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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

    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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