Forbes – Watching the London Olympic Games, I am particularly focused on the 17 Olympians from Princeton University. I am rooting wholeheartedly for them and all the other collegiate athletes on the U.S. squad. But as an incoming high school senior and an overoptimistically hopeful, athletically unexceptional Princeton applicant, I know that like athletes across the nation, Princeton’s Olympians were probably given preferential access to their university. The recruitment of elite athletes from grade school onward is degrading our entire educational system, and it bodes ill not only for me and other academically oriented high schoolers but, more important, for America’s children and our nation’s future.
Most of us are taught that we need only perform well academically to get into college, but the uncomfortable reality is that America’s institutions of higher education give athletes special access at the expense of gifted students. Kids are not stupid. High schoolers and younger students and their parents see the commonplace success that athletes enjoy in college admissions, and kids understand that athletic prowess makes them far more likely to be admitted to a top school than does academic excellence alone.
What does this mean? It doesn’t encourage students to excel academically. Rather, America’s universities have brazenly created a perverse incentive for kids to focus on athletics from a very young age. After it becomes clear to a child that athletic skill maximizes his chance of being admitted to the college of his choice, that child will understandably focus on getting better at a sport.
How many millions of kids are steered toward sports early on in the hope of attaining admission to top colleges only to find that they aren’t good enough, and that in the pursuit of athletic excellence they’ve neglected their academic goals and aspirations, perhaps irrevocably? And why, in the first place, should a rower or a football player be valued four times higher and singled out years earlier than an academically comparable piccolo player or aspiring physicist or debater?
This week I am cheering for all collegiate Olympians. But when London 2012 ends, I’ll go back to hoping that Princeton admitted their competitors for their academic merit more than for their athletic prowess—for my own sake and for America’s.
Hey squid, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Seriously it’s not often that I’m left speechless by an article, but this squid left me totally and utterly speechless. I mean did he really say the reason kids start playing sports as children is to try to get into college? That sports are ruining this country? Huh? Newsflash squid kids play sports because they love them. Not to become rich or famous or get into Princeton. It’s just what young heterosexual boys do. Girls play with dolls. Guys play sports. We’re programmed to love it. It’s in our DNA. You play for glory, for fun, to be cool, to fuck bitches and to stick squids like you in lockers. If you’re really good you can play for money. But nobody and I mean nobody plays because they think it will get them into fucking Princeton.
And sports isn’t ruining this country either. Sports teaches kids discipline, work ethic, teamwork and how to overcome adversity. If more kids would get off their asses, stop skateboarding and stop playing video games the world would be a better place. The problem with this country is squids like you blaming all their problems on other people. But you wouldn’t know anything about taking responsibility for your actions because you’re a drama club geek.
But that’s not even the point of the blog. Let’s forget how preposterous all this is for a second. The bigger question is why was this article published on Forbes? That’s the most shocking part of all this right? Like when did Forbes start publishing nonsense from high school kids? When did they become bleacher report? Very odd. And if this is what our nations youth has become god help us all.