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Should Athletes be allowed to major in their sports?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by downtown, Oct 8, 2012.

?

Should you be able to Major in "Football" (or any other sport)?

  1. Sure, if the program is set up like DT said in the OP

    28.1%
  2. Sure, but only if the program is set up differently, which I will explain

    6.3%
  3. No

    50.0%
  4. I don't know

    6.3%
  5. Downtown for Chair of the Sports Department

    9.4%
  1. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

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    It's also a great and easy way for a school to garner free prestige and national notoriety.
     
  2. Terxpahseyton

    Terxpahseyton How much Parmesan to put on your umbrella?

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    From galdre's link:
    Interesting.
     
  3. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    I think it's fine if the coursework is as you describe. Sports is big business and we have other industry specific business degrees.

    I don't think the playing time should count for anything.
     
  4. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

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    I'm not sure about the details but on the surface it's a great idea. There are plenty of worthless degrees already, it's not like adding basketball to the list would be worse.
     
  5. Goodfella

    Goodfella Showing results for

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    No way. This is bogus and it makes a mockery out of the very idea of higher education. It already bugs me enough that so many universities seem to value athletics more than academics. And so many waste their potential by pursuing highly improbably fantasies. Sports are child's play and an excuse for dudes to get together and drink.
     
  6. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Athletic departments per se aren't really the whole story. A school that enjoys success in sports can also gain a lot of money in terms of merchandising. Products with the school emblem sell a lot better if the school is a recognizable brand, and that comes either with widely recognized and sustained academic success or the existence of a rooting interest.
     
  7. jtb1127

    jtb1127 Deity

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    I think allowing people to major in football, basketball, etc. achieves several things:

    1. Wastes school resources
    2. Encourages athletes to ruin their future by attaining a pointless degree
    3. Mocks higher education. Yeah, I know dumb majors already exist, which is why we shouldn't create new ones just for people who get to wear special helmets and tackle each other.
     
  8. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Why would this degree be pointless? Dozens of schools offer degrees in sports management, which is a real degree with rigorous coursework, along with communication and exercise science. If somebody wanted to be a football coach (and there are thousands of those jobs in the US), there isn't really a major for it...we actually force students to get a degree that has nothing to do with their desired vocation. THAT seems silly.

    It would not be difficult to create an enriching and useful curriculum based on a sport. The only novelty would be allowing students to credit the 4 hours of film study or 20 hours of practice a week towards their craft, something we allow for virtually every other major. If you wanted to be a coach, studying film is more academically relevant than making coffee for a congressman is to a political science major, and yet nobody bats an eye at giving the later academic credit?

    I've also noticed now that I've been working a lot in sports media that so many journalists and commentators do not have a very strong tactical understanding of the sport. That's a real industry with real jobs, what is so bad about making it a real study?
     
  9. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    If a spoiled idiot doesnt want to do classes, he still isnt going to want to do them even if its a sport focused career. This bumpkin of a QB didnt ask "why arent my classes more interesting?", he asked "why do I have to go to classes?". I mean a sports style degree is a legitimate degree option that should be open to anyone who wants to try to go into that line of work, but I dont think its going to cure the problem of idiot athletes who are disinterested in school.
     
  10. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    Sports have been a pretty big part of human endeavor for some time; there's certainly enough about them that could be studied academically. I don't see how this mocks higher education any more than other entertainment-centric degrees like film and theater. Obviously, these aren't going to consistently churn out Steven Spielbergs and Liam Neesons, but there are smaller sorts of work for which degrees like that are useful. People going for an inter-disciplinary athletic studies degree might want to be referees or sports commentators or high school coaches. Not booming job markets, but not highly improbable fantasies.
     
  11. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

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    I don't see how some schools offering degrees in hockey would devalue a degree in biology or whatever.
     
  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Going to University just to play football or any other sport is a bit of a foreign concept for me, but on the surface this seems like a decent enough idea.

    I just think that it's not really a solution but rather a quick pave-over fix to the whole "people just going to university so they can play a sport and not focus on something intellectual" thing. I mean, say you are a QB and end up taking a bunch of sports management, exercise science, game theory, and whatever else courses on top of playing for the football team. It just seems to me like those courses would only exist as a way to get around the whole "A university should be a place of intellectual thought" thing - fluff courses for those who are only really there to play football and aren't really interested in being intellectually stimulated.

    Question: Say you're 18 and your career choice is either being a scout, coach, a broadcaster, or something else related to those jobs. Would you presently go to university to end up with a job like that?

    Being a scout for example doesn't seem like something that would warrant an intellectually stimulated education - it seems like you need something a bit more hands-on and a bit less theory-heavy than what university coursework provides.

    A broadcaster is different.. I think? I'm just guessing but I can see something like that warranting a university education.

