The value of an athlete’s education | Inquirer Sports
One Game At A Time

The value of an athlete’s education

/ 11:23 PM February 19, 2012

The remaining weeks of February are perhaps the most grueling and excruciating for the college seniors hoping to graduate this March. There is an endless stream of papers to write, oral exams to show up for or group projects that need attention and patience.

Compound this with the excitement of getting graduation photos, the ceremony itself and the reality that yes, this is the final year of their college education. Chip in the added pressure of having to look for a job after graduation, especially for those who need it badly to be able to help the family income or to send other siblings to school.

This is the normal anxiety that college seniors go through but you can’t help but ponder about the student athletes who will be marching along with their classmates. For the basketball players, there might be an additional year to play for one more title since most collegiate leagues allow a five-year eligibility. Or perhaps amateur clubs have already called, paving the way for a possible shot at the PBA in the near future.


For athletes of the “other sports,” there is also the possibility of extending one’s playing years after graduation. The military teams are a viable option because they allow an athlete to play a discipline while giving service. The resurgence of football has seen the birth of the United Football League and the possibility of college players playing on. Baseball Philippines has a tournament every summer.


If athletes are truly outstanding, then they could be national team material and their respective NSAs can tap them to be members of the training pool. But if you really look at it closely, an athlete has to be really brilliant to be able to extend his or her shelf life. There aren’t that many professional opportunities for athletes in the country and most of them become trainers and coaches after their playing days are over.

But not all star athletes can coach. How many times have we seen it in sports when a star athlete takes over the coaching reins but fails miserably because he or she can’t teach? For many of the stars, their skills and talent were natural. And even if you espouse the importance of hard work and perseverance, it’s hard to mold an athlete who has less talent than one’s coach.

So the importance of having a college education remains paramount, regardless of degree. Many college athletes coast through their classes with lackluster effort because they feel that their primary role in school is to win championships. They feel that the physical energy they burn in sports snuffs out any effort to crack their books and do homework. We all know many of these athletes are on scholarship but that is precisely why they should take advantage of such a blessing and not waste it.

Colleges must continuously warn their athletes that the harsh realities of the world will not be as forgiving. They must be ready with basic skills and work habits that will earn them employment outside sports. Athletes must also be counseled that a simple twist of fate like an injury can drastically change one’s dreams.

As the school year ends, we wish the class of 2012 the very best. May the athletes of this batch reach most of their dreams, adjust them at the right time and change them when there is a need to do so.

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TAGS: Baseball Philippines, PBA, United Football League

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