I received an email yesterday informing us that one of our long-time trainees, Kent, has decided to commit to New Mexico State University’s offer to play baseball.
The result to this point? Kent gets to play D1 baseball while going to school and Mitch just made his high school’s varsity baseball team as a freshman… in my experience, that’s a pretty solid indicator of promising things to come.
Warning... I'm about to branch off into the promised rant:
Last week I read an opinion article from the NY Times called The Myth of the Student-Athlete. Feel free to read it… although, if you actually like college sports and understand how things really work, you will probably become angry on some level.
My level = enraged.
Gary Gutting is a professor of philosophy at Notre Dame and he attempts to rail the vast majority of college athletes and athletics.
Sadly, he is only really referring to a handful of rogue programs that jump the rails from time-to-time with major NCAA violations. But he is obviously too ignorant and inexperienced – in college athletics – to realize that. Instead, he accuses all college athletics of being, at their essence, worthless.
The truth of the situation?
Those of us who have worked within college athletics for years (it’s 7 years for me) and have taken graduate level classes in understanding how the NCAA works and how violations occur and are dealt with (yes, me again) understand how misguided his “opinion” really is.
There are numerous safety measures put in place in an attempt to keep athletics a positive experience for the student and protect them. Ask any coach how big the NCAA's volumes of rules and regulations have become over the years. In fact, sport coaches have to take and pass regular exams on NCAA regulations or else they can't coach. So, the idea that college athletics is all about money and exploitation is nonsense.
Having the opportunity to play college athletics at any level is a privilege.
College athletics teaches young adults how to balance a packed schedule in an environment where they must succeed (you’ve got to get a certain GPA to maintain the team’s good academic standing and you’ve got to contribute to the team’s successes). Upon graduation, college athletes exit their programs comfortable handling many “balls in the air” this translates well to the professional world.
Returning back to Kent, what has he already gained from athletics?
Extreme discipline as seen in his training and exceptional leadership skills. When he moves on next fall he will begin down a road that will be lined with great experiences, excellent training opportunities, and – the end goal – a higher education degree in whatever he chooses to pursue.