If there’s one positive thing to come from the coronavirus, it’s the focus on athletics (“How College Sports Can Survive,” The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal,” June 17). With reduced or cancelled seasons, there is fear that colleges and universities will never be the same again.
Yet I wonder if that is so bad. What has happened over the years is that athletics have come to play a disproportionate role in higher education. For example, students are admitted even though their grades and test scores would otherwise disqualify them, and athletic directors are paid far more than professors. These things make a mockery of the purpose of colleges and universities.
Critics of my view will argue that athletics are part of education. I agree. But if so, what about intramural athletics? Why do big stadiums have to be built? Why are coaches so revered? The answer is that they are highly profitable. That is quite true. But what price is paid?
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