There is a widespread consensus that our public-education systems are in serious trouble. But amid the conflicting diagnoses of the problem—teacher training, standardized testing, socioeconomic conditions—we have missed this obvious one: The growth of high-school athletics over the past generation has necessarily meant fewer resources devoted to academics, especially in the zero-sum budgetary environment of so many school districts. How many other educational systems pay for sports out of their education funds?
i was the broke guy in college washing his socks with bar soap in the shower. that being said, Im fairly sure I purchased 90% of my college textbooks (and my kindbud) from basketball/football players who had the uncanny ability to walk into bookstores, get books at no cost without stealing, and then sell them to me for a fraction of the cost. i know that SOMEONE, including myself, is paying for these books, but given the current system, I wouldn't have had them if it weren't for college athletics.
There's another side, too. I didn't play high school sports, because my high school didn't have a hockey team (they do now). I had to play for an area travel team. A private team doesn't care what your grades are; they only care if you are late for practice. I came within a hair's width of failing out of high school, but if you fail classes, you can't play sports at most schools. I wonder if I would've been a good student if I were on a sports team. I don't know, but its worth speculating.