The Post "threw up a brick" in its Jan. 16 editorial on the NCAA convention. As I see it, the grade-point-average proposal would have had little more impact than to deprive a few basketball and football players of realizing their dream of playing in the NBA or NFL.
The question the NCAA and The Post should ask is why an athlete needs a college education to play in the NFL or NBA. We have created a system, to the profit of NCAA members, the NBA and the NFL, in which athletes with no particular interest in education, but with incredible potential and desire to succeed as athletes, are forced to be part of the NCAA student-athlete myth. While a college education is important, there is no need for it to be a prerequisite to a career in the sports or entertainment fields. The systems in place for baseball and hockey seem to work well. We rarely see major NCAA abuses in those sports, where the athlete has a choice of professional training in lieu of college.
An 18-year-old with a legitimate shot at a professional sports career should have the opportunity to pursue the dream of stardom with single-minded determination. A failure to realize that dream does not mean a life of poverty and ignorance. There are numerous opportunities and plenty of time for individuals with a strong desire to attend college to obtain degrees.
Certainly we do not need 300 or so Division I schools committed to turning out NBA players. If the NCAA cannot in good conscience find a small place in its system for kids who want only to be athletes, it should work with the professional leagues, junior colleges and others to develop a mechanism to provide for this group. Only then could the NCAA schools (including the Big Ten) create a system in which the admission and academic standards for student-athletes approximated the standards for other students. It then would not be necessary to legislate "academic progress" or minimum SAT scores. DANA K. PROULX Kensington