The Case Against Athletic Recruitment

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Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

By Sonja Hutson

While losing sleep and stressing about college applications, the last thing a senior wants to hear about is their friend’s guaranteed admission to a university because of their athletic excellence. An inequality between athletic versus academic acceptance is extraordinarily prevalent. This disparity is not the fault of the student athlete, but rather that of the system of college athletics.

Students are now beginning to understand that outstanding athletic achievement can get them into a great school. While this system has many benefits for the athlete, it’s not fair that there is a much bigger scholarship and recruitment market for athletes than for those with other skills, such as academics, creative writing or art.

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong
Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

When was the last time you heard of a high school student being recruited for anything other than athletics? These other skills can be just as valuable in the job market as athletic achievement, but because of our society’s fixation on sports, are not nearly as valued in our school system.

Whenever I have brought up this issue to my athlete friends, their response always addresses the fact that often athletes are not able to spend as much time on academics because they have spent so much time improving in their sport. If sports are such a big priority, then they should go to a school more focused on sports, not a school known primarily for its academics.

I don’t think that recruitment and scholarships should be eliminated or take place after admission, because they do have value. I do, however, think that admissions should be blind to athletic recruitment status. Recruitment officers should be able to entice athletes to apply to their school based on the quality of the academics and athletic programs, not on guaranteed admission.