Letters to the Editor

Athletes deserve scholarship help

This letter is in response to the column that was placed in The Oracle on June 3 entitled “Academics before Athletics.” Many people often question why athletes receive the type of aid and support that they do. People say that they don’t deserve it and that giving athletes scholarships should be of a lesser priority behind academics. I say that all of these people are wrong. Many of the individuals who make these comments have never played a sport in their lives so they really don’t know how difficult it is to compete in any type of athletic competition. They can’t understand the mind of a student-athlete and surely could not fathom how rigorous most student-athletes’ schedules are.

Being a student-athlete means being a warrior. You must be an individual with a very strong mindset and a very big heart, because being a student-athlete means working two full-time jobs. I know there are other individuals who work and go to school. I am not ignorant to this fact. They also get paid for their work. So, why should student-athletes not get paid for their work? On students’ jobs they generally have programs set up to help them if they have made past mistakes. Like having an unexpected child. Many work programs provide day-care services for their employees. So why if a student-athlete messes up and doesn’t graduate the first time around do people feel they don’t deserve help for their mistake?

Also, regarding academics before athletics, I totally agree with the statement that academics should come before athletics. Yet, let’s face the facts, athletics brings excitement and school pride to a university. This is the kind of excitement and pride that academics simply cannot bring to a university. Since people are so quick to judge or give their opinions about the use of funds for athletes, I pose a couple of questions. Have you ever walked a day in the life of a student-athlete?

Do you know that for many student-athletes they would not be in college if they had no scholarships or programs to help them get into college? And if you were a student-athlete, would you tell them to keep the scholarship or the extra help because you feel it is taking away from academics?

Billy Henderson is a USF Student