Air Ball: American Education’s Failed Experiment with Elite by John R. Gerdy

By John R. Gerdy

John R. Gerdy has obvious approximately each part of athletics. he's the son of a highschool soccer trainer; he used to be an All-American basketball participant, a legislative assistant for the nationwide Collegiate Atheltic organization, and he served as an affiliate commissioner for the Southeastern convention. In Air Ball: American Education’s Failed test with Elite Athletics, Gerdy brings all of these views to undergo and argues that the yank procedure of college and group athletics is damaged. yet he's no mere naysayer. He deals a daring, innovative blueprint for reforming athletics to fulfill our country’s academic and public well-being wishes. Given greater education’s historical position of offering management in our society, the initiative to revive a extra brilliant stability among athletics and schooling needs to commence with the reform of big-time university athletics. regardless of frequent public skepticism relating to greater education’s skill to alter the approach, Gerdy argues that the chance for reform hasn't ever been higher. utilizing a provocative mixture of learn and considerate remark, he argues that, for the 1st time within the background of yank better schooling, the serious mass of individuals, companies, and outdoors pressures essential to force and maintain innovative, systemic reform of the school athletic firm is in position.

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The result is that the best perform while all others watch. In this system, there is no encouragement for involvement in sports simply to stay physically fit or to have fun. It is all about preparing the team or the team’s star to get to the next level. Children pick up on the exclusive nature of these programs and often stop playing when they realize they are not one of the elite. There is nothing in this model that encourages children to become physically fit themselves or to learn about and enjoy the process of fitness.

With dialogue comes the potential for increased understanding and future change. But only when we reform college athletics will opportunities begin to present 27 28 BEYOND THE IVY-COVERED WALLS themselves for reforming high school and peewee sports and for rethinking the role that sports plays in our lives and communities. RETHINKING THE ROLE OF ATHLETICS IN HIGH SCHOOLS The argument for America’s failed experiment with elite high school sports is not nearly as straightforward as it is for college athletics.

Elite interscholastic athletics influences in very dramatic ways not only the educational opportunity afforded by a high school but also the health and fitness of every student in the school. Though less visible than at the college level, athletics’ impact on the high school is just as profound and far reaching. SHOW ME THE MONEY! Determining the cost of interscholastic athletics is extremely difficult. Etta Kralovec, in her 2003 book Schools That Do Too Much, offers a cogent critique of why it is hard to BEYOND THE IVY-COVERED WALLS develop an accurate picture of the resources consumed by high school athletic programs: “Calculating the time costs of sports programs in schools, especially at the high school level, is complicated: the culture of sports in many schools means that there is time for pep rallies, away games, homecoming week, and the like and these consume a good part of the school year.

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