College Athlete

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Over the last decade, the outlook on a college degree diminished in the eyes of a college athlete. Although it is the athlete’s choice whether to go to college for four years or leave early to go professional, many believe that athletes should stay for all four years before going pro. There are many reasons why an athlete should get their education before turning professional: to earn a college degree for a fall-back plan if they get hurt or to be a motivation in kids to earn their degree. Growing up as a kid, everyone has role models. Whether it be parents, siblings, grandparents, or the most common: athletes. I know as I was growing up and as I was figuring out that I could go somewhere with my athletic ability, I started looking up…show more content…
Of course it is a risk coming back to college and not going pro; one might get hurt so badly that they cannot even play the sport anymore. But what is worse: getting hurt in college and still being able to have that degree to get a good job, or getting hurt in the first years of pro and not have a degree to fall back on. This kind of thing does happen every day but it does happen. For example, three years back in the NBA draft there was a guy named Gregg Odem that left college as a freshman and was selected first over all in the draft. Gregg is in his third year in the NBA and still has not played a full season; He has been hurt every year. No one knows if this guy can still play at a high level; what if he is done now; he has nothing, cannot get a job, and probably is in debt with all this surgery. Giving the story of Gregg, sure it is a low percentage that this will happen, but why take the chance of it happening? Being a professional athlete does not last forever: the average age of retirement is around high 30s or early 40s, depending on the sport. That being said what is an athlete going to do once he or she is done, money does not last forever; especially the way professionals spend their money. One of the coolest things I remember about high school is that we had a teacher that had won two super bowls with the Steelers. This man is a prime example of why you should get your education: he graduated from Clemson and after he had his professional career, he ended up having to get another job. Turning down millions is a hard thing to do, I imagine, but it is the future that an athlete must think about before making his or her decision. In the end it comes down to the decision of the athlete: risk it all for money or have a back up

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