College athletes deserve better

Kevin Ware’s injury sheds light onto the unjust practices in college sports.

Daily Editorial Board

On Sunday, during a highly contested matchup against the perennial basketball powerhouse Duke University, Louisville’s Kevin Ware suffered what might have been one of the most gruesome injuries in college sports. Ware left the court on a stretcher before shaken players and fans.

Ware’s injury not only reminded fans and participants of college sports about the inherent dangers of competing at an elite level, but again revealed just how unprotected college athletes are as a result of the strong financial interests of college sports programs and the NCAA as a whole.

CBS News reported Monday that Ware’s injury could have resulted in his scholarship getting rescinded as well as being saddled with enormous medical bills. Of course, because of the high profile nature of Ware’s injury and the sport he plays, it’s unlikely this will happen. Doing so would draw a wave of criticism aimed at Louisville and its basketball program, which could deter future students.

However, the cold calculative nature of the University’s decision-making was on full display when a spokesperson, asked whether Louisville could guarantee Ware’s scholarship, said that he wasn’t sure the question was relevant because “doctors are expecting a full recovery,” CBS reported.

It makes little sense that an academic scholarship a college athlete receives would be tied to his or her performance on the court. Regardless of what might transpire during competition, an athlete’s scholarship should be guaranteed unless academic performance is deemed unsatisfactory. Furthermore, college athletes should be guaranteed medical insurance that covers them even if their injuries last long after graduation.

Ware’s injury unfortunately has the potential to end his college basketball career. It shouldn’t also have to end his academic one.