Questioning the place of sports in college: Drop football, save academics?

A Chicago-area junior college has dropped its football program. Sad day for student-athletes? A tale of Title IX excess? No, says the Chicago Tribune‘s John Keilman (listed as “reporter” though this is clearly an op-ed).

I think a lot of bigger schools would be well-advised to study Harper’s sensible example. What would they discover if they put their athletic departments under a similar microscope? Do their teams really add to the educational experience? Or have they drifted into isolated orbits, estranged from their schools’ true purpose?

I have a feeling that if other colleges and universities had the courage to act on what they found, America would have a lot more empty football fields.

So on one hand, we’re being told that sports — particularly women’s sports — cultivate a sense of belonging and empowerment that go hand in hand with learning and developing our full potential. And yet a football team at a junior college somehow ruins that school’s educational mission?

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Beau Dure

The guy who wrote a bunch of soccer books and now runs a Gen X-themed podcast while substitute teaching and continuing to write freelance stuff.

2 thoughts on “Questioning the place of sports in college: Drop football, save academics?”

  1. Just a terrible piece from someone who hates sports and doesn’t see how that school’s situation was very specific.

  2. I’m not so sure that community colleges should be in the sports business. Most people attending community colleges didn’t make that choice for the college atmoshere, they are there for financial or academic reasons. Community colleges need to remain a financial alternative for those who can not affort higher level schools. Even the $350K of the cost of a football team, can be better put to use. If there is enough interest, sponsor some club sports.

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