With Lance Armstrong in the news, I was almost forced to take a look at the sport of cycling, just to figure what the big deal was about. Cycling may be the whitest sport in America. I did a google images search for cycling, and I saw not a single non-white face in the midst of thousands of pictures of happy cyclist, except for Team Rwanda. Team Rwanda is the only national cycling team in Africa, that actually has black cyclist on their team.
So, I decided to look deeper into the situation, and discovered that there are several Universities that have cycling teams, and cycling scholarships. Scholarship for a college sport that most have never even considered to be an actual sport that is shown outside of the Olympics, and the Tour De France. There are several other scholarshiped sports that I would have never considered like water polo, crew ( rowing ), archery, skeet shooting, shooting and various horse-riding sports, that are full scholarship givers. Recently. many college football, and baseball programs were forced by the N.C.A.A.to limit the number of full scholarships that they give to recruited student athletes. Most colleges are now giving out partial scholarships instead of full boat rides, because they are limited in the amount of funds they can use. The is especially concerning, since most of these football, baseball, and hockey programs bring in millions for the schools each year.
“People run themselves ragged to play on three teams at once so they could always reach the next level,” said Margaret Barry of Laurel, Md., whose daughter is a scholarship swimmer at the University of Delaware. “They’re going to be disappointed when they learn that if they’re very lucky, they will get a scholarship worth 15 percent of the $40,000 college bill. What’s that? $6,000?”
So the available pool of athletic scholarships is shrinking, the number of financially sufficient scholarships are limited, and the number of people competing for those scholarships are growing. Minority athletes need to start taking advantage of these traditionally white sports scholarship programs. We need to increase access to these sports, so that minorities can at least learn to compete in them. It is not that black kids do not have bicycles that they ride on every day, but when, how and what turns it into a sport? Horseback riding is not just taught in the country, nor are their exclusively white kids in the country. Shooting, riflery and archery can be taught anywhere, and their are pools across the country, for water polo. So why aren't minorities taking advantage of these sporting outlet and opportunities for scholarships? Especially a lot of these traditionally white sport are offered almost exclusively at IVY league schools, and private universities that can be the ultimate spring board to a fantastic education and future. A C+ degree from Yale, will get you an A+ job faster that an A+ degree from a state college.
This has been a soar spot between the races for sometime. The white guys think the Blacks and minorities are dominating certain sports and taking all the scholarships. The Black and minorities are wondering why these tradition white sports get so much money and attention, and yet they have no access to them.