The Oracle

Balancing athletics and academics

The struggle to ensure scholarships are awarded fairly

Senior Nick Hartnett poses with his family after earning a football scholarship to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Hartnett is an example of a hardworking athlete who was rewarded after succeeding both in school and on the field. This balance is critically important.

Courtesy of Andy Muir

Senior Nick Hartnett poses with his family after earning a football scholarship to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Hartnett is an example of a hardworking athlete who was rewarded after succeeding both in school and on the field. This balance is critically important.

Jamie Bishop, Scoop Editor

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One big issue that has been talked about for a while is whether athletes deserve scholarships to go to college and play for that college’s team. In my opinion, I think that athletes should be able to get scholarships if they have the grades and the qualifications for the scholarship and the school.
At WS, there are so many students who are intelligent and work hard to get into colleges, but they don’t get scholarships. Some people feel strongly about the idea that after all their hard work and attempts to get help to pay for college, the money is going towards students who excel in sports. Students who don’t play sports, but are strong in academics, may feel like they don’t matter as much.
Like I said before, I still do think athletes deserve scholarships, as long as they keep their grades up in school and work hard in their sports and extracurricular activities. I’m on the girls basketball team and I know how hard athletes have to work to become very good at their sports. It’s a full time commitment, and adding homework and studying to it makes life a little bit harder. If you are dedicated to your sport, then you should feel the same way about your education as well. Athletes should be well-rounded and able to handle the pressures of homework, studying, practices, and their games. I think WS does a good job of ensuring that every athlete needs to be passing the majority of his or her classes in order to participate in games and practices. Sometimes coaches even have their own standards and don’t allow their athletes to play if their GPA does not meet the coach’s expectations.
There are so many students at WS and other schools who excel in academics and athletics, and they definitely do deserve scholarships that they work hard for. I know there are some students who struggle with their grades, but continue to try and do their best in class. At least they are showing that they care about a good education. Students like this deserve scholarships, because it shows they actually care about their grades and their sport enough to try to balance both.
I just don’t think that student athletes who don’t really try in school deserve the scholarships. If a student is slacking off and not doing well on purpose while other kids are working their butts off to get into college, then why should the student who is slacking off get the scholarship? Granted, they do make the colleges more money. According to Cork Gaines from Business Insider, the University of Texas A&M makes more than 190 million dollars a year off of college sports. In 2015, football alone in the NCAA Division One made more than 29 million dollars.
Athletes deserve scholarships, but they should have to prove that they can last in a good university both in athletics and in classes.

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Balancing athletics and academics