Monday, December 1, 2008

More help for the overprivileged

It's bad enough that some athletes who are totally ill-suited for college and have no interest in a degree are allowed to use our institutions of higher learning as, they hope, a springboard to a professional athletic career, but the pandering to and butt-kissing of athletes has really gotten ridiculous at the University of Illinois. The athletes there, according to a recent AP report, have access to a $6 million facility with oversized leather chairs and fancy Oriental rugs. A special club, you might ask? No, it's a tutoring center. The Irwin Academic Services Center is restricted to athletes, meaning only 550 of the school's 37,000 students can gain entry to the educational palace. At the University of Illinois and other schools, folks are raising an uproar about this special treatment and are petitioning for all students to have access. But learning specialist Debby Roberts, who works at the Illinois center, defends the practice of segregating and elevating athletes, saying they need more help to focus on education. "It's a daily battle," said Roberts. "They all want to think they're going to turn pro." Well, fine. Those who do turn pro can make their money that way. Those who are deluding themselves about their value as athletes should be buckling down and hitting the books, and if they don't, they have no one to blame but themselves. Sam Carson, a fifth-year senior who plays linebacker on the Illinois football team and majors in actuarial science, said the mandatory tutoring program at the school helps him by requiring him to put in time on school work. "In high school, parents or teachers keep an eye on you," said Carson. "Here, I might have been tempted to stay in my room and watch television if I didn't have to put in those study hours." Anyone who is that lazy and unmotivated when given the gift of a free college education doesn't deserve to be there in the first place.



Blogger PRIguy said...

I remember a day when an athlete got to college BECAUSE of his academic performance as well as his athletic abilities.

College isn't for everyone, but there certainly shouldn't be a center for remedial education at a college. Isn't that what separates those who have academic ability and those who don't? By using the logic of this college, anyone and everyone should be able to get into college and only then make sure they are able to achieve.

December 2, 2008 at 10:59 AM  

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