What Has Academics Got To Do With Sports?
Nothing. Academic intelligence has nothing to do with athletic intelligence. The types of intelligence are spatial, intra-personal, naturalist, musical, logical-mathematical, bodily- kinesthetic, existential, linguistic, and interpersonal. Athletic intelligence may be a combination of spatial, interpersonal, bodily-kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligence. Those individuals with athletic intelligence may be deficient in linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence. Deftly dribbling a basketball and shooting the ball through a round hoop does not require a University degree or mathematical ability. All it requires is athletic intelligence.
Why does the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) recruit young men into University programs, realizing fully well that they are lacking in academic intelligence but well endowed with athletic intelligence and expect them to acquire a University degree? No, they do not expect them to graduate. They get teaching assistants to basically complete their assignments in Criminology, Sports Management, Spectatorship, Horse Riding, Kinesiology, and Criminal Injustice. After using them to generate huge revenues for two years, the cream of the crop enter the professional leagues through the professional draft lottery, where they earn lots of money for a short time. The rest drop out or finish with worthless degrees that are good for employment in mall security, low level coaching, and prison warders or correction officers in America. They should really be Punishment Officers.
Is there an alternative? Yes. The European model where athletes are enrolled in Sports Academies run by professional clubs that enable athletes to develop their full athletic potential regardless of academic intelligence. Most professional teams will prefer an athlete-athlete to a scholar-athlete. These academies will not refuse admission to a Pele, Maradona, Okocha, Messi or Ronaldo because he does know the answer to 40 x 40. The NCAA model should coexist with the Sporting Academy Model and athletes are free to choose either model. The compensation should be comparable and the path to professionalism should be the same. Currently, athletes without academic intelligence are being short-changed by the system by being excluded from intercollegiate sport. Some great athletes will never play professional sports under the current system and this is unacceptable. Only those with academic intelligence combined with sporting intelligence or those without academic intelligence but with padded grades get to participate in intercollegiate sport. This is a clarion call on the US Congress, School Authorities, and parents to press for a change in the current system that favors colleges and universities at the expense of athletes and their parents.