Libby Michigan

Athletics vs. Academics

Multiple people are lead to believe that academics are the only way to be successful and that athletics only take away from academic success. But, can't athletics lead to success too?

Dear Future President,

All I have ever heard from people is that athletics should be cut because academics are more important.

Multiple people insist that athletics get in the way of academics, and that they are an unhealthy priority for the student, yet , I have not found one piece of factual evidence that supports this claim. After reviewing multiple articles, and finding multiple facts, it is actually proven that athletic success results in academic success.

According to Jay P. Greene, “Using several different specifications, we find that higher rates of athletic success and participation were associated with schools having higher overall test scores and higher educational attainment… With regard to attainment, a 10 percentage point increase in a school’s overall winning percentages associated with a 1.3 percentage point improvement in its CPI, which is an estimate of its high school graduation rate.”

In response to the piece of factual evidence above, athletic success is actually associated with schools that have higher test scores. So why are we letting programs be cut? In my opinion, there should be more time given to sports.

According to Jay Matthews at Washington Post, “ But sports participation is going up, despite pressure to cut it back.” It is proven, that sports programs are being cut, when they actually improve these students academics.

Why wouldn't this make us want to create more sports, so that more students show interest? More importantly, why are people trying to cut sports programs and push academics, when there is only evidence to support academic growth from athletic students.

What if we decided to eliminate all sports from high school? It would leave all previous athletes in an insatiable state of restlessness. These student-athletes are connected to these sports, some putting the majority of their spare time into it, and growing up knowing only the love of a sport. How could one possibly take away this connection from student athletes?

I myself play two sports, and my freshman year, my grades were better in the fall when I was running cross country and playing soccer, rather than in the winter when I was only doing part-time soccer.

We need to look into creating more athletic opportunities, and into expanding the programs instead of cutting them. Sports provide students with happiness and something to look forward too every day. As an athlete, I love ending my day with two hours of soccer practice.

But, two hours per day actually isn't enough. Some of us have dreams of playing in college. How are we expected to get recruited, when we only get 10 hours of practice weekly? We need more time for practice.

Everyone cares about school because if you do well in school, you do well in life. Why is it that only academics can lead to future success? There is a myriad of people that have an immense amount of athletic skill. I guess people see academics as the safe route, and the more logical route, but that doesn't mean that athletics is an unguaranteed opportunity.

I think we need to take more time to look at not only the importance of athletics, but also the enjoyment it provides for student-athletes. To cut sports from high schools, would be a step in the wrong direction for both academics and athletics.

Respectfully yours,

Libby Kurtz

Royal Oak High School

Royal Oak Ravens

High school juniors and seniors from Royal Oak, Michigan.

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