Growing up, we would be lying if we said we never thought about dribbling down the court, counting down from 10 and shooting as we made a buzzer sound.
After the ball would go through the net, the “and the crowd goes wild” was inevitable.
If basketball wasn’t it, then it was scoring the game-winning touchdown or hitting a walk-off grand slam or something else.
For those that come to college wanting that dream to become a reality, finding a major that allows them to play and study can be difficult.
For others, education is merely a back-up plan.
There are some athletes, however, that realize that their aspirations to be a professional athlete aren’t where their lives are leading them.
How do they handle that?
Enter Baylor basketball senior forward Jacob Neubert.
It’s no question that he is the crowd favorite. They goes nuts when he enters the game.
Neubert majors in accounting and finance and had some job interviews this semester in Houston.
Let’s look at the rest of Baylor Basketball’s record.
In the past five years, four Baylor Bears have joined the NBA, counting Quincy Miller in the D-League.
A few are playing overseas: Tweety Carter, LaceDarius Dunn and Curtis Jerrells.
The rest went on to careers outside the professional sports world. They used the knowledge and skills gained at Baylor to build lives and careers outside of sports.
Everyone can agree that education is important, but now some people are suggesting college athletes should major in the sport they play.
Why? Because they believe that sport is their only motivation.
This logic comes from the same manner of other professional performance careers like dance, voice, music and theater. The argument asserts that since they’re going to be playing basketball for the rest of their lives, then they should just study basketball.
That completely discounts all the general education classes that performance majors are required to take, and the countless hours of theory, criticism, history and multi-disciplinary classes that fine arts majors have.
Would we build a similar curriculum for each sport?
Will they have hours of advanced sports movement theory and what separates that from an infinitely more recognized degree like kinesiology?
In short, transferring that logic to sports is ridiculous.
Think about it.
You’re sitting on the couch watching the potential No. 1 overall draft pick during a Final Four match-up.
Before the ball is tipped, the television shows you his name, classification, height, weight and major: basketball.
Hold your laughter.
This is a serious argument.
People argue that the athletes can take a university’s required classes for the first two years but then pursue classes for their sports performance major their final two years.
News flash: professional sports careers won’t last forever.
While 19 seasons seems like a lifetime in the NBA, Shaq went back to school and got his doctorate in human resource development. He is now an analyst on Inside the NBA.
For professional careers that you might miss if you blink, think of former Texas quarterback Vince Young.
Less than 10 years after his 4th-and-8 game-winning touchdown against USC in the National Championship, Young is broke and jobless.
Would majoring in football help him now?
Athletes need a real education.
Even with his ridiculous dunks and unheard-of athletic ability, Baylor basketball sophomore guard Deuce Bello is majoring in marketing.
Why? Because he wants to do marketing for an NBA team.
Baylor football senior quarterback Nick Florence graduated in 2011 with a degree in economics and is currently enrolled in graduate school.
If the nation’s leader in total offense can major in something other than football and be successful in both, then it can’t be that hard.
Well, if athletes could make it through high school, four more years should be just fine.
The proposal for sports majors assumes that athletes are one-dimensional.
But they aren’t.
As is said in those all too frequent commercials for the NCAA: They aren’t just athletes, they are student athletes.
People need to realize that athletes are just regular people with a crazy God-given ability to do cool things in a sports arena. Their minds, and often their game, will still benefit from the same education that we all should be receiving.
Instead of letting them concentrate on their chosen career, sports majors will only limit the potential of student athletes.