2018 DIGITAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST SOCIAL IMPACT BOOK
The student-athlete's life: practice, gym, weight room, film review, repeat. Simply put, sports come first. Academics is a distant second.
As the revenues generated by big-time college sports continue to skyrocket, virtually all of the debate involves whether (and how much) student-athletes should be paid for play. Kenneth L. Shropshire and Collin D. Williams, Jr., argue that "student" has to come first in student-athlete: the focus should be on prioritizing a meaningful education.
In The Miseducation of the Student Athlete: How to Fix College Sports, Shropshire and Williams draw on new research to reveal that it has become increasingly difficult for college athletes to balance school and sports, much less a social life, leading to serious economic, professional, and emotional consequences for young people. Given that fewer than 2% of all college men's basketball and football players will play at the professional level, the other 98% of student-athletes must be prepared to find and perform well in jobs outside of their respective field of play.
In this bold call to action, Shropshire and Williams explain how we got here and what can be done about it. They lay out The Student-Athlete Manifesto, a roadmap to increase the likelihood that student-athletes can succeed both on and off the field. They also offer a Meaningful Degree Model, which ensures education pays for everyone, along with stories of success that show it is possible to be both a student and an athlete.
A critical read for student-athletes, sports leadership, policy makers, and anyone who loves college sports, The Miseducation of the Student Athlete has the potential to disrupt college sport and create lasting change.
Kenneth L. Shropshire is the CEO of the Global Sport Institute and the adidas Distinguished Professor of Global Sport at Arizona State University. He is also Wharton Endowed Professor Emeritus at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Collin D. Williams, Jr., is an educator, author, and researcher addressing race and other issues of diversity through the lens of sport. He serves as the Director of Leadership and Education Programs in the South region for RISE, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality.
"When grades take a back seat to the playing field, the term 'student athlete' can appear to be contradictory. Shropshire (Global Sport/Arizona State; Sport Matters, 2015, etc.) and debut author Williams seek to change this perception, arguing that, while athletics pay off for a select few, education benefits almost everyone . . . . As academics, the authors are used to marshaling evidence to support their assertions, and the research they lay out here is impressive. It's clear that they're no fans of the present system, yet their discussion is refreshingly free of displays of cynicism and outrage. An uncompromising look at America's college-sports conundrum, offering a controversial solution that just might work."—Kirkus Reviews
"Kenneth L. Shropshire and Collin D. Williams, Jr., examine a controversial issue that many choose to ignore because it is either uncomfortable or not financially beneficial for them to do so. I applaud Shropshire and Williams for providing an in-depth analysis of the present reality called life for student-athletes. The public needs to analyze who benefits the most, in the long-term, from student participation in intercollegiate athletics. This is a must-read for anyone truly interested in participating in the conversation."—Brandon Copeland, Defensive End, Detroit Lions, National Football League