by Meaghan Cahill ’20
Athletes leaving their respective colleges to go pro before graduating is not a rare occurrence in college sports today. Players such as Boston University’s Jack Eichel and Charlie McAvoy and Providence College’s own Noel Acciari and Ben Bentil, have all left their respective teams to pursue a professional career before they were supposed to graduate and rightfully so. Each of these players have moved on from their college programs and are currently very successful players in both the NHL and NBA.
While it can be argued that college athletes should remain all four years with their college sports team, it is not right to expect them to stay. Becoming a professional athlete is a goal that not many athletes have success in achieving. So, when the opportunity presents itself, the players should be allowed to have a chance to take it with nothing holding them back. If a player is expected to wait around until they graduate college, they risk the chance of injury, which would end whatever chance they had at a professional career all together.
There are many perks towards college players leaving their school programs early as well. For starters, they get a head start at actually having a career and making a living. In the case of McAvoy, who is now a top defenseman for the Boston Bruins, at just nineteen-years-old, is earning $925,000 a year with his entry level contract. With this kind of money, athletes are then able to provide for their families and create their own financial stability. Another reason that leaving college to become a professional athlete can be beneficial is that they can always go back to their studies when their professional career is over. If it was the other way around, the chance for a player to go back to their athletic career might not be possible. Also, much like Dallas Stars player and former Bruins player Tyler Seguin did, professional athletes are also able to take classes in between their sports season.
College athletes should not be expected to stay in college for all four years should they get the opportunity to go pro. The opportunity itself is one that is very hard to come by and may not come around again. First and foremost, especially at a high collegiate level, athletes are athletes and at the end of the day, they need to base their decisions off of their sports career, not their college degree.