Posted on 02 August 2008 by admin
Once again, NCAA men gymnasts have proven that they are not only smart in competition, but they are also very smart in the classroom. William and Mary edged out Ohio State and MIT for the national academic team championship. Stanford and Michigan rounded out the top five. Due to the ill-conceived Title IX, there aren’t that many college men’s gymnastics programs left. It’s encouraging to learn about the academic success of this country’s young student athletes.
The graduation rate for high school gymnasts is around 100%. Isn’t that an inspirational statistic, given that many urban areas in the U.S. are currently experiencing high school drop-out rates as high as 35%? The college graduation rate for gymnasts has to hover around the same 100% rate, due to the discipline and commitment the sport imbues in its athletes.
A fabulous observation has been brought to light over at The Gymnastics Zone. They correctly point out that “no other sport can claim that their athletes come to college with 5000 hours of training under their belts during their high school years.”
We need no better reason to improve the current Title IX-infected state of NCAA Men’s Gymnastics. If we expand the number of programs year by year, university by university, we thereby create more opportunities for high school-aged gymnasts. At least we know these athletes would actually graduate! Helping those who actually choose to help themselves through hard work and dedication should be one of the paramount education policies in this country.
The fact that there are now fewer than twenty NCAA Division I Men’s Gymnastics programs is one of the greatest travesties in college sports. Our politicians and academic institutions ought to be ashamed. Why on earth would they willingly aid and abet the demise of an Olympic sport that proudly proclaims proven academic excellence?
Men’s Olympic gymnastics is always given prime time television exposure because it’s simply amazing. Men’s gymnastics is one of the world’s toughest sports. These athletes can do anything, during their gymnastic careers and afterward. It is outright hypocrisy to hold back the educational opportunities for these young athletes with the the most promising success potentials of all.