The Instigator
black_squirrel
Pro (for)
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The Contender
2Sense
Con (against)
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universities should not have competitive sports teams

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2014 Category: Sports
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,209 times Debate No: 43475
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

black_squirrel

Pro

I will argue that Universities should not have competitive sports teams. I will start right away.

1. Sports and Education have nothing to do with each other

In almost all countries, universities are not attached to competitive sports teams.
In education one nurtures the brain, in football you get brain concussions.
http://www.al.com...

2. Sports teams are a distraction for learning

A study has shown that grades go down with increased success of the football team.
http://www.nytimes.com...

3. Competitive College Sports leads to corruption and academic fraud and even pedophilia

Money corrupts. A lot of money goes around in college sports (even though athletic departments are often not profitable) and this can lead to corruption, harming the integrity of the academic institution. Sports teams at universities are supposed to be amateur, but arguably these are professional teams.

http://www.nytimes.com...

http://bleacherreport.com...

http://en.wikipedia.org...
2Sense

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for starting this debate and sharing his viewpoints. Since he jumped right into it, I will do the same. Each of his points will be addressed as presented.

1) Sports and Education have nothing to do with each other

ed"u"ca"tion (j-kshn)
n.
1. The act or process of educating or being educated.
2. The knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process.
3. A program of instruction of a specified kind or level: driver education; a college education.
4. The field of study that is concerned with the pedagogy of teaching and learning.
5. An instructive or enlightening experience: Her work in the inner city was a real education.

Given these definitions, it is clear that education does not limit itself to institutions of higher learning, rather, education in itself can be broadened to the general process of learning. One can be educated or taught about sports and the rules, techniques, and skills required to play them. "Sports education", though not directly linked to collegiate academia, is still a form of education, and can be learned within colleges. Therefore, sports and education can relate.

"In education one nurtures the brain, in football you get brain concussions"

Because sports involve learning, the brain is indeed being "nurtured" as it is developing and utilizing new information, both while learning and executing all the factors that goes into playing a sport. Yes, there are risks, but the risks are mostly due to the nature of the player and players, not the sport itself.

2) Sports teams are a distraction from learning.

Again, playing sports is just another way of learning. But "Distraction", in regards to college academics, is mostly dependent on the student and how they choose to delineate their time. The article my opponent posted on this matter linked success of a football game to alcohol consumption. As the article suggests, the decline in grades are not ultimately due to playing football, but to the student's choice to consume alcohol and party instead of focusing on their studies. Athletic success is a factor, but it's not the pivotal factor, as the students could just as easily choose not to drink. My opponent could also just as easily say that "students should not drink" or "students should not party". And be that true or not, all of these factors are dependent on the priorities of the student, not the parties, not the alcohol, and not the sport.

The end of the article tacks on this bit of information:

"Students at others universities may not be affected by the fortunes of the football team in the same way. Consider Akron: the football team went 3-9 in 2010 and 1-11 this year " while the student body"s G.P.A. declined as well."

Firstly, the article failed to explain how large the decline in G.P.A. was. We do not know Akron's average GPA to begin with, and we do not know what it fell down to and how far it fell. For all we know, the average G.P.A. was a 4.0 and it lowered to a 3.9. Therefore, we cannot accurately gauge the true severity and seriousness of this decline, and we especially cannot use that decline as the basis for deciding whether or not sports should be eliminated from colleges.

The article would have also done well to explain how football directly correlates with the student body's lowered G.P.A. Rather, it ends there and leaves its readers to ponder the hidden variables that could have just as easily affected the students' academic performance. The average reader knows nothing about Akron, its ranking, its academic integrity, its curriculum, difficulty of the classes, its professors, its environment, its acceptance rate, its financial stability, and the type of students in attendance. None of these factors include football, but they all could just as easily affect the G.P.A. reports.

3) Competitive College Sports leads to corruption and academic fraud and even pedophilia

"Money corrupts. A lot of money goes around in college sports (even though athletic departments are often not profitable) and this can lead to corruption, harming the integrity of the academic institution."

A lot of money goes into the college itself. The thousands upon thousands of dollars that students pay (or take loans out for) goes to tuition, room and board, and other fees and costs for college education, staff, instruction, clubs, prestige, and so on and so forth.

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...

This article shows that utilization of tuition dollars goes to a range of functions, some necessary, some seemingly superficial. The driving point is that if money does indeed "corrupt", the Institution itself is up for corruption, not just its sports department. On a more rational level, however, we know that money is not just some evil entity that causes corruption. Money, in this economy, is a necessity and without it, there wouldn't be any institutions of higher learning (or institutions of any learning) to begin with.

In terms of the examples of "corruption" my opponent used, situations such as the Penn State sex scandal that did indeed harm the integrity of the school was not due to the game of football or the school's sports department. It was due to the individual and his poor choices.

-------------------------------------------------

I would also like to point out that my opponent's topic addresses competitive sports as a whole, but his examples only point to possible pitfalls with football. Therefore the argument against competitive sports as a whole, on his part, has yet to be fully explicated.

