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El Camino College Union

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Grades overrule games

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Illustration by Eugene Chang

Illustration by Eugene Chang

Illustration by Eugene Chang

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As a student athlete from a young age, I found that quitting softball increased my grades and focus by a landslide. The game of choice tends to take over your life.

Although being a part of a sports team gives some students structure, discipline and often times priority registration, there is the other side where struggles about life after the game without a degree, the possible injury mishaps and not being good enough to make it can occur.

Kobe Bryant, being the topic of everyone’s conversation nowadays with his retirement, is getting even more questions about what he is going to do now. Kobe does not have a college degree because he was drafted straight our of high school.

“’I think it’s going to be difficult for him,’ TNT analyst Charles Barkley said Thursday in an interview with Sporting News and another reporter. ‘Kobe doesn’t have a college degree, and you can only go to so many business meetings,'” according to an article by sportingnews.com.

Students need to prioritize and focus on receiving a degree before they think about going professional, because something can always change the path.

Besides retirement, another reason to leave the game is getting injured and being forced to.

Athletes are taught to push their limits and work hard every practice and game whatever the sport may be. But what happens when the athlete pushes themselves too hard past their limit? Getting injured as a professional athlete and not having a degree to fall back on is not ideal.

“A young athlete can be enlisted on the promise of an education, get injured on the field, and lose his or her only source of medical insurance precisely when he or she needs it most,” according to an article in theatlantic.com.

Another reason why academics is such a big part of a athletes life is because they have to be able to perform. Athletes have a expectation to perform to the best of their potential and when they fail to do so, their scholarship, endorsements, contract, etc can be revoked.

Kwame Brown, a basketball player for the Wizards, Lakers, Grizzlies, Pistons, Bobcats, 76ers, and the Warriors was not performing up to everybody’s expectations.

From being booed every time he had the ball by his home crowd, everyone knew he would not be back. And with Michael Jordan being the one who recommended Kwame Brown, he had even bigger shoes to fill.

“It’s unfortunate he was the mistake No. 1 pick of Michael Jordan because that gave Brown a kind of fame and pressure he didn’t really warrant,” according to an article in nba.nbcsports.com.

Athletics are to be second in line after academics. Nothing is guaranteed with athletics and students need a degree they can fall back on if they were to unfortunately go through something like these basketball players have.

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The student news site of El Camino College
Grades overrule games