Reward academic success

On the Sidelines | Dr. Jack Welch

I am very impressed with how the CCISD coaches are guiding student-athletes for academic success.  It is a constant topic around the field house and athletic events.  Coaches consistently check with their athletes on upcoming tests, papers due and making sure they make up assignments when they were absent for a sporting event.
Schools get what they emphasize.  At the fall and winter Sports Awards Nights, the stage was full of student-athletes making the All-Academic Team.  Coaches are receiving the very thing they are emphasizing.
Athletics and academics should be inseparable.  The goal of every sports program should be to win on the field and in the classroom.  Success is a by-product of doing things right.
Copperas Cove ISD has enjoyed great success on the field, court, and all areas of athletic competition.  CCISD has also enjoyed success in the classroom with the student-athletes.  This is not by accident.  The coaches emphasize the importance of academic success daily.
To be assured a school district or college has academic success; I believe the institution should tie academic success to coaches’ contracts?  Many institutions will have bonuses for victories on the field, but how about the classroom.
We have all heard the saying, “You get what you pay for.”  Contracts specify performance-based bonuses.  How do institutions reward football coaches’ for winning games compare with their rewards for advancing the student toward graduation?  Would you be surprised if institutions talk about academic success as if it is important but actually reward athletic success?
No one is surprised when a corporation talks about its devotion to the social good but pays their CEO bonuses for raising profits.  Likewise, it should be no surprise despite talking about education, coaches are paid to win games.  Contracts are very clear in specifying what it takes a coach to get bonuses.
Football coach, Urban Meyer receives $37,500 to get his team to a minor bowl game.  If his team secures a major bowl game, he is rewarded $100,000.  What does Meyer’s contract say about student-athletes graduating?  The contract says he may be rewarded for players’ academic success, but there is no mention of how much.  With a contract like that would a coach concentrate on winning or would he sacrifice practice time to spur players to graduate?
At UCLA, Rick Neuheisel’s contract offers $450,000 per year in bonuses for winning, but a maximum of $50,000 for players’ academic achievements.  His contract is very specific.  If he wins games, he is rewarded heavily.  If his players receive excellent academic achievements, he receives peanuts compared to winning championships.
How are coaches rewarded in high schools?  Do their contracts have any expectations outlined for academic or athletic success?  Have you ever noticed most schools achieving athletically are achieving academically also?
The student-athletes at CCISD are succeeding in both areas.  The emphases are always on academic success.  Coaches realize with academically successful talented student-athletes, their teams will be prepared to compete against anyone.  Talent and academic excellence are a great combination. 
Thought for the week, “Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.”  Laird Hamilton 

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