April 11, 2008

Athletics the Focus of Higher Education?

I've always wondered why colleges pay so much attention to athletes. I am not against collegiate athletics in any way, but it has puzzled me why there is so much focus on the sports and not the academics. I e-mailed this assignment to all of my family (well, those with internet anyway) and one of their questions was this one, so here it goes.

The entertainment industry is huge, and sports are very entertaining. Academic competitions are arguably not so much (I'm not sure who would argue, but there has got to be someone out there). In order for any school to make money, they need high enrollment and other funding. Enrollment increases when people become more aware of its existance, as well as other sponsers. Sports bring a lot of needed attention to otherwise unknown schools. And the high school athletes are thinking, "If that famous quaterback went to school here, it must be good."

People will chose what they think is best for them. Going to a school that is more well known could result in better jobs post graduation. Recognized schools can become more prestigous because there is more competition to get in; and therefore can have higher standards and more stringent enrollment policies. Companies will look for graduates from these schools because they know that the students are getting a good education and students know that the employers will be looking for them (great incentive to go to a good school!).

Peoples choices have costs and have future consequences. High school students (and of course their parents) look for the best option for college career that have the fewest opportunity costs. I can go to a little community college and save money, but if I go to the more expensive university my degree will get me further later on. So is the extra money in tuition worth the potential future payoff?

So here it is summed up, there is more emphasis put on sporting events in colleges because the attention it brings allows the schools to survive.

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