The Declaration of Independence states “All men [and women] are created equal.” However, that statement should be followed by “Education is equal to (if not more important than) sports.” Society has placed so much value on sports that we have begun to lack in the areas of education, humanities and the arts.
The football coaches at University of Nebraska-Lincoln get paid millions more than the highest paid educator there. According to the school’s annual Personal Roster, Scott Frost, head football coach, makes $5,000,000, while the Chancellor of the university is only paid $472,120. That is a $4,527,880 difference. Shouldn’t an educator get paid more than a football coach, or at least the same amount? While the numbers do not lie, there is a reason for this imbalance. The money that goes to the football program comes from tickets and views, which means this wage gap is caused by society, not the university.
While athletics unifies students at a college, most non-athletes, like myself, care more about education. However, the colleges known for outstanding athletics tend to lack in having outstanding education. According to Forbes (a respectable magazine/website), their college list is ranked first by how students view their educational experience at the school. On the other hand, a school with chart-topping sports is able to put money into their educational system. Schools with unsuccessful sports are just wasting money that could help their academics improve. Harvard has little value in their sports program, yet they top the list of 660 colleges ranked by Forbes. The University of Alabama, which is ranked first on the college football list, is ranked 221 on the Forbes college list. As I have embarked on my own college search, sports have not once been a factor I considered. While the school spirit is an added bonus, my main focus has always been what the school’s reputation in each prospective academic program is.
The basis of the world around us is education. Without language, we could never communicate with each other. Without math and science, we wouldn’t have the basics for doctors to exist. There would be no tv shows — the tv wouldn’t have been invented in the first place.
Most importantly, medicine came from education. Without medicine, football wouldn’t be able to thrive. The injuries football players face would constantly place them in a hospital, except the hospitals probably wouldn’t exist. Athletes would not be able to obtain the medical help they needed because medicine wouldn’t exist. Everything around us is because of education, so why do we place more value on sports?
Sports are known for instilling teamwork in people and bringing a sense of community. They also teach work ethic, sportsmanship, hard work, respect, and so much more. However, sports aren’t alone in providing that. Several extracurriculars provide that same community. At Marian, I am heavily involved in the fine arts program. Everyone in choir and the musical hold a special place in my heart; they are my family. Along with sports, several extracurriculars provide a family atmosphere. Even in the journalism room these values and skills are developed. Society and the mainstream media choose to place more value on sports, so sports see the publicity to show their teamwork.
At the end of the day, it’s our job to decide where to place our time and effort. Sports are entertaining and athletes work hard; however, artists, dancers, singers and many more put just as much time and effort into their activities. Placing all the value on sports is not going to help the children in theater or math club grow. We have an obligation to support every aspect of society equally because they all help young boys and girls learn crucial values.