College Sports Are a Treasure. Don’t Turn Them Into the Minor Leagues.
In a teary locker room this month, after the Notre Dame men’s basketball team ended its season with a close loss in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament, the coach spoke not about lost opportunities on the court, but rather about the six master’s degrees (in addition to undergraduate degrees) that members of the team had earned, the lifelong friendships they had formed, and the invaluable lessons they had learned about leadership, teamwork and growing through adversity. The locker room is a classroom where the lesson that athletics can and should be part of a university’s educational mission is lived every day. Even Knute Rockne said that college athletics should be secondary to academics.
Originally published: March 23, 2023
Author: John I. Jenkins
Institution: University of Notre Dame
Published by: The New York Times