Amateur Athletics (Point/Counterpoint (Chelsea Hardcover)) by Alan Marzilli

By Alan Marzilli

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

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CntrPnt2 58 12/31/03 10:23 AM Page 58 AMATEUR ATHLETICS Academic odds are made greater by the demands of sports. Many students have a difficult time adjusting to college because of the amount of work involved, not to mention other factors, such as leaving home. For student-athletes, however, adjustment can be particularly difficult because they face a grueling schedule of practices, training, and travel to games. Although the NCAA places limits on the amount of time that student-athletes are allowed to devote to athletics, schools and athletes frequently skirt these guidelines, writes Andrew Zimbalist: “The number of hours per week of obligatory practice is set at 20, but everyone knows this is a farce.

Html. Point2 48 12/31/03 10:22 AM Page 48 AMATEUR ATHLETICS been able to attend without their involvement in sports. The reason many gifted athletes cannot qualify academically for college is that they had the misfortune of attending poor-quality elementary and high schools. For many people, participation in college athletics is their only real opportunity to attend college. College sports are full of stories of people who have grown up in poverty or have come from families that were shattered by drug use and violence, but have had the opportunity to attend college—a privilege not available to many of their peers.

45 Athletic scholarships offer opportunities to many people who could not otherwise attend college. Rather than seeing eligibility regulations made stricter, some coaches would like to see academic standards relaxed in order to provide opportunities for more students. ” 46 • Are there other ways of helping disadvantaged students? Other coaches take a more moderate approach, saying that students whose academic credentials are questionable should not be barred from enrolling in college, but that, instead, freshmen should be ineligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics.

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