CON: Should Atheletes be Allowed to Sign Letters of Intent?

Elana Wasserman

Over the past few weeks, not including break of course, some very lucky Miramonte seniors signed a letter of intent committing them to a specific college for their sport. That’s right, the wait is over, they know exactly where they’re going to be next year with no more worries in the world. Although only fellow seniors can attest to this, everyone has heard that college applications are not fun. In fact, they are some of the most tedious, time consuming, stress-provoking things that can cause many tears, and not tears of happiness. Applying to college is scary, and the fact that some student athletes here at Miramonte didn’t have to break a sweat because they knew where they got in because of their sport doesn’t seem fair.
It is known that Miramonte is a very academically challenging school; getting A’s here isn’t as easy as at, let’s just say, some other schools that aren’t as academically challenging. We all work hard, very hard, and we all deserve to go to college if we choose to do so. Just because someone is exceptionally good at a sport, doesn’t mean they should get special treatment in the college-acceptance process. There are people here that are exceptionally good at drawing, acting, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, writing and many more activities, and you don’t see them signing on to any big name schools. Yes, it’s true, these athletes have worked hard in their sport, dedicating countless hours to practicing and playing in games, but that doesn’t mean that they should be treated any differently when it comes to applying to college.
Sure, it’s great that a college has been able to see their talents and have an interest in a certain student in a certain sport, but that college should get back to that student at the same time as it gets back to a thousand others who’ve applied to their school. These students have yes, worked very hard in their sport, but these students were also gifted. Not everyone can put in thousands of hours to a sport and become the best at it. Doesn’t seem fair does it? Well that’s just how it is. It’s just like how other students can’t imagine talking in front of thousands of people; stage fright and having a good arm aren’t really that different, just something that someone can happen to be naturally born with. Those students who can stand up and speak in front of thousands of people may have a skill that’ll help them in their future, but when it comes to applying to college, they’re going to be wishing they were born with that good arm.
However, that good arm may get them into college exceptionally early at this point, but how is this supposed to help the student in the long run? It is very common that colleges have a lower standard for athletes when it comes to grades, which means this student may be ready to play a sport at that school, but not ready for the academics. Many college athletes are given extra tutors and special circumstances when it comes to their classes, but is that really fair to the student? Not everyone who plays a college sport goes pro, in fact few do. These students are going to have a huge misconception when it comes to the real world, thinking that just like in school, they will continue to get extra help just because they’re pretty good at a certain sport.
When you think about it, the fact that these athletes get recruited so early is pretty absurd. Why do they get this free-ticket to college while the rest of us have to sit around waiting? Are these student athletes even ready for this specific college? I’m not saying these students aren’t talented or intelligent, I’m not saying that they shouldn’t get into that certain college that has an interest in them; I just think that they shouldn’t be treated any differently in the college-acceptance process.