I look forward to my opponent's responses.

Sources:

1) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2) http://www.nytimes.com... (as provided by black_squirrel)
3) http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...
Debate Round No. 1
black_squirrel

Pro

Is college sports education?

According to my opponent, college sport is a form of education. I completely disagree with this.

I once attended a college football match. It was clear to me that the goal was not educational. There were several indications of this:

  1. 1. The “professor”, which I assumed was the guy with the striped shirt, never explained the rules of the game.
  2. 2. My “classmates” where shouting all the time, so that it was impossible to understand what the professor was saying. Such classroom behavior should not be tolerated.
  3. 3. Besides the distraction by the classmates, the cheerleaders were also a major distraction.

My conclusion is that a football match is an extremely bad learning environment, and that learning is clearly not its purpose. I learned nothing.

My classmates did not learn anything either. All of them already knew the rules of the game and they learned the rules of football as part of their high school “education”. There is no reason why universities should duplicate the teaching efforts. Besides, anything there is to know about football can be easily learned from the NFL.

http://www.nfl.com...

I had the same experience with college basketball, hockey and gymnastics.


Distraction & corruption

Besides that college sports are not very educational, they also take away precious time from learning.
This is especially true for the athletes themselves. Their education suffers from competing in sports.

http://www.cnn.com...;

"
(CNN) -- Early in her career as a learning specialist, Mary Willingham was in her office when a basketball player at the University of North Carolina walked in looking for help with his classwork.

He couldn't read or write.

"And I kind of panicked. What do you do with that?" she said, recalling the meeting.

Willingham's job was to help athletes who weren't quite ready academically for the work required at UNC at Chapel Hill, one of the country's top public universities.

But she was shocked that one couldn't read. And then she found he was not an anomaly."

How is it possible that a college athlete cannot read or write? Because the hire of a talented athlete is crucial for a winning team, universities are willing to lower their standards. This brings down the reputation of the whole educational institution.

The problem is, that even the not so bright athletes have to go through college to get into the NBA or the NFL.
But not all of them are college material, or at least not bright enough to make it through a top university, with a top athletic program. Decoupling college sports from college education would solve this problem.

There is is a lot of money in higher education, but usually accepting some student or not does not have a big financial impact for the university. So there is no incentive to lower the standards. But for college athletes, the stakes are much higher, so for these students the standards are sometimes compromised.

The emphasis of a university should be on education. But when the football coach earns more money than the university president, what kind of message does that send?

2Sense

Con

My opponent need only reread the definition of "education" to understand that a process of learning does take place in sports. My opponent's inability to hear the rules does not change the fact that sports involve a level of understanding and a processing of information amongst the players as well as other people viewing the sport. It would be unreasonable to assume that my opponent's personal educational experience applies to everyone else. Therefore, his personal experience while watching a football game, or any game, is irrelevant to the general understanding of "sports education".

"Besides that college sports are not very educational, they also take away precious time from learning.
This is especially true for the athletes themselves. Their education suffers from competing in sports."

Again, this deals with the student and how he or she is able to wisely delineate their time. It is unfair to say that any given student who plays a college sport is automatically going to be incapable of keeping up with his or her academics. And for the students who do have trouble with time management, there are resources that exist for the sole purpose of providing effective strategies to pursue college academics as well as athletics. At the end of the day, how academically successful a student becomes is not based on sports. It's based on the student.

This links directly to the article my opponent posted. Yes, as the article points out, there are athletes who are not academically successful. And this could very well be due to the fact that sports are their main priority. But that does not prove that sports within themselves are the culprit, nor does it warrant them being removed from college programs. It simply means that the athlete's priorities are not focused on academics.

The articles prior to this round suggest that sports can be a distraction for *some* students. But again, this is a problem with the student and not the sport. Furthermore, eliminating sports from colleges would be unfair to the students who are capable of properly managing their time and priorities.

"But not all of them are college material, or at least not bright enough to make it through a top university, with a top athletic program."

There are always going to be people, even those un-involved in sports, who are not necessarily college material. And that claim by itself is highly dependent on the type of college we're talking about to begin with. But "Decoupling" sports from college is not going to solve the problem of academic failure. Why? Because it is ultimately a problem with the student, not the sport.

"The emphasis of a university should be on education."

To argue what the emphasis a school should and should not be leads to an entirely different debate. However, it is important to keep in mind that universities, as I somewhat already pointed out, do have different focuses on different *types* of education. There are research-oriented schools, there are art-oriented schools, and yes, there are sports-oriented schools. So for some students, excelling in sports within institutions of higher learning that happen to focus on sports may very well just be their specific aspiration. And maybe even excelling in sports in a school that doesn't particularly focus on sports is a part of their goals.

I've talked a lot about priorities, but I never actually indicated what and how certain priorities are better than others. Who are we to say whether a student's decision to pursue sports is a good or bad thing? The outcome depends heavily on the person, and such a choice that has many possible outcomes should certainly not be the grounds on which we choose to eliminate sports from college.

