West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Athletics, Parents, and Education

People never cease to amaze me, and the world of athletic competition is no exception.

I am sure many of you read or heard about the college football player who had to take a couple summer courses in order to be eligible to compete for his team this fall. When asked by some reporters about his progress in school, the boy's mother responded who cares about school. Her offspring was only playing college football until he was drafted by a professional team. She had no concern for grades or his education. 1, personally, was dumbfounded when I read her remarks. Even if she has this kind of warped mentality, I could not believe she had the audacity to state it publicly.

But to me there is even a sadder by-product regarding this story. Nobody (to my knowledge) wrote or expressed any distaste or disgust for her thoughts on college and its relationship with sports.

Has our society lost its ethical fiber? Have such attitudes as the one demonstrated above become a way of life in America? I certainly hope not.

Well, I guess that is why I love our amateur wrestling so deeply. Athletes in the mat sport also train year-round to be the best, for the love of the sport, not for future financial gains. They also have a work ethic second to no other athletic competition created by man. Furthermore, when a wrestler is offered a college scholarship, he matriculates at the school of his choice with every intention of graduating. Can this be said of many of the outstanding performers in the so-called major collegiate sports? I think not

In my opinion, there are some things more important than acquiring great material wealth and/or power, such as personal integrity and decent moral living. Unfortunately,, they are two very important values that are gradually disintegrating in all segments of our society, including the highest echelons of America's political system.

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