College sports are incredibly important for both the athletes and the colleges in which they attend. Division I sports are a gateway for many athletes to move on to a professional level, and allow for others to receive an education that they otherwise may have not been able to afford. D-I sports are also one of the main ways in which colleges make money, which adds to their necessity in our current economic culture. Without these programs, much of the college system would suffer from a lack of funding, and the traditions around these sports would be greatly missed.
Currently, 176,000 Division I athletes participate in collegiate athletic programs across the country. Without these programs, some athletes may not be able to pursue higher education and achieve academically. Of these student-athletes, 56% receive some sort of financial aid, which gives them the opportunity to afford the ever increasing costs of college. In order for these athletes to compete at a higher, professional level, college athletics is crucial. Division I sports provide some of the highest levels of competition, and are essential in the eyes of both participants as well as spectators.
Helping athletes afford a college-level education is just one of the many benefits of having these athletic programs. Many colleges make millions of dollars through their athletics programs, money which they can then put back into improving the school. For example, according to ESPN, in 2008 Alabama’s athletics brought in $123,769,8412 in revenue. Financially, Division I college athletics are a necessity, beneficial to both the school and the students who attend it.
While these programs may not seem like much on the surface, college athletics have a deep importance throughout the country. If these programs disappear, the opportunities currently offered by them would as well. Colleges would most definitely feel the impact of losing the revenue brought in by sports programs, as would players losing the scholarships and academic experiences they have strived to receive. Thankfully, college athletic programs will not likely be gone any time soon, and you can continue to enjoy your Saturday night football and March Madness.
Graphics: Jessica Chang, Quinn Daly