This year’s March Madness featured an updated version of a longstanding NCAA television commercial that conveyed a forgotten truth to sports enthusiasts: “There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and almost all of us will be going pro in something other than sports.”
The commercial underscores an important fact: only about two percent of college athletes make it to the professional level. Despite this reality, up to 75 percent of college athletes believe they are within that two percent.
A similar misperception prevails at the middle and high school level. Even the youngest of youth sports — parents and players are driven by a false promise of competing at the collegiate level. Depending on the sport, only three to nine percent of all high school athletes will compete in NCAA Division I, II, or III college sports — and many college athletes do not receive athletic scholarships (Division III even prohibits them). And only one to three percent of high school athletes make it Division I.
As a former college athlete, state championship winning high school coach, and lifelong sports fan, I recognize the tremendous role athletics can play in one’s life. Positive character development and unforgettable memories can be made. But the NCAA’s commercial provides a needed reality check — the majority of today’s students will go pro in something other than sports. In essence, the balance of life and one’s livelihood will be dependent on the student part of the popular phrase, student-athlete.
Spanning more than a year, teacher unions had largely refused to fully reopen schools for in-person learning, asserting it wasn’t safe for their members. The refusal comes despite the fact that private schools reopened and have remained open since last August and September, despite public schools’ receiving a series of massive additional federal funding, despite the overwhelming medical evidence that schools can operate safely when fully open, and despite vaccination privileges for teachers above other working groups.Continue Reading at