I have mixed feelings on college sports. On one hand, I love them. I think student athletes are some of the most dedicated individuals at universities. But it's where their dedication lies, often not on the "student" but rather the "athlete," that I have trouble with. Tonight I read an article about Troy Polamalu, Steeler safety, completing his college degree.
Here's what he had to say, in part:
The majority of top picks in the NFL get drafted before they complete their college education. I truly love football and it's such an immense blessing and privilege as an athlete to be given the rare opportunity to use those talents at the highest professional level, but it's certainly not a replacement for an education. So I decided to finish what I started and walked that stage today not only because it was very important to me personally, but because I want to emphasize the importance of education, and that nothing should supersede it.I completely understand why top athletes choose to go in the draft before they complete their degree. But I wish they could all see the value of their education. In some cases student athletes are able to attend more prestigious institutions because of their athletic ability than they would otherwise. The opportunity to earn a degree is something I don't think they should pass up, even if it is later in life. That also sends an important message to current student athletes -- education isn't a luxury or a side note, it's something we earn and take pride in.