It’s that time of the year where major college football, basketball, and baseball players will have to make the decision to either stay in college or go to college after the spring baseball season is completed in May. Recently many underclassmen in the college football arena have made their decision to stay or go pro. Within the last few days some college basketball players have made their decisions to stay or go pro. Right around the corner many high school seniors, junior college, and draft eligible 4-year college players will have to make their decisions to stay or go pro.
Personally, having been a former professional baseball player back in the mid 80’s, I think the majority of players should stay in school. Having been there and done that I am speaking from experience. Without the education (Bachelor, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees) that I have I would not have been able to have the twenty-six year teaching and coaching career thus far. All athletes have the dreams and aspirations of playing at the highest level in their sport, but the statistical data and experiences of former players that have tried it and didn’t make it should open other athlete’s eyes. I know their coaches’ take each players case and give them solid advice about what they should do, but ultimately they are adults and have to make the decision themselves. Unfortunately, many of them make the wrong decision. It would be easy to discuss the many cases in each professional sport of players that were highly touted and never made it and struggle throughout life. The NCAA has the statistical data available to support the reasoning for staying in school.
Regardless of the poverty level of the athlete; when making the decision they should do their homework and make a more educated decision about finishing school, increasing their draft stock, or going on to the professional level. So many times the player decides to leave for the money and then doesn’t make the team or gets cut and has nothing to fall back on. Once they decide to go many family members and friends latch on and want to enjoy the ride as well. A college degree will go a long way and will be utilized more than their playing ability or the money they receive over a short period of time. Of course, there are the players, like LeBron James, but those are few and far between.
Dr. Bret Simmermacher, Chair of Sports Coaching, USSA
24 MARCH 2016
Bret Simmermacher, DSM