Black College Student Athletes Being Neglected Academically

Glenford RobinsonContributor IMarch 26, 2010

ST. LOUIS - MARCH 26: Derrick Nix #50 of the Michigan State Spartans looks to get past Jordan Eglseder #53 of the Northern Iowa Panthers during the midwest regional semifinal of the 2010 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Edward Jones Dome on March 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Some scholars believe that college sports programs in the United States are intentionally encouraging Black student athletes to focus on sports while encouraging them to neglect their studies. In fact, according to sources, the reason why college athletic departments do such a thing is because college sports tournaments, such as the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament brings in millions of dollars to college athletic departments from deals made with network television.

So, in order for the tournaments to be competitive and exciting, players have to perform at very high levels. How will a player play at a high level if he doesn’t practice long hours in the gym? Where will players get all this extra time to practice if they are studying? The answer is…They won’t get a lot of time to study if they are always practicing. This is common sense!

It is therefore up to the player to sacrifice study time for practice time. So, are Black athletes treated any different from players of other ethnicity in regards to being told to practice more and study less? Most of us really don’t know the answer to this question, but some scholars seem to have the answer. These scholars think that Black college athletes are being neglected academically in favor of sports, such as basketball. In what way are they being neglected? Does anyone have an answer to this question?

How can a college student be neglected academically in favor of sports? This is very hard to fathom, but not so for those who think that they are. Are these college student athletes being held by their hands and feet and forced to play sports? Don’t think so!

Academics are for the people who want it. Therefore, it does not matter whether or not an athlete is of a particular heritage. Athletes are not held by their hands and feet and forced to play sports. They play sports because they want to play, especially if they are good at the particular sport. Being good at a sport while in college sets the stage for a possible trip to the pros for most players. Therefore, there is no negativity when taken into such context.

Anyone would want to be in a college student athlete’s shoe, especially if the student is pro-bound. If athletes want to continue their education, they can do so while playing in the pros. In fact, one can only be neglected if the person doing the neglecting is in total control over the wellbeing of the person being neglected.

Therefore, if a student is being neglected, that student has the power to do something about it. Moreover, college is not junior high where teachers baby sit students and hold them by their hands to teach them. College students are supposed to be responsible young adults, needing little or no guidance when it comes to their studies.

If nothing else, it is a privilege for college students as a whole to play sports with the opportunity to get into a professional sports league. In fact, if some are going to say Black players are neglected academically, then they should also say college athletes of other ethnicities are neglected too. It is not only Black students who are good in college sports. There are players of other ethnicities that are very good players also.

While it is a good idea for a college student to focus on academics first before sports, very few students do, especially if they play college sports. The statistics are there to show that universities that have successful sports programs have very low graduation rates. But the fact still remains that this is totally up to the student to get up and go to class. So he can pass his exams.

Therefore, most would disagree with the notion that Black college student athletes are being neglected academically in favor of sports.

About Author

Glenford S Robinson is a Clinical Lab Scientist, Expert Author, and President of

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