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For the Record

Publish date: Mar 24, 2011

Ralph Nader's got it all wrong

A Ralph Nader reform project has announced that colleges and universities should eliminate athletic scholarships. Nader asserts that being on athletic scholarship makes a student-athlete a professional and that for scholarship student-athletes education is a secondary consideration. The problems and errors with Nader's proposal are so significant that Bob Williams, the NCAA vice president of communications, provided this perspective:

"Mr. Nader's proposal is off-base on so many fronts it is hard to know where to start. The 145,000 student-athletes who receive athletics related financial aid each year are in fact students first — as evidenced by the fact that in almost every demographic they graduate at higher percentages than their counterparts in the general student body. Moreover, less than two percent of them will ever play professional sports. The assertion that student-athletes who receive athletics aid are professionals defies logic — they are students, just like any other student on campus who receives a merit-based scholarship."