Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What Is The Value Of An Education?

Today, as I do most days, I went to Yahoo! Sports and check to see if there is anything new and interesting in the sports news world (as well as checking the scores for the Caps and Nats, who both unfortunately lost today). Today as I went on my usual visit, I saw the following article:;_ylt=AsHlg03M7t.7dGbdjUSfV_fevbYF?slug=dw-tyler042209&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

This article really caught my attention. I feel that the decision this student, a JUNIOR in HIGH SCHOOL is very, very wrong and unwise. Sure, he might have loads of talent, and is extremely bored and not developing much anymore in his playing abilities at the current level and competition he is playing at. But is a high school degree at the very least (heck, even a college degree as well, but at least most athletes go on to at least accomplish a partial college education) something that you are willing to give up? I know for me it would not be at all. Nowadays over 70% of the US population completes at least a high school degree. Not to do so puts you in the minority. It becomes much tougher to get a quality job, and as such, most who don't graduate high school end up working at places like McDonald's, Wendy's, WalMart, or Target for the majority of their lives. Is that really something you would want to do? I know I wouldn't. I would much rather be forced to be a physicist (and how I can't stand physics!) than to have to work at a place earning minimum wage for most of my life.

An education is something truly special that cannot be taken away from you. Once you've learned something, you've got it. It is yours to take and use with as you please, and nobody can say or do anything to take it away from you. Ask yourself, if you were in the same position as Jeremy Tyler, what would you do? What if you got into a horrible car accident right before your first game in the NBA and you were unable to play basketball for the rest of your life, what would you do? Your career would be ruined. Your shot at millions of dollars and basketball glory is gone in an instant. And you don't even have a high school degree. Now what do you do?

Another unfortunate thing is that many will start to look at this like they did with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James going into the NBA right from high school, and begin to do it as well. It will begin to become more popular to do. And you will see more and more athletes with less of an education. Thoughts? Feelings?

On a quick side note, as I was searching around for a couple of statistics, I noticed one that Fairfax County, VA has the highest graduation overall rate in the US. I find myself very fortunate to have received such a high quality, good education, and to continue to get a good, high quality musical education here at LSU.


Jenn said...

gotta love the mind of a teenager - "nothing bad will ever happen to me". i wonder if he'll regret his decision when he injured himself and finds himself a hasbeen at the age of 19 - poor and educationless.

Barbara said...

This is a story that has happened time and time again ... and not just in the sporting world. At that age, according to scientific research, the child's brain isn't finished developing yet. The part of the brain that allows you to predict the consequences of your behaviour isn't fully developed until you're in your twenties.

In cases like this, the parents really need to step in and take control ... however, it seems that the father and son may be on the same page.

He will regret his decision down the road, unfortunately.

Dave said...

Thanks for this story. For every Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and others who cut their education short there are hundreds of others who have been seduced by the dream of million dollar a year contracts who end up with nothing, including no option of going to college on an athletic scholarship. I am not aware of any study on what happens to all those who are seduced by the dream, do things to destroy their academic eligibility and never make to the NBA.

The NBA has done the right thing a few years ago by putting a minimum age requirement or there would be dozens of others doing this type of thing every year. I wish they would raise the minimum by at least another year.

Barb...parents get seduced by the money their kids make. Thinking of the money coming their way some encourage their kids to leave college and enter the draft.

Evie said...

The odds are high that this kid will not succeed in pro sports. Most of the risks are his. Athletic teams don't have much to lose by luring susceptible athletes into their programs. The money teams make off the few successful recruits more than offset the losses in bonus payments, etc., to those who fail. The team won't be there to help when this kid ends up going to GED or ABE classes in a few years. Maybe, if he eventually completes his GED or ABE certificate, he'll go to college one day, but, he will have to find the money to pay for it on his own.

Parents who get seduced by the money they hope their kids will make are foolish and irresponsible. They are failing their kids in ways that will affect the entire family for the rest of their lives.