"But when the football coach earns more money than the university president, what kind of message does that send?"

There is no evidence provided that supports the claim that football coaches earn more money than the school president. But even if that is the case, this information does not support my opponent's reasoning as to why sports should be eliminated from schools.

Before a conclusion is reached in this debate, it would be helpful for my opponent to indicate whether he agrees with the definition of "education" provided, and what *type* of education he is specifically referring to. It would also be helpful to indicate whether he is referring to a specific university or all universities. Due to the wording of the original resolution, I will assume he means to the latter. However, it is an important point to consider since, again, different universities have varying focuses. Some focus on sports, others do not. Therefore, if sports are indeed a direct inhibitor of academic success, it is still indefinite as to whether all sports departments should be removed from all schools, or just the schools that have a relatively high focus on sports.

My opponent also has yet to provide evidence as to how college sports directly affects student academic success, as well as reasons as to why that is a means to eliminate sports from all universities.
------------------------------------------

I look forward to my opponent's final arguments.

Sources:

1) http://www.collegexpress.com...
2) https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 2
black_squirrel

Pro

Competitive sports are not educational

Competitive sports are not educational for the spectators

My opponent argues that watching sports is "education", but clearly, the educational aspect of watching sports is close to 0, because:
  1. Almost all spectators already know the rules of the game. There is hardly anything more to learn.
  2. There are no teachers, no explanations, and no exercises. The sports arenas are clearly not designed as educational environments.
The main objective of watching college sports, is entertainment, not education.

Competitive sports are not educational for the student athletes

Sure, the athletes themselves may learn something in their sports training. But do they get a degree in Football,
or a degree in Basketball? No! Their sports is supposedly an extracurricular activity. Their involvement in sports distracts
from earning an actual degree.

CON:"Again, this deals with the student and how he or she is able to wisely delineate their time. It is unfair to say that any given student who plays a college sport is automatically going to be incapable of keeping up with his or her academics. And for the students who do have trouble with time management, there are resources that exist for the sole purpose of providing effective strategies to pursue college academics as well as athletics. At the end of the day, how academically successful a student becomes is not based on sports. It's based on the student."

A wise time management for a student would be to study for the degree for most of the time, and do a bit of sports on the side
for physical health. But there is enormous pressure on the student athletes to perform, to do rigorous training, weight exercises,
etc. etc. On top of that, they have to travel all over the USA to play games. We cannot just blame it on the student. The problem is,
that it is nearly impossible to have a semi-professional career while at the same time obtaining a degree, without one of the two
having to suffer.

Lowering standards for student athletes

As I have shown, there is evidence that universities lower the standards for student athletes for acceptance and for the evaluation of their academic performance. Some of the student athletes at the University of North Carolina could not even read or write.

http://www.cnn.com...


"As a graduate student at UNC-Greensboro, Willingham researched the reading levels of 183 UNC-Chapel Hill athletes who played football or basketball from 2004 to 2012. She found that 60% read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels. Between 8% and 10% read below a third-grade level."

"The issue was highlighted at UNC two years ago with the exposure of a scandal where students, many of them athletes, were given grades for classes they didn't attend, and where they did nothing more than turn in a single paper. Last month, a North Carolina grand jury indicted a professor at the center of the scandal on fraud charges. He's accused of being paid $12,000 for a class he didn't teach."

The problem is, that athletes who want to have a professional career, have to attend a university, even if they are not academically inclined. Instead, it would be better if academics and (semi-)professional sports were separate. Then a talented athlete
would have the choice of taking classes at a university, local community college, learn a trade, or take no classes at all,
and still have a pathway to the NFL, NBA, or other professional league.

The stakes in professional semi-professional football are very high, which leads to corruption and lowering standards.

Athletic Departments take away resources from Academics

Contra to what one might think, athletic departments are often not profitable.

http://www.usatoday.com...

Athletics takes away resources. This leads to increase in tuition, which make university less affordable for many students.

"There is no evidence provided that supports the claim that football coaches earn more money than the school president. But even if that is the case, this information does not support my opponent's reasoning as to why sports should be eliminated from schools."

Well, this supports my case that sports takes away financial resources from academics.
Salaries at the University of Michigan (just as an example, I'm from Michigan):
President, Mary Sue Coleman, $603,357.00
Director of Athletics, David Brandon, $800,000.00






FINALLY: There is no good reason FOR combining (semi-)professional sports and universities
Universities in Europe do not have professional sports teams like in the USA.
My opponent has not given a SINGLE argument for the ADVANTAGES of having the two together.

So vote PRO!!!


2Sense

Con

2Sense forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by 2Sense 3 years ago
2Sense
I wanted to point out that I made an error in one of the sources I posted for the last round. I meant to post the PPT article titled "Classroom Success of Student Athletes", which dealt with specific instances of students to being successful within the classroom as well as on the field. However, I accidentally posted the google search page instead :P

Here is the correct link: psych.hanover.edu/research/thesis04/Bartling.pptR06;
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