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Discontinue all competitive sports at all educational levels

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
OK, so now I've admitted I watch Boston Public. That's what gave me the idea.

Getting sports out of the schools would save loads of money, for one thing. Right now, my college is spending $80 million on a new football stadium. That's probably enough for college educations for every low-income child in America.

And also, teachers tend to show extreme favoritism toward athletes - they get better grades for lower-quality work, and they can get away with ANYTHING, even at the middle school level. My mom used to teach hs and junior high and she was so sick of seeing athletes beat up nerds and not even get a warning.

But, this would not totally take sports away from the students! PE classes could still offer football, basketball, swimming and everything else, just on a recreational and not competitive basis. In college these classes could be used to satisfy the PE requirement. Also, there are a lot of students who enjoy sports but are not "good enough" to make a team - this would give them the opportunity to play as well.

At my college, a school athletic event is listed as the only acceptable excuse for missing an exam. Not even caring for a sick child or going to a funeral is an excuse! Student athletes are overworked, often visting a different state each day, and this has a negative affect on their grades.

And if students want to play competitive sports, they can form community teams or join the numerous ones that exist.

I don't believe my school would be spending that $80 million if football were just a recreational class.
post #2 of 25

I agree partially.

I think competitive sports in grade schools and high schools should be eliminated and the money spent on music classes which are being cut totally. Music is much more beneficial to academic achievement.

Colleges on the otherhand, make a lot of money on football etc. and the money for stadiums, etc. usually come from those profits.
post #3 of 25
Many schools offer the competetive teams and intramurals where you can play for fun and not have the stress of a team sport. I see nothing wrong with competitive sports. I understand you can take them too far and too seriously, but they really can teach a strong sense of community and working together.
post #4 of 25
I wouldn't mind getting rid of them up to the high school level, in theory. I think they waste educational time, are a distraction and suck up too many resources that would be better spent on academics.

But they do serve a useful purpose for some kids. In the public school where dh teaches, the student athletes are not favored at all. They must maintain good grades and stay out of trouble. That can be hugely motivating for some kids. Before he started teaching in his current school, I know dh would have agreed the sports should go, but he sees a real up side to them there. It is a mostly blue collar area, and sadly, most of the parents would have zero involvement in the school if it weren't for the sports.

I work at a large public university, which has always had mediocre sports teams. Lately there is a huge push to improve the athletics. I wish that at the same time the library budget is being gutted, we weren't pouring money into this crap.
post #5 of 25
I have fond memories of being part of my school's cross country running team. I wasn't a star of the team, and I didn't play other sports at the varsity level, but I did love the running. I think a lot of school teams have a few stars, but they have a lot of other kids who are just there for a different experience.

Some people would argue that those kids could get that sport experience within the community, but I'm not sure that is true. I know my parents would not have helped me get to a running group, though they were happy enough to let the teachers and my school provide me with the running group. I think that schools often offer a wide range of experiences to young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to try them. That includes music and the use of a library, IMHO, as well, by the way. Schools should be balanced, of course.
post #6 of 25

As a jock, I gotta put in my two cents here.

But I really want to get off the computer and see my pixie...so I'm going to be really rude and dump and run:

I don't agree that getting rid of the sports is the solution. I think the management of the sports programs is the problem. And I think everyone should have to play a sport. Just as I think everyone should have to study music and mathematics and literature and logic and auto mechanics. I don't consider it an option. BUT, I think most coaches ARE optional. As well as school policies that treat athletes differently than everyone else.

Gotta run. (See? this was really short for me. )
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
Yes, music and drama are very important.

That's why I don't like the favoritism shown to athletes - at my university you can reschedule a final exam if you have an athletic event, but not if you are singing in a choir, playing in the orchestra, or acting in a play.
post #8 of 25
I've never heard of a study showing any benefit to the children of sports programs. There's at least one book saying there isn't. I also saw a report on several cities where school funds are being cut while large stadiums are being built.
post #9 of 25
The main argument I hear against competitive sports programs at schools (elementary/high/univ.) is how much money they suck up.

The way they are managed now, in general, this is true. It is also true that a lot of people set up different standards for athletes than for other students. (It is outrageous that a game is a suitable excuse for missing an exam while a performing for the school in a different event like a play is not.) This IS a big problem.

However, competitive sports themselves are not the problem. I dealt with this argument all the time when growing up because my mother was vehemently opposed to competitive sports (except for tennis) under any conditions. Her reasons (NOT necessarily the reasons of anyone here, btw!) were (1) they are a fascist tool (yes, she used those words) for oppression of the child's soul; (2) she said you shouldn't compete against others, only yourself; (3) that ignoramuses were glorified for being good at hitting a ball and scholars were ignored and too much money was thrown at the ignoramuses; and (4) although she didn't admit it, as she was not good at athletics because she had never given herself the chance (she was an excellent dancer with great coordination so I think she could easily have been a conventional athlete if she had wanted to) and because she feared physicality.

