by Larry Murray.......
Like many of you, I read the daily "Prep Sports: Class of 2018 Senior Spotlight" in the Citizen. I tend to focus on two questions, those regarding the interrelationship between sports and academics. One question asks about the athlete's goals for the coming year relating to academics and athletics. The answers vary markedly. Many talk about raising their GPA so that they may qualify for an athletic scholarship.
That got me wondering as to how many athletes in MCSD earn a partial or full scholarship to college. I contacted the School District and, to my surprise, found that there is very little interest in that subject in the Henriquez Building. I was told that the number of athletic scholarships is not a "data point" that the District maintains. Phrased differently, District officials have no idea how many athletic scholarships are earned each year let alone the students, the sports, the colleges to be attended and so on.
When I pursued the issue, an administrator agreed to contact each of the athletic directors to determine what they knew. The results are as follows:
Coral Shores High School - 9
Marathon High School - 3
Key West High School - 4
I was informed that these 16 are "verified scholarship OFFERS", but that was all that was known or at least revealed. There was no confirmation as to whether or not any or all of these scholarship offers were accepted, if they were full or partial scholarships or which colleges had made the offers and in which sports.
I found that response incongruous, to say the least, that I had more interest in athletic scholarships in MCSD than the District did. The District spends thousands and thousands of dollars in the promotion of interscholastic sports and the Board is preparing to spend millions of dollars to improve the athletic facilities at Marathon High School. Given that level of expenditure, you would think that the School District would be intimately concerned with how many students were able to go on to college with the assistance of an athletic scholarship. After all, is that not one of the purposes of interscholastic athletics, to help students continue pursuing their favorite sports at the collegiate level?