With the end of the school year coming, many college athletes are considering next year.
All too often, athletes are opting out of finishing their degrees to go straight to professional leagues. However, this is not a good idea for most of them, for several reasons.
First, the world of professional sports is extremely competitive, as all college athletes know. Less than 1% of college students hoping to make it into a professional sports league end up going on to play more. Having a degree and being able to make a life for themselves in the real world will greatly improve their chances at succeeding. There is too much at stake for these athletes to not graduate from college, just in case the major leagues don’t work out.
Second, there is another thing that could prevent athletes from making a career of sports, even if they have been signed to a professional team. Injuries sideline many athletes every year, and, in some cases, end their careers. Even though they were good enough to be a professional sports player, they could still have a very short career, and not have enough money to retire on. They will have to go outside of the world of sports, or at least playing sports, to sustain themselves for the rest of their lives. Having a college degree will greatly help them if this happens.
Third, there is another incentive to graduate from college. Almost every single university in the country has to maintain a certain graduation rate of students they accept in order to receive funding for extra things, like sports. Although this may not affect the athlete directly, it can make being a college athlete more difficult for future students. If too many people don’t graduate and go straight to professional sports, the school will lose government funding and will not be able to provide as many scholarships in the future. High school students that would not be able to get into college by their academic merit but would have a chance at getting accepted for sports. This can hurt the future of college and professional sports for many years. Although it may be easier for the current college student, it is not good for the world of sports or for prospective college athletes.