Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader plans to “de-professionalize” college athletics by getting rid of sports scholarships. Nader released his plan to cut them on Thursday. Unsurprisingly, he displays his contention for the scholarships at a time when March Madness creates a Super-Bowl-like hype for fans across the country.
“As we near the exciting conclusion of ‘March Madness’ — which would more accurately be described as the 2011 NCAA Professional Basketball Championships — it’s time we step back and finally address the myth of amateurism surrounding big-time college football and basketball in this country,” Nader said.
Nader, along with his League of Fans, hope to replace the scholarships with need-based financial aid, and he said that by eliminating them, student athletes would be less likely to have a “win-at-all-costs” attitude in high school.
No doubt, lucrative scholarship offers to prestigious schools may explain the increased usage of steroids and more hours spent on the court or field than at the desk studying. However, is doing away with these type incentives the answer? Bob Williams, NCAA spokesman, doesn’t think so.
“They are students, just like any other student on campus who receives a merit-based scholarship,” he said.
Nader said he plans to gain support from Capitol Hill, university presidents, the Department of Education and even the athletes’ parents.
“We’ll use all the levers,” Nader said. “We’ll use the parents of athletes who’ve been mistreated and sick, and forced to play when they’re injured.”
Nader’s reform plan gives colleges and universities two options: Give education priority over sports by getting rid of the scholarships, or “openly acknowledge the professionalism in big-time college sports, remove the tax-exempt status currently given to athletic departments, and make universities operate them as unrelated businesses.”
To be completely honest, I think Nader may have the right idea. I’m sick of education taking a backseat to athletics. These scholarships encourage athletes only to excel at sports and not academics. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the whole point of college to get an education?
Via 1310 News
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