I was naturally very athletic. She HATED this. I had to come up with counterarguments for all of the above any time I was going to do something athletic (unless it was tennis) instead of something she wanted me to do.

#2 first: Sports aren't the only competitive area of life. I'm not saying that is good or how it should be, just that many many people are incredibly competitive about all kinds of things. Including things that one shouldn't be. You can't avoid competion by doing away with competitive sports.

#3 is a product of people, not the sports themselves. In my schools (grade and high), if you were slacking off in your studies, you got thrown off the team until your work improved. (The same thing happened to theater people. You couldn't let your studies lag. Theoretically, it could happen to any extracurricular event, but no one in the Math League got hit with it.:LOL) This also happened if you were caught smoking. At the university I went to when just out of school (didn't last long, left to work), the sports were there but weren't heavily financed by the admin. The teams were clubs and the club had to raise funds themselves. No stadia. The admin. paid for the upkeep of the "pitches", we would call them fields, but that was it...trim the grass, roll the lawns after the winter, occasionally a bit of grass seed. (This was in another country, sports were really important but handled differently.)

#4 I'm not even going to touch. Pure speculation.

#1 I never was able to answer this one directly It is a point of view and I have seen some coaches definately behave in a way that could make this appear to be absolutely true. I have run as far as possible from them. IN FACT, all the fascist coaches I had were for "non-competitive" stuff like calesthenics and gymnastics in PE class. In my high school, if you were on a team or danced (we had two fabulous dancers as professors and choreographers), you didn't have to take PE. I made SURE I was never in that PE class.

...... Another way to answer this point is by describing what I got out of the competitive sport teams I was on. The biggest thing for me was the incredible feeling that occasionally happened when the ball/puck was going down the field/ice passed from person to person, without any obvious, sensible communication between us and makes it into the goal apparently effortlessly and of itself. It as if the team was one mind, even though we were many people. When I got older, I learned that this was a Zen experience for me. At the time, it was just exciting. It didn't happen very often, but it was worth waiting for.

Another thing that doesn't (or at least didn't) come up very often in other contexts without some kind of a crisis was Honor. Yup, with a capital "H". I had a couple of coaches who were pretty hard-assed about this. It isn't just following the rules. It was also not going out of your way to make someone else look bad. It was enjoying (or at east pretending to) the game no matter if you won or lost. It was being a good and gracious winner just as you should be a good and graceful loser. It meant having some modesty. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS REALLY MISSING FROM A LOT OF SPORTS!!!! But it is a nice ideal and I think that those horrible girls in Illinois could have benefited from it.

Comments?



edited to correct a glaring spelling error.
post #10 of 25
"And I think everyone should have to play a sport. Just as I think everyone should have to study music and mathematics and literature and logic and auto mechanics."

[caution: rant ahead]

Are you serious? There was so much in school that was/is not relevant to my life and therefore was a WASTE OF TIME. I didn't retain any of it, and what would I have wanted to retain it for anyway if, again, it was not and would never be relevant to my life? Sure, people should be well-rounded, but forcing them to do things they do not want to do is not an effective way of enlightening them to the merits of those things. Further, why is it assumed that they cannot possibly have what it takes to figure it out for themselves? I am surely well-rounded; I have various skills and abilities that enhance my life and facilitate my well-being; I am a spiritual being; I have interests that vary from sustainable building to physics to baroque music to birth issues. But all of that happened in spite of the confines of studies and activities that others believed were important for me spend my time on.

I was pressured to play basketball, soccor, and softball, and later to take up running and weightlifting. None of it had the least positive effect on me because I did not want to do it. And it stole precious time away that could have been spent doing the things that I actually had interest in. I am all in favor of you filling your life as full of sports as you like, but please don't force the rest of us to do it just because you think it's great. It is not a necessary part of life. It is not objectively valuable for every person. You (nor any "authority") has the right or ability for that matter to determine what is/should be important for me. Not once, not ever.

How would you like it if I had said to you when you were a kid/teenager, "hey, sports are fine, but you'll have to do that in your off-time. Meanwhile, all that time you would otherwise have spent playing sports will instead have to spent learning about the things I think are important. 'Kay?"

Good lord. This sort of attitude is exactly why I don't have my kids in school.
post #11 of 25
I remember that when I was in high school, the athletes were openly given preferential treatment. They would get the coaches to write them notes, so they could skip class and hang out in the coaches' office, watching TV. They were given extended periods of time to complete assignments, regardless of whether or not there was a game. They also were graded on a more lenient scale, so they would be eligible for playing.


