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Life Lessons

School shifts from NCAA to fitness

Amid the swamp of college athletics, we see a school that wants to live clean.

Spelman College of Atlanta has decided to leave the NCAA and focus on fitness instead of competition.

According to this article in the New York Times, Spelman joins the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn in leaving the NCAA in the last decade.

Considering the obesity epidemic in this country and the perversion of education happening in big-time sports programs, Spelman’s decision makes sense.

I say this as someone who believes in athletics, coaches athletics, watches athletics. I use athletics to help students get into college and be successful there. I believe there are important lessons to be learned from competition. I even believe there is a place for athletic scholarships, just as there is a place for music and academic scholarships.

But does anyone think that someone who plays competitive basketball from October to April can really fulfill the student part of being a student-athlete? Exactly what educational values come from Rutgers’ decision to spend $105 million on a facelift for its football stadium?

I ask this question in all seriousness: Does an institution with big-time athletic programs deserve to be called a university?

Congratulations to Spelman.


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