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The Miseducation of the Student Athlete

How to Fix College Sports

Kenneth L. Shropshire and Collin D. Williams, Jr.

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.

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About the Authors

Kenneth L. Shropshire

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. His most recent books are Sport Matters: Leadership, Power, and the Quest for Respect in Sports; Negotiate Like the Pros: A Top Sports Negotiator’s Lessons for Making Deals, Building Relationships and Getting What You Want; and Being Sugar Ray: The Life of America’ ... More

Collin D. Williams, Jr.

Collin D. Williams, Jr. is Director of Leadership and Education Programs in the South region for the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE). Previously, he worked in Social Responsibility and Player Programs for the National Basketball Association and as the Assistant Director of Player Engagement for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. His research explores how undergraduates’ social experiences influence engagement, academic performance, campus climate, and post-college outcomes, especially for students and athl ... More

Praise

“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

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