When it came time to apply to college, they received scholarships, even though some of them had SAT scores and grades far below what the rest of us had.


It is totally not fair how much emphasis gets placed on sports.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
that ignoramuses were glorified for being good at hitting a ball and scholars were ignored and too much money was thrown at the ignoramuses
Yeah, look at how much people are paid to run around and throw things (pro athletes), while people who take care of children and old people get minimum wage!
post #13 of 25
blueviolet: I am so sorry that you felt so much of school was a waste of time. Your teachers must have been terrible. I found every subject interesting, even if it didn't have any obvious application in my current or anticipated life. Sometimes I had substandard teachers who made me feel that a particular class was a waste of time; but, it was their incapacity to teach, not the subject itself. I guess I was really lucky. I have found everything I learned (even tennis, which I really hated) has been useful at some point in my life.

I wasn't talking about "pressuring" people to do things they don't want to do. I was talking about a particular activity having a place in a curriculum. It has to be like a smorgasboard to expose people to things they might not encounter otherwise, or to a different point of view about something they are already interested in. Learning is a little different than trying a new food. One taste does not usually tell a person whether or not they would enjoy physics or latin or russian history or english literature of the seventeenth century or baroque music or japanese poetry....all things I got exposed to at school, not from my parents or on my own at that stage. And my "off-time" was for exploring all the other things I wanted that weren't taught at school. Life is learning.

Greaseball and thejmeister and everyone else who (Oh, so rightly! ) brings this up:

"I remember that when I was in high school, the athletes were openly given preferential treatment. They would get the coaches to write them notes, so they could skip class and hang out in the coaches' office, watching TV. They were given extended periods of time to complete assignments, regardless of whether or not there was a game. They also were graded on a more lenient scale, so they would be eligible for playing. When it came time to apply to college, they received scholarships, even though some of them had SAT scores and grades far below what the rest of us had. It is totally not fair how much emphasis gets placed on sports."

This is a HUGE and OUTRAGEOUS problem. And it is not only outrageous for those who don't get respect because they aren't athletes, it is outrageous for those so-called "stars" of the playing field. These people are used by their ambitious coaches to win the games and the coaches give them 'privileges' that will mean that later on, when their pitching arm gives out, or their knees, or their back, they will have nothing to use to continue leading a good life. I know one man who was one of these kids and now, after playing pro baseball for four years, his shoulder and arm crapped out and he was 'retired' and he works part time with the road crew. He really regrets not having made more out of the time in school and blames himself. But, I also blame the coach, who he looked up to and who could have said maybe only a few well-placed words and gotten him to see more than homeplate and the catcher's mitt. Adolescence is hard enough without being exploited.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
I read about a case in the 80's where four high-school hockey players were being tried for rape, and they managed to get the date of their trial changed so they could make their game. During the game, the coach commented to the news on the "aggressive and hungry styles" of the rapists.

Just imagine if I got arrested for shoplifting or something like that and asked them to change my court date so I wouldn't miss my daughter's birthday!
post #15 of 25
I would love to see something like this happen up to the college level.

I know there are large numbers of kids playing team sports right now..but I was never one of them.

I hated sports.I hated PE, I hated anything to do with "gym" clas. I found all of it humiliating and demeaning and just plain a waste of my time.

There were things I would have MUCH rather have been doing, and sitting in stinky gym clothes while some nazi-assed bastard PE coach ranted at us for not understaanding the finer points of tag football...as if it REALLY mattered?!?


The ONLY athletic things I have EVER liked are the following:

Walking

Bar exersizes for dance

Swimming

Riding my bicycle.

Thats it, I hated every other darn thing I ever was forced to do..and I KNOW I am NOT the only person out there who feels the exact same way.

Did any of us EVER get truley upset over our PE grades???

I moved around A LOT growing up, and went to a new school almost every two years. I never failed to see the"jocks" given anything but total preferential treatmant.

I had to take classes with these knot heads.I would sit and be tortured while I was made to listen to them read out loud...and it HURT!

They were in highschool and could barely read...and yet it was OK becasue they played football, or basket ball, or what have you.

If some farm kid came into the class and could not read any better than the "jocks"...do you think he/she got away with out some form of mocking or even being held back???Think again!!!

I think the people who had good experiances with athletics are few and far between...and I do not hink they should be the ones who do the choosing when it comes to where the money goes at the beginning of the school year budgeting session.

