Degrees for Caps: Do we have a responsibility to provide better educated role-models for young people?
Posted by Cags R on 3 February 2012 at 10:45 AM
A throw-away comment yesterday got me thinking. The comment was followed by slurs on Pro-footballers whose over-publicized actions seem to influence an entire generation’s morality, John Terry’s captaincy being stripped from him and the ridiculous debate in the media about 'is-that-comment-racist' lead to this simple statement: ‘there should be a minimum intelligence test for Pro-footballers’.
Well why not? There’s so much in the press about the social responsibility footballers have as role models to young people, well what sort of example is leaving school at 15 or 16 with no or few qualifications to your name? It's also unfair on pro-athletes to have to choose between education and sport at such a young age: Frank Lampard made the news as he achieved 11 GCSEs but left school at 16 to play football, obviously that worked out well for Frank (congrats Frank) but what about those who don’t make it? I’m talking about boys whose sporting potential peaked at 14 - when they were picked up by one of the major clubs’ junior programs - and then dropped again by 17. These boys will have already lost contact with education by focussing whole heartedly on their sport and will be left with a broken dream and little else.
The American system of representing your school in sport as a privilege - earned through grade-point averages – encourages athletes to maintain their academic grades as well as their sporting prowess (and yes I am thinking about Coach Carter right now). The role played by American University’s sports programs as a feeding system into professional leagues leads to more sports persons staying in education longer in the US. However there is a noticeable resentment that in highly academic institutions athletes are given an ‘easy-in’, granted a place at the University for their sporting skills rather than their academic potential.
So which system has it right? One which channels students into sports careers before they are finished with education or one which channels sports persons into University to pursue a sports career?
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