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Coaching Tips

Should College Athletic Scholarships End?

Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential campaign, has found a new crusade. Amid the buzz of the NCAA basketball tournament, Nader has called for an end to college athletic scholarships.

You can easily see why someone would look at college sports and see problems. Basketball and football are cesspools filled with recruiting violations, spotty graduation rates and criminal arrests.

Just recently, Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd was arrested for driving under the influence. Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel faces a five-game suspension and $250,000 fine for violating NCAA rules. A September 2010 report by si.com documented the number of college basketball and football players running afoul of the law.

Yet there is another side to college sports. It’s an avenue for people who could otherwise not afford an education to get one. And, as naive as this sounds, sports is part of the educational process. It offers another prism through which to view and pursue excellence.

Far more athletes find themselves enriched through college sports than disgrace it. There are excellent coaches in every sport who enrich society with the way they motivate and teach.

Lessons learned in sports translate to success in professional and personal life. These lessons include discipline, commitment, hard work, focus, goal-setting, teamwork, strategies and persistence.

Finally, sports is here to stay. Like it or not, blemishes or not, society reveres sports heroes. That probably goes back to ancient days, when nations with strong and skilled warriors tended to survive.

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Mike Tully speaks to sports, business and educational groups. He also works with coaches, athletes and teams to make their practice time more productive and efficient. He and Gary Pritchard are co-authors of “Ten Things Great Coaches Know.” To see Coach Tully and Coach Pritchard discuss “Seven Ways to Prepare for Adversity,” click here.


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