Stupid is as stupid does: Problems with pro sports players begin in grade school

7 Jul


Here is today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reported in the article, NFL considering not inviting ineligible players to combine:


The NFL is considering not inviting players who are academically ineligible in college to the scouting combine, a league source told


The move is being discussed because of the increased scrutiny on the maturity and commitment of the prospects entering the NFL, the source said, adding that if this measure was in place in 2013, a sizable group of players would not have been invited to Indianapolis for the combine.



Really. The problems with athletes begins long before they are being considered for a pro draft.



The Chronicle of Higher Education has an intriguing article by Libby Sandler about whether coaches should be responsible for the academic performance of their players. In Making the Grade Sandler reports:


Head coaches hold significant sway over the athletes on their teams. So why not hold those coaches accountable for the academic performance of the athletes they recruit?


After a year and a half of tinkering, officials of the NCAA have rolled out a new database that they hope will accomplish just that. The first-ever Head Coach APR Portfolio, as the data set is called, includes single-year academic-progress rates—the NCAA’s metric for gauging how well a team does in the classroom—for head coaches in six Division I sports. (The database will be expanded to include the rates for head coaches in all NCAA sports at the conclusion of the 2010-11 academic year.)….


Unfortunately, in this win at all costs culture, schools will recruit a cube of Swiss cheese if the cheese could score some points. Brian Burnsed of US News has an article about player graduation rates.


In NCAA Basketball Graduation Rate Disparity Between the Races Grows Burnsed reports about the costs of sports pressure on kids


Coaches have a great impact on players, but parents have a great influence as well. Too many players have pressure put on them to succeed in athletics because they are living out a parent’s failed dream or the parent feels the child is a lottery ticket out of miserable circumstances. The outcome of these failed dreams is often devastating.


Most kids will never appear at the Final Four or Superbowl. For kids who possess extraordinary talent and desire to achieve at the top level of sports, of course nurture their talent and their desire. But, society and their families owe it to these kids to be honest about their chances and the fact that they need to prepare for a variety of outcomes.



The NCAA has compiled a probability chart.



Athletes Women’s Basketball Men’s Basketball Baseball Men’s Ice Hockey Football Men’s soccer
High School Athletes 452,929 546,335 470,671 36,263 1,071,775 358,935
High School senior athletes 129,408 156,096 134,477 10,361 306,221 102,553
NCAA Athletes 15,096 16,571 28,767 3,973 61,252 19,797
NCAA Freshman Positions 4,313 4,735 8,219 1,135 17,501 5,655
NCAA Senior Athletes 3,355 3,682 6,393 883 13,612 4,398
NCAA Senior Athletes Drafted 32 44 600 33 250 75
Percentage: High School To NCAA 3.3% 3.0% 6.1% 11.0% 5.7% 5.5%
Percentage: NCAA To Professional 1.0% 1.2% 9.4% 3.7% 1.8% 1.7%
Percentage: High School To Professional 0.02% 0.03% 0.45% 0.32% 0.08% 0.07%


The National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, has estimated that the chances of competing in your chosen sport at the college level is not great. For example, only 3% of high school senior basketball players will play NCAA sponsored basketball. These figures do not take into account the opportunities that are available to compete in the lower divisions of the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA.


Read more. What are my chances of playing college sport?


In other words, most kids need to prepare for a life outside of athletics and for parents who are living out their dreams and hopes through their children, to tell them differently is reckless.


As anyone who has lived a few years knows there are no sure things or guarantees in life, as the NCAA probability chart illustrates. Athletes can be injured or cut from teams. A promising star high school star may never make it to a high paying professional position. Many “adults” were certainly not giving many children a good grounding in reality which they will need especially if they are successful. Successful will need all their wits about them to keep away from the scamps and scoundrels. And don’t forget the groupies who want to become WAGs and Baby Mamas. Some players have so many Baby Mamas they are literally looking at being called the “sperm donor,” not father of a nation. Successful people need to be grounded.


If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.


Abigail Van Buren


We have the Bill of Rights. What we need is a Bill of Responsibilities.


Bill Maher


We should all be glad that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not choose to dribble a basketball.



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