Are high school sports treated like college sports
By Celeste Simmons | Posted September 29, 2015
Fresh new uniforms, new cleats, getting excused from classes, special advisors, no this isn’t college sports, its high school. Over the past few years, high school sports have taken on the role of something like a training camp for the pro’s and college sports. Instead of high school athletes getting looks their junior and senior year, recruiters are now looking at freshmen and sophomores, trying to seal the deal as early as possible. Which has resulted in many high schools treating their sports programs as colleges treat theirs.
Prep schools such as Don Bosco, St. Benedicts, and St. Peters Prep are perfect examples. Those schools treat their football, and for Benedicts soccer teams like a college team. They have study hours for their athletes, they get special gear and uniforms that they can keep for free, they travel more for games, and get special advisors that help them keep their grades on tract.
Many people, specifically parents, argue that that’s the wrong thing to do. They should be treated like regular students, that the perks spoil them, that the teachers let them just “get by” with their grades. And while in some cases yes that is true. There have been cases where grades have been tampered with so a student could play in a game, but those are few and far in between.
You never hear anyone complaining when the honors students get special treatment. No one complains when they get exempt from a final for having a certain GPA or when they get the newer or nicer computers, text books, or classrooms. If they can get things like that for their hard work why not a student athlete? What many people fail to realize is that these schools aren’t giving them nice stuff, letting them end their day early for a game, and getting extra attention from teachers just to make them look good, it’s motivating them to do better. And let’s face it, the high schools that are doing this have some of the top athletes in the nation or state, those high school students work hard and deserve it.
Let’s take St. Benedicts in Newark for example. Their soccer team has been one of the top teams in the nation for years. Their boys receive free uniforms, practice gear they can keep, and food before away games. “Varsity does get special treatment compared to other students” said Ian Simmons a freshman on the freshmen soccer team at St. Benedicts “as long as they keep their grades up I think its fine. If it falls below the GPA your advisor gives you then you have to miss a game and no one wants to miss a game.”
I remember in high school I hated doing homework with a passion. My freshman year I barely did any and my grades suffered. When I went out for the track team, I had the fastest time trials, I knew I would make varsity, but I didn’t. Why? Because my GPA was too low. You needed a 3.0 or better. It was the most devastating moment of my life, I didn’t get the new spikes, I didn’t get to go on the nice coach bus to away meets. It hurt but it made me
work harder. It gave me a reason to do my homework.
Everyone talks about a lack of motivation, a lack of focus, but treating these young athletes this way gives them just that. They want to play in college, they want to go pro, and they’re getting a taste of what that’s like. To keep getting the perks, they have to keep their grades up. Take that away from them and they’ll just feel like what’s the point.
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