Why sports will always have precedence over academics in the American education system

Not too long ago, The Quiet Voice wrote about how football players and athletes get preference over good students in the US and how universities value them more. Anyone who is familiar with the education system in the US knows that our schools are getting crushed by schools in most other countries. The Quiet Voice elaborated on one of the reasons as to why this is happening with sports being valued more than education in our society but lets look ahead.

Athletes will always take precedence over good students unless the school is an Ivy League school. The reason for this is quite simple. The US is a capitalist economy, good athletes fill seats at games, filling seats earn the university money, and as a result you end up with the university making a lot of money. Fact is more people will pay to see a football game over a Spelling bee. Money wins out in the end and top notch athletes always bring in more money than the straight A students in the short term.

Another aspect to look at is that there is a strong emphasis on discouraging students to do well in school by the media. Students who do well in school are painted as nerds and being a nerd at an American high school is like being an “untouchable” in the Indian caste system.

So the Capitalist economy (which I am a fan of by the way) coupled in with the highly negative nerd image in American society will always favor the superstar athlete over the 4.0 GPA and 2400 SAT score student.

Who knows, maybe one day those good students rise to power and end up changing that notion. Maybe they become filmmakers that change the image of the modern day nerd.

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2 thoughts on “Why sports will always have precedence over academics in the American education system

  1. Great post! I agree with your analysis of how universities (excluding the Ivies) and the media favor athletes… if only there were other ways to attain money that were centered on academics. Furthermore, I do think that academics has the power to become a positively portrayed force in the media; having the smarts to cure cancer, create new technology, or write books seems quite fashionable to me. Hopefully they’ll play up those strengths to get students more interested in their educations.

    • I mean a good example is how they show so many Superheroes like Batman and Ironman attending the Ivy League universities. I think Iron Man is an MIT graduate so maybe kids will grow up having that dream.

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