motherhood parenting advice going from college to professional sports

A College Degree vs. Professional Sports Contract?

Posted on Posted in Blog, College Bound Tips, Extracurricular Parenting

A College Degree vs. Professional Sports Contract?

 
 
I am not trying to be a dream killer.  In fact, I am a firm believer in someone being able to win the lottery – financial or otherwise.  Take for instance one of your very own children getting picked to play a professional sport.  Imagine, one day your son or daughter sitting at college and they get the call – or however it happens – and there they sit as a junior with one year to complete college. Should they forego a million dollar contract to spend one more year in college or sign on the line and have their dorm packed up before the ink is dry?
When our son starts talking pro dreams I want to tell him that though many aspire to play professional sports after college, the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) only draft about 2% of student-athletes each year.  But I can’t tell him that yet because he’s only seven.  Right now I just say ‘you better go to college’.  And I make other college pro claims unashamedly like:
As soon as he is able to understand percentages I’ll tell him the rest.  While I may not let numbers decide fate, I do listen to the direction it says one should probably take.  Any odds that give a 2% chance I say one should highly aim for creating a ‘plan B’.
If our son, for instance, was asked to become an athlete in college we would definitely take a look at the recruiting colleges graduation rates of its athletes.  While Black males, for instance, are well represented in the athletics department their representation on campus as a whole is dismal.  In 2009, Black males were only 3.6% of undergraduate students, but 55.3% of football and basketball players at public NCAA Division I institutions. Plus, certain colleges do a better job at graduating student athletes than others. For example:

 

5 Universities with Lowest Black Male Student-Athlete Graduation Rates

Rank

University

Grad Rates

1
Iowa State University
30%
2
University of South Florida
31%
2
  University of Arizona
31%
2
University of Arkansas
31%
5
Florida State University
34%
5
University of Florida
34%
 
 
 

 

Graduation Rates of Black Male Student-Athletes vs. All Student-Athletes at certain Colleges/Universities

College/University

Black Male Student-Athletes%

All Student-Athletes%

Boston College
68
85
Clemson University
39
61
Duke University
73
85
Florida State University
34
57
Georgia Institute of Technology
45
62

 

motherhood parenting advice going from college to professional sports

On one hand, it makes sense.  You go to college to get a degree and preparation for a career that can lead to being financially independent.  On the other hand why go through all of that if you can achieve it with one sign on the dotted line?
The educator in me of course feels if the numbers say that 98% of student athletes will be required to pursue other options, do so.  The mama in me says, my child could get hurt the first day on the job and be out of a contract promising millions.  While a college degree is not a guarantee either, I at least feel like it maintains the potential to open doors.  Even if my child didn’t get hurt while playing a professional sport they still can use the college degree upon retirement.  In many ways a college degree can prepare retired athletes for future work as an ESPN correspondent, team owner, head coach, athletic director or future business meetings.  All proof to me that there is merit in the ‘plan B’.

 

What say you, college degree over pro contract? Or vice versa?

 

 

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