Brain over Brawn?

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Mark Lynch, Writer

The American college system is one of the most difficult processes for any student to go through. Being an athlete could help. For example, 67% of athletes receive financial aid. There are also over 450,000 student athletes in college. There is no question that being recruited by colleges will help you through the process but is it too much?

Some students from Cranford High School seem to think so. Student Kelly McAuliffe says that “when a person works hard in class and gets good grades but loses a spot in college to people who are recruited solely for their athletic performances feels like athletics are more important than academics in our society”.

The main issue that came up was that some student athletes know they can coast by on athletic ability alone so they don’t try in school. But there are also people who try very hard in school and get good grades who can’t get into some schools.

Some people have a different perspective. Connor Burke, a senior athlete who was recruited by colleges, believes in a different perspective, arguing that “although the athletes are not gifted in the classroom they work hard with their ability on the field. It is also a good way for people with lesser ability in the classroom to get a higher education”. Athletics do a lot for people and they can be a way to push yourself forward in the world. In this modern world college is almost a necessity so anyway a person can get in they should try to pursue it.

Even though they are athletes there is another part to the term; student. Elisabeth Lynch; mom believes that there is more to the question. She said, “sometimes athletics help a very good student get into an academically challenging college because universities recognize the importance of being able to balance athletic and academics”.

Although students are recruited for their athletic ability they still need somewhat of good grades. Sports also teaches life lessons about managing time and teamwork. It has shown that “exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps the body build more connections between nerves, leading to increased concentration, enhanced memory, stimulated creativity, and better-developed problem solving skills” (Rochester). Sports not only can help you get into colleges but they can help you succeed in life.

Student athletes have a questionable role in the college process and there are many ways of looking at it. The American Collegiate system definitely rewards student athletes but is the reward justified? Does the hard work on the field make up for the work not always done to the best of their ability in the classroom.