And I do think sports are a fcist tool created to srewwith the spirits and minds of children.

post #16 of 25
I think that saying "all team sports are bad and managment is corrupt at all levels" is a very general blanket statment. Shame shame! Please see some balance! Sports CAN, WILL and ARE fun for many children and adults. Sure the pay rate for pros is grossly over what is should be but so are CEO salaries. And what about actors? They are often corrupt, ego-driven and over payed. They enjoy many of the "perks" afore mentioned in other posts. Should we get rid of all movies and TV because of this? Of course not.

What it comes down to is that team sports are a choice and I it should be up to the person or family if they want to participate or not. Most stadiums have to win voter approval to be build with tax money. So if they pass, that is democracy at work (even if one doesn't agree with the vote).

The fact also remains that sports can offer a college education to people who would not have been able to afford it without.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally posted by BathrobeGoddess
...Most stadiums have to win voter approval to be build with tax money. So if they pass, that is democracy at work (even if one doesn't agree with the vote)...
I don't think that is true. I've read a number of newspaper articles over the years where the owner/owners of a pro team threaten to leave because there aren't enough sky boxes in the current stadium and they need a new one. They pressure the local gov't to either build it or heavily subsidize it. I certainly have never seen a referendum about a stadium on any ballot I've gone to vote on. (And I vote at EVERY election.)

And I'd like to offer a modest proposal (apologies to Swift, it is not nearly so, uh, juicy as his )

Howzabout all university administrations all over the country get a F*@^(%& backbone : and mandate that teachers cannot accept coaches excuses for the students; that games, no matter how big, cannot be excuses for missing anything including homework, lectures, or tests; that games are games...they can be fun to play and to watch...but they are about being games, NOT BUSINESSES OR FUNDRAISING TACTICS...they are about FRIENDLY competition and "thanks for the game"; that people who are accepted somewhere with a football/baseball/track/crew/basketball scholarship are to think of the word "scholarship" before the word "football" or whatever; and that scouting for kids with good pitching arms who cannot read beyond the fourth grade level will not get you any brownie points with admissions.

Howzabout all high school administrations mandate that the schools have to stop passing kids along who make all the downs but can't write a decent paragraph; and make sure that all libraries and student activities are properly funded (including, yes, the Math League and Chess Club ... neither of which costs anything like a sports team does: ); and keep students back who need more education, no matter what some coach or scout says.

Howzabout a PR campaign to re-tool the brains of whatever morons agreed to this (from Greaseball's message above):

"...four high-school hockey players were being tried for rape, and they managed to get the date of their trial changed so they could make their game. During the game, the coach commented to the news on the "aggressive and hungry styles" of the rapists."

But, I still don't think that you need to do away with sports to do this.

I also would like to bring up the fact that there are many, many children who get minimal exercise of any kind...even walking...and a PE class might be their only time that their heart rate gets a little bit of a workout. I know one who has no PE (no sport, gets picked up by car, hangs out in the house) very well and I fear that someday her health will suffer terribly for this. She gets no vitamin D except through fortified foods. Really.
post #18 of 25
Greaseball:

I was just rereading your original post and realized that I forgot to ask several postings ago which college you are at. I sometimes have "which college would be good for my kid" conversations with a couple of friends whose children are getting near that stage and I wanted to warn them about a place that spends $80 M on a new stadium. Hope you don't miind me asking.

One of them has a daughter who is amazing at basketball as well as all her classes. She's been approached by a couple of colleges; but her mother wants to make sure that she goes to a place where her studies come first and the coaches can't successfully pressure someone into putting the game first. As her mother is from another country and doesn't know too much about the US universities, I've been giving a little advice.
post #19 of 25
I guess I must live in an enlightened state. In Colorado the law is that any new tax, no matter what it is for, MUST go to a vote. It is called the TABOR amendment. Voters have approved three new stadiums in the last seven years. Of course that is only for pro sports...
post #20 of 25
"I think the people who had good experiances with athletics are few and far between...and I do not hink they should be the ones who do the choosing when it comes to where the money goes at the beginning of the school year budgeting session."

I don't beleive this for a second. I was not an athletic type, but I did love ballet and was happy to have the option of taking it in both high school and college. However, I had friends who were on the track and cross country teams and a friend who was the star of the women's soccer team. She was taking all AP classes and graduated validictorian. The star of the track team graduated with a degree in biology from UC Berkely. How are these NOT positive experiences? I don't have time to look it up, but I thought I remembered hearing about a study that was done on high school athletes, showing that drug use was lower among kids in organized sports.

I will definatly have my kids try soccor or baseball, or whatever other sport intrests them. I think it's a very positive way to get out their energy and to learn how to be a team player. I think this helps in the business world too.

I agree that less money should be spent on sports and more put into the arts (which seem to be the first to go with the budget cuts). You'll get no argument from me there. I just don't think that sports should be done away with any more than music or drama or any of the other extra curriculars.
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