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Ada Fisher: Accountability needed for college admissions scandal, athletics

By Ada Fisher

The recent revelation of a long-buried scandal of children from privileged families buying admission to prestigious institutions should result in penalties to the academic institutions that gave them preferential treatment.

Those involved should have their credentials scrutinized to prevent this pay to play in all phases of academia. If our HBCUs can lose accreditation over lack of financial resources, shouldn’t Yale, Wake Forest, Georgetown and Stanford (private schools) as well as UCLA, the University of San Diego, the University of Texas at Austin and others being investigated have some sort of comparable penalty for allowing the sale of admission?   

For those of us who have heard for too long that affirmative action is wrong, what say you to this flaunting of privilege by the rich, who turn their fortunes into power in politics, on the courts and other bastions of control? Nepotism, whether in business, entertainment or news, is evident where family connections seems to beat out equal competition.

These forces limit opportunity by consolidating more and more power into fewer hands. Is this institutionalization of rich connections to continue denying equal access to those who can earn their place without hook or crook?

But the most corrupt force in academia is the National Collegiate Athletic Association, where athletes are prostituted to bring in big bucks for educational institutions of all ilks.

Clearly, the “one-and-done” policy for many major sports programs is nothing more than a farm team for professional athletes with little pretense of educational pursuits.

It should be required of institutions in the NCAA that the GPAs and standardized scores of athletes be displayed compared to the general student body. Graduation rates and income derived from their efforts should also be disclosed.

Nike, Reebok, UnderArmour and other sportswear distributors should be banned from monopolizing shoes for institutions without this money going to academic scholarships and incentives to the athletes, not the coaches and athletic departments.

Student athletes at the college level should not only be paid, but, as the courts have ruled, have control over their likeness.

Because people are legally bound in contracts at the age of 18, it is a farce to ban those who are talented enough to play at the professional level from doing so until then have completed one year of higher education. Though this and a degree might be nice, athletes can get hurt at any time and should maximize their earning potential while they can; after all, isn’t a tenet of education to help one earn a living?

It is sad to see the number of people wearing sports paraphernalia for institutions to which they wouldn’t likely be admitted.  Coaches should be prohibited from being paid more than their institution’s president, chancellors or highest academic head. Likewise, the influence of compensated shoe contracts should be banned without this money going to the sponsoring institutions.

Do folks realize that college coaches are often paid more than the president of the United States?

It is past time we de-emphasized sports and entertainment in preference to careers which fulfill our hierarchy of needs for food, clothing and shelter.

Salisbury resident Ada M. Fisher is a licensed teacher, retired physician, former school board member and N.C. Republican National committeewoman. Contact her through DrAdaMFisher.com.

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