There are many good athletes in professional sports today. There are many good athletes in college sports today also. Some of the biggest names in sports are Mark McGwire, Steve Young, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and so on. Now, imagine if all of those players never made it to the pros. What would happen to professional sports? Why are they in the pros now? To make it into professional sports you need more than just talent. You need opportunity. College scholarships not only give athletes the opportunity to reach the professional ranks, but also give the chance for many players to earn a degree in higher education.
Many people dream of being a professional athlete. Some people make it a reality, but how? There is always a process to reach certain goals. When people think of the process on how to achieve a professional sporting status, people think of doing well in high school first, then earning a college scholarship to give them an edge. After the college status has been achieved, they are ready to take the last step of faith and enter a draft. Could they have done it without going to college first? Think of it this way, when baking a cake all the ingredients must be put together, then it must be baked. After it’s done baking, the final product is a delicious cake. The cake can’t be complete without it being baked. There can not be a missed step in the process. Could Mark McGwire have made it to the pros without attending The University of Southern California(USC) on an athletic scholarship or Michael Jordan without attending North Carolina, Allen Iverson without attending Georgetown University, or Steve Young without attending Brigham Young University? To earn a spot on a roster, you can not miss a step in the process of getting there. A college scholarship is a giant step.
Along with college scholarships being a step to making it into professional sports, it is also many times the only way for some people to earn a college degree. College is very expensive and can many times run young adults into a large debt once out of college. For example, USC can cost up to $25,000 a year to attend. That includes tuition, books, parking, room, and board. At the end of a 4 year term at USC, the total comes out to about $100,000. That $100,000 is excluding other living expenses such as gas, car payment, car insurance, clothing, and general spending money. Not only is that figure contained to USC but can be easily applied to Georgetown, Brigham Young and The University of North Carolina. That’s a very expensive education and not everybody has the luxury of spending that much money. Many people would take the opportunity to go to college if they could earn scholarships for sports and not pay $100,000 for four years of college. It’s money well saved.
Another aspect that people generally don’t think about is how much money alumni contribute to their former school due to the tradition of their sports programs. If there were no athletic scholarships there would be no scouting for talented athletes, which means schools would less likely have quality players on their teams. Without headlines, such as the ones that come from sports championships, alumni have a lesser reason to financially support their former school. Many colleges need the funding from alumni to afford additional programs on campus such as grants for research, better buildings, and more resources. Not only does it pay for more funding but the alumni donations also go towards other academic scholarships and awards to deserving students. Colleges can not afford to lose that kind of funding.
Athletic scholarships not only help athletes achieve their goals in reaching the professional ranks of sports, but they also give many people the opportunity to earn a better education and gives colleges more opportunity to receive additional funding to enhance the campus and its resources. The general public probably would not have heard the names of Michael Jordan, Mark McGwire, Allen Iverson, and Steve Young if it weren’t for athletic scholarships.