An Illinois Reader Wants University Athletic Scholarships for Americans Only!
December 04, 2008, 04:00 AM
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From: Mike Wilshere (e-mail him)

RE: Joe Guzzardi`s Column: Another Thing American Kids Can`t Do—Play Tennis?

Ever since I read Guzzardi`s column, I`ve been paying closer attention to how many college scholarships are given to foreign-born athletes.

Recently, I watched a soccer contest between the University of Connecticut and the University of West Virginia on the Fox Soccer Channel and the announcers kept referring to the players by their nationality.

On the Connecticut Huskies roster are players from Israel, Finland, Canada and Trinidad.

The Mountaineers field a team that includes kids from Ireland, Zimbabwe, Brazil as well as Trinidad and Finland a again

During its call-in show Fox Football Fone-In, a caller made mention of the fact that there are many foreign players getting soccer scholarships.

The foreign-born show hosts (England but now U.S. citizens) Nick Webster and Steve Cohen patronizingly agreed that Americans should get the scholarships, but they want at least some foreign players included. Soccer is big on foreign players now.

But so are all college sports.

In one particularly egregious example, University of Memphis Tiger basketball coach John Calipari is actively recruiting Chinese players.[Memphis Tigers Go Global and Look to China, by Antonio Gonzales, Associated Press, October 16, 2007

Joe Guzzardi comments: Scholarships for foreign-born athletes who come to America on F-1 student visas are an under-reported outrage.

Connecticut, West Virginia and Memphis are state-funded schools. Logically, all scholarships should go to in-state residents. That`s never going to happen because those teams would then not be able to compete with private universities like Notre Dame or Southern California.

But at a minimum, scholarships should go only to American citizens.

It`s possible that, given the economic conditions in America today, many of these student-athletes will return home especially those from Finland, Ireland and Canada.

But some, like those from Zimbabwe, Brazil and Trinidad will never go back.

They`ll stay on to compete with your kids in the increasingly tight job market, become citizens, bring over their extended families and add to the already over crowded conditions everywhere.

Send e-mail to Memphis president Shirley Raines, Connecticut president Michael J. Hogan and West Virginia president C. Peter Magrath to tell them to stop their policy of giving scholarships to foreign-born athletes.