the vast majority, this takes away from their ability to maximize their academic and overall college experience.  Often times athlete-students are away from campus for days at a time representing and let’s face it… making money for the school.

If the scholarship is the so-called equitable compensation for their contributions to the athletic department, overall campus budgets and school brand, then there should be a system in place that allows for athlete-students to flourish in both milieus.

What if athletic scholarships were not concurrent with athletic eligibility?

Would athletes have a better  opportunity to take advantage of their scholarships after their playing days were over. After all the vast majority of athletes are going “pro” in something other than basketball (you’ve seen the ads).  When the prospect of playing professional sports has faded into real life reality, how many athlete-students would sign up to be just students–eventually? Presently and unfortunately many players see college sports as an opportunity to become  professional athletes.  However with the opportunity to go back to school, many athletes would be able to apply all the lessons learned in athletics to another path.  See: “If You Can Hoop There’s Hope”

Can you imagine individuals who had the where for all to become top athletes, shifting their passions into another  area, especially after the reality of what it takes to succeed in life sinks in.  How could this could impact our work force and society as a whole. Presently too many athletes struggle for a period after their eligibility has expired. Changing or readjusting  paradigms to acclimate into society can be difficult. Often athletes  leave campus ill equipped to be productive in society.  However with a scholarship to fall back on (let’s say a five year window to start), I believe a large percentage of those individuals would  plug back into campus and be on task to not only make something of themselves, but to also become  productive members in our world society.

With all the billions of dollars in revenue created by “student-athletes”, this would make a lot more cents (sense) for everyone … except the NCAA apparently.

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