Importance Off the Field
Many of us enjoy watching college sports for the pure entertainment of the game. We enjoy watching the athleticism of the basketball players, the determination of the football players and the power of the hockey players. However, college sports are more than entertainment for the student athletes, the spectators and the colleges that they represent.
College sports teams have a lot of support and generate a lot of interest on campus. Each school, whether it is in the very competitive NCAA Division I, the less competitive Division 1A, Division 2 or Division 3, has a particular sport or sports that create a lot of excitement on campus.
Many schools have to have a lottery system for students to be able to access the games or matches for the most popular sports. Yet, even the students that can’t fit in the football or baseball stadium are often participating in different ways. Some students might volunteer at the sporting event. Other students might host parties around campus so that groups of classmates can proudly watch their school compete.
School spirit is one of those intangible aspects of a school that appeals to prospective students and creates generous alumni. People want to feel like they are part of a community and they want to have fun. Then, the theory is that they will apply to the university, enjoy their time as a student and become a generous benefactor in the future.
College sports, at least in the Division 1 schools, bring in money. Nationally televised Saturday afternoon football games in the fall and basketball games in the winter are a form of advertising for the school. Many Division I schools report an increase in applicants when their team plays in one of the football bowl games or makes it to the March Madness basketball tournament. What you need to know to ace College Admissions
College Sports are Important to Women
Since the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), it has been illegal to discriminate against women in any education program receiving public assistance. This includes college athletics. Schools are required to comply with Title IX by providing athletic opportunities that are substantially proportionate to student enrollment, by having a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex (predominately women) or by demonstrating that it is fully and effectively accommodating the interest and ability of the underrepresented sex.
Since Title IX was enacted in 1972, female participation in college sports has risen more than 450%. It has allowed women to experience similar benefits to male athletes and has quite literally helped to level the playing field.
Critics of the law claim that in an effort to spend equal dollars on men’s and women’s sports, Division I schools have had to cut out non revenue generating sports for men such as wrestling or cross country teams so that they can pour the money into their football teams. This is a hotly debated point with people counter arguing that these non revenue generating sports were being eliminated prior to Title IX’s passage.
Importance to All Athletes
Whether you are a female or a male athlete and whether you play for a highly successful Division I team or on a noncompetitive intramural team, there are individual benefits for college athletes.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) which governs collegiate sports recognizes as part of its core values that student athletes need to balance their athletic responsibilities and their academic careers. The NCAA expects college athletes to be held to the highest levels of integrity and sportsmanship. The NCAA expects college teams to be good members of their community and to be an asset to their school.
Many children join little league or community based sports teams during their elementary school years because their parents want them to learn the same core values that the NCAA espouses for its athletes. At any age, sports are a way to learn integrity, teamwork, communication and sportsmanship. Those skills continue to be honed during the college years and it is those skills that will ultimately make a student athlete successful in the workplace.
It is, no doubt, extremely fun to watch, cheer or participate in your college sports program. However, it is much more than that. College sports are a way to build responsible and productive citizens, foster a sense of community and build a strong school.