A piece in “The Brown Daily Herald,” the newspaper of Brown University, focuses on the percentage of recruited student-athletes who end up quitting their respective teams during the course of their collegiate careers. The piece, written by Ben Shumate, notes that approximately 30% of recruited Brown student-athletes end up not continuing on with their sport through their senior years. That’s quite a high figure, but it’s a figure we suspect is not unique to Brown.
Shumate offers a number of rationales for why Brown athletes may not continue with their sports through college — from the pull of great activities and interests within the Ivy League school outside of athletics to the gender divide in sports (quitting is apparently more common among female student-athletes at Brown) to a losing atmosphere that surrounds certain Brown teams to a revolving door of coaches. It seems a shame that so many student-athletes who devote so many years of their childhoods to achieve the ultimate goal — of playing their sport at the Division 1 level — would then up and quit once their dream is achieved.
If a mother tells you that her son is on an athletic scholarship to an Ivy League school, politely smile, effusively nod, and offer your heartfelt congratulations. But know that no Ivy League school offers athletic scholarships.
There are always going to be student-athletes who quit their sport at college because they only devoted so much time and attention to it in order to get into a school like Brown. There are always going to be student-athletes who turn out to be underachievers in their respective sports come the time they step onto a field, pool, or track in college. There are always going to be student-athletes who are, quite simply, burned out and would prefer to devote their attention to making friends in college and enjoying their time off the playing field. But what could Brown — and all highly selective colleges, particularly Ivy League colleges which don’t offer athletic scholarships — do better to retain these student-athletes on their teams all through college? We’re curious to hear from our readers with their ideas.
While you’re here, read this post on Brown University Athletic Recruitment.