Jocks and the Academy

I’ve always thought that athletes and artists are far too revered in our society while public servants and intellectuals are left to bite the dust. Along these lines, jock recruits to selective colleges has been a major topic in higher ed recently. I just read a fantastic article/book review in the New York Review of Books (link below). As Slate says:

An Amherst professor attacks the hypocrisy of college admissions officials who pay lip service to the primacy of academic standards but lower them to help promising athletes hurdle the bar. But, he thinks, “It seems all too convenient for reformers to discuss the divide between academics and athletes apart from its larger social setting.” He believes the “larger goal should be to moderate the obsession with rank-ordering human activities”—like prioritizing either academics or athletics—”with a different set of ideals—choice for all, openness, mutual appreciation, an end to exclusionary bifurcations.”

Link: The New York Review of Books: Jocks and the Academy.

3 comments on “Jocks and the Academy
  • Athetlic recruitment has always seemed pretty sketchy to me, but I’m curious about why you think public servants and intellectuals are less revered than artists. In the college realm, it seems to me that schools recruit public servants and intellectuals as much as they do artists (though far less than they do athletes.) As for society as a whole, I really don’t think the vast majority of artists out there are earning more money/recognition than the public servants and intellectuals. In fact, most of the aritsts I know tend to talk about how they are underappreciated. What kind of appreciation do artists get that public servants and intellectuals don’t?

  • I see your point, but still, that’s Hollywood. Events like the Oscars and the Grammys do not celebrate the arts; they celebrate celebrity and money. For the other 99% of artists, just being able to work full-time on their own stuff is difficult, let alone getting recognition for it. I’m not saying that artists are less appreciated than public servants and intellectuals (professors have to teach in order to fund their own research), but I don’t share your view that artists are overappreciated.

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