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Academics before athletics

Can somebody please explain to me why, because I can’t swim fast, or kick a ball hard, or even catch a high fly ball I deserve less financial aid than those who can?

In a Northeastern News story on May 22, Kevin Matthews was interviewed about the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. This is a program that gives athletes formally on scholarships who did not graduate an opportunity to come back to school for free.

It’s certainly not a new idea to give athletes their due pay for their outstanding talent. I am not ignorant to that fact. And although this is definitely a problem with me to begin with, because a college should, in theory, concentrate primarily on academics (Hey, how about that?), there’s nothing that will ever change this. However, the emergence of a program to give drop-out athletes a free ride when they decide to get their act together is just about the definition of favoritism.

Not only are these athletes no longer making the school any money with their athletics, they are, in essence, taking money away from people who, in my opinion, deserve it more.

What about the single mom who had to drop out of college to raise children? Is she not just as qualified for additional assistance as anyone else? But no, there is no program for her.

What about the student whose parents lost their jobs and the minimal financial aid they did receive will not cover the cost of tuition? Nope, no program for you.

University: Can you win our team a championship? Make money for the school in any way? No? Stop wasting our time.

And the complaint of the athletes? Give us more money. You see, the athletes only receive their scholarships the quarter they are participating in the sport, then the scholarship is cut off. And the problem with this is?

Please tell me where is my scholarship for making the dean’s list three quarters in a row? How about scholarships for continuing success in academics? Get out of here. (You see the irony is, when the athletes finally do get an opportunity to excel academically, it is then that the university takes away the money.)

I am not in any way implying athletes only excel in the area of their sports. I am sure that a large percentage of these students excel academically as well, but what about those athletes mentioned in the article who “leave the university before completing their degree to try a professional career in their respective sport but inevitably don’t achieve their dream?”

Cry me a river. I will inevitably attend this university all five years in a row and graduate on time, while athletes comeback with their massive egos between their legs and get the ol’ “we know you tried, we’ll give you a second shot.”

In the interview, Matthews talks about fulfilling a “promise” to the athletes, allowing them to graduate. How about the university makes its own promise: Give money to those people who deserve it.