Interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription only, sorry) about foreign players in U.S college sports. The issue is summed up by two quotes:
Recruiting foreign athletes may well help attract nonathlete students from the same countries," says Matt Mitten, a professor of law at Marquette University
Mark Wetmore, who coaches track and field at the University of Colorado: "As a state institution, we have a responsibility to Colorado and U.S. taxpayers to make sure their sons and daughters have first priority," he says. "Imagine if after 18 years of paying taxes in the state of Colorado, or Maine, or Florida, your daughter has been able to throw the shot put 42 feet, but your state institution does not make an athletics scholarship available to her because they can get someone from Iceland who can throw 43 feet."
The openness of U.S higher education to spending money on foreign students, whether graduate students or athletes, is a huge credit to America. Its persistence over the decades and consistency across institutions speaks to a generosity to the world in American life that many foreigners don't appreciate. But, as ever, the question is that mealy-mouthed word "balance." American "kids" shouldn't see college sports as a benefit for foreigners. The Chronicle article suggests that across the whole country the balance is probably achieved pretty well.Posted by eroberts at January 7, 2008 4:02 PM | TrackBack