Academic and athletics

04/23/2014 6:05 PM

04/23/2014 6:07 PM

The minute the discussion about college athletes wanting to unionize began, we started hearing the buzz words: money, strikes, work stoppages and union bosses.

Three letters to the editor last week called unionizing the demise of college athletics. Hmm, $5 million salaries to coaches don’t seem to have hurt anything.

The desire to unionize has very little to do with money (although the athletes need, and deserve, a bump).

It is about college students on athletic scholarships desiring to determine their educational path and create the time to pursue it. They want to decide not only the courses they take, but the major they want to achieve. In reality, only a handful of scholarship athletes have that freedom.

Today’s athletic departments steer players to those courses and degrees that ensure one thing: staying eligible. The average parent today would be embarrassed if their child came home and announced they were taking some of the classes these athletes take — or at least sign up for.

Incidentally, if you have an academic scholarship, you can take what courses you want; pursue whatever degree you desire; and can focus your time and effort on nothing but your education.

Gee, what a novel idea.

— Frank L. Matthews, Fort Worth

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