    A coach? I don't see that as something warranting a university-level education either.

    So in the end you'd end up inserting a bunch of courses and programs into the university system that don't really belong there. I'm not really a traditionalist, but I do think that university programs should adhere to some sort of an intellectual standard.

    People wanting to get into some fields shouldn't even be going to University to begin with. Unfortunately a lot of kids are sort of funneled into the university/college system here in North America as a must-do part of life. Some of them shouldn't be.. Not every single career choice requires a university-level education and playing as a quarterback for the New York Jets is definitely not one that should warrant a university degree. If you want to eventually be a quarterback for an NFL team, but also want an undergraduate Chemistry degree? Great! That's what university should be for - people who want a degree for academic or intellectual reasons - or because the field & career they want to get into requires it.

    I realize that in the U.S. a football program can be an important money maker for a university.. So any argument I make has to keep this in mind. Plus I think that it's really the only way for someone who wants to play football to advance his career? (Or are there other stepping stones you could get involved in instead of going to college to eventually end up @ the New York Jets?)

    I gotta get to work, but yeah, in the end I think that if you go to university you should have to pick a "traditional" degree. Otherwise next thing you know people are going to be majoring in even sillier things.. which I'm sure happens already to some degree, but we shouldn't be diluting the university experience any further.
     
  13. amadeus

    amadeus めっちゃしんどい

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    They shouldn't even be asked to come to regular classes; they're there to play sports, not to read books.
     
  14. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    Sure, why not? I'd also be fine with athletes not taking any classes.

    Their sports should absolutely not count as any credits for university.

    This is the best solution.

    Most people in most industries don't have a very strong tactical understanding of what they're doing.

    I agree with amadeus!
     
  15. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    You might be able to get a job as a scout without a college education, but broadcasting and coaching typically require degrees unless the individual had a long professional athletic career beforehand.
     
  16. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Oops, I missed this. For most sports, there are plenty of other ways to get to an athletic career. For American football and some Olympic sports, there aren't really.
     
  17. ELITEOFWARMAN8

    ELITEOFWARMAN8 King

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    Not only that but what make you think you might get a high gig job at CBS Sunday show anyhow if you was not apart of the NFL?
     
  18. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    Jim Nantz, Greg Gumble, Ian Eagle, Marv Albert, Kevin Harlan, Bill Macatee and Spero Dedes all announce football games for CBS, and none of them have played professional sports (although I do believe about half of broadcasting jobs go to ex-jocks). It's a big controversy in the sports media community.
     
  19. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Broadcasting makes sense; what sort of degree would you need for coaching? My only knowledge in this area stems from soccer.. and in that sport most coaches are ex-players, with a couple exceptions - and I don't think any of them went school with coaching in mind specifically.

    I think in that sense what the player said

    is very understandable. (unless he worded it in a "I don't wanna go to class waaaahhh" type of way)

    Why is there no avenue for people who want to play professional football, other than university? Why *should* someone who just wants to play professional football as a career have to study chemistry, biology, or history? What's the point?

    In soccer, promising young players end up at youth academies. These are institutions set up by professional clubs where the next generations of talent are produced. I suppose that American football clubs must just love that this is done for them at Universities without them having to contribute 1 penny.

    The thing with youth academies is that students have the option to continue their studies while they train to become the next soccer superstar. I'm not sure exactly how this is done.. But it seems like the best of both worlds.

    North American soccer clubs have already started setting up their own youth academies, because most college kids end up going into american football or basketball.. or whatever. Their plan is to totally bypass that avenue of talent creation and have their own academies that they pay for, where kids can train to become the next superstar athlete, with an option to go to college on the side.

    I don't know much about American football, but I don't see them going down this road because it'd mean millions of extra costs a year.. But other than that.. Win-win?
     
  20. downtown

    downtown Crafternoon Delight

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    The majority of coaching jobs are at the prep level, so you would need a teaching certificate. The specific major for a coaching job at the college level isn't as important right now, but if there was a sports major, then that would probably be the sort of thing an athletic director would want.


    The economics of American football make a minor league system unlikely to ever be profitable. A player could, theoretically, skip college to play Arena ball or join the CFL, but the learning curve is too steep, and without access to the top flight competition of college ball, they're very unlikely to make it. The short answer is that there is too much money in the status quo, and setting up an alternative system would be too expensive.

    An actual degree is the responsible hedge, since so few players at even elite football programs have sustained professional athletic careers, especially in football. To be, thats why making a degree program around the game makes sense, as it would better prepare them for jobs where their playing career would be more transferable.

    Yup, thats another huge reason. Baseball, and to a lesser extent Basketball, operate using a system similar to soccer though.

    You can play a lot more soccer games during the year with less equipment costs than American football though.
     

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