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Sports Then and Now



A Counter-Intuitive Solution To Scandal In College Sports 4

Posted on September 04, 2011 by John Wingspread Howell

Jim Tressel and Terrelle Pryor are just among the latest to bring scandal to college athletics.

As college football scandals proliferate and deepen, this sports fan is beginning to feel as if we’re hitting bottom. It’s time to separate college athletics from professional sports.

My solution is simple. College athletics should be college athletics. No player should represent a school in any sport, if that player would not have been academically eligible to attend the school for which s/he plays.

Give athletic scholarships to all those who qualify both academically and athletically, and give them four year scholarships contingent on maintaining academic eligibility.

According to my proposal, any athlete wishing to play for a particular school would have to go through the regular admission process first. Only after being accepted on academic criteria, would an athlete then be eligible to compete for an athletic scholarship.

Such a policy would actually increase opportunities for athletes who are truly college material to play at the intercollegiate level, and to obtain scholarships to attend the best schools at which they can qualify. It would also eliminate the potential for abuse, since recruiting would be limited to athletes who are academically eligible, and since the athletic department would not have any influence over the admission process.

It is true that under this system the schools with the best athletic programs might be the schools with the lowest academic standards, but so be it.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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