Bobby Valentine: College Sports Scholarship No Guarantee of Education

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 03:53 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Baseball great Bobby Valentine, who played for and managed the New York Mets, says colleges woo athletes with a dubious bill of goods.

"[It's] the false promise of thinking they're going to get a four-year scholarship and thinking they're going to get an education. It's not what's out there," Valentine said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"It's a one-year contract that they get, not four years, and it's at the discretion of the coach whether or not they keep it. Whether or not they get an education during the time they're at school is really questionable."

Valentine — who also played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and Seattle Mariners, and managed the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers — is executive producer of the new documentary, "Schooled: The Price of College Sports."

The documentary, which premieres Wednesday on the cable network Epix at 8 p.m. Eastern, examines the provocative issues surrounding the business of college sports and the NCAA's treatment of its athletes. It's based on Pulitzer Prize-winning civil rights scholar, Taylor Branch's 2011 exposé in The Atlantic, "The Shame of College Sports," and is narrated by actor Sam Rockwell.

"As you'll see in the documentary, there's systems and situations that were uncovered, one at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where there was actually classrooms that the players never walked into and yet they got an A or a B on the class and it went on for years," Valentine said in the Malzberg interview to be aired later Monday on Newsmax TV.

"Is there an education or is there just a diploma and are these rights of the players when they get injured or when they get disciplined, are they the rights that they should have?

"They're not the same rights you have. They can't get a lawyer and protest any disciplinary acts that they might get. So let's just jump into 2013 with a system that can move forward and be beneficial to both sides." Valentine, who is also a broadcaster, is now athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.

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