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.
edited to correct a glaring spelling error.