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Div. III schools should offer athletic scholarships

April 24, 2008

It never occurred to me until now that the athletes at this University are being denied one of the most important factors for student athletes—athletic scholarships. 

It irks me that Div. III schools do not offer scholarships to athletes. I think you will all agree that we have some extraordinary athletes who compete for the Falcons. Why shouldn’t those athletes be rewarded for their athletic successes?

Div. I and II schools provide athletic scholarships for their students who excel in sports. In fact, according to http://www.ncaa.org, nearly $1 billion in athletic scholarships is awarded to over 126,000 student-athletes each year. I should mention that these scholarships are awarded by each individual institution.

However, Div. III is the largest in the NCAA. It consists of teams from universities and colleges that choose not to provide athletic scholarships to student athletes. Though Divisions I and II are often regarded by the public as the elite, Div. III athletics are competitive and cut-throat, as well.

I think athletic scholarships should be offered by all colleges and universities. They give students an incentive to attend a certain school. They also give students who excel in athletics an opportunity to be recognized for it.

The Falcons have seen some seriously good athletes in their time.

While I do realize there are awards and recognitions that are given out by athletic organizations and by schools all the time, I feel that those athletes could be given an award that will help them pay tuition.

Smaller colleges and universities like UWRF give out academic scholarships, as do larger colleges and universities. How is academic achievement more deserving than a student-athlete excelling in his or her sport? Both require much effort on the part of the achiever.

I think it is important to remember that the students who choose to participate in sports are student athletes. The word student comes before the word athlete.

Obviously the athletes at all colleges and universities are students first and athletes second. This signifies that they have to go through the same rigorous courses and schedules as all other students.

Which brings me to my final point: Div. III schools should give out athletic scholarships to those who participate in sports and who also excel academically.