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The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

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  • The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

    Ok, goofy headline aside:

    The Portland SportsTribune stated former prep star Mike McGrath leaving Oregon after only one season to find out the best way for him to qualify for the 2008 Olympics -- may run with Salazar:s group (Oregon Project), a private club or independently... Galen Rupp pursuing alternate course to stardom, passing up NCAA running for the time being... Allyson Felix turns pro at 18...Richard Smith never runs for his college...Alan Webb turns pro after one year of college.

    Is athletics in the USA turning a positive corner? Will more young men and young women follow suit and pursue their athletics dreams? Will America miss these athletes on the NCAA scene?

    You be the judge.

  • #2
    Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

    I've never been in favor of college athletes leaving college before graduation, at least those who are at all serious about academics.

    This subject makes me think of Willie Banks, who was a casual friend of mine back in the 70's when I lived in Oceanside. He was just a high school kid back then, and he was already getting notice far and wide for his LJ and particularly his TJ skills. He achieved much success in his specialty event, eventually holding the world record for some years. I doubt that "the bouncing barrister" cashed in on his success as many have, considering he never medalled in the Olympics despite his success.

    His bachelor and law degrees really opened the door for much more success in life than if he had decided to devote his life full-time to sport at such a young age. Too many end their educational pursuits for professionalism, only to see their dreams not realized. It's a lot harder to get that education on your own dime than on someone else's.

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    • #3
      Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

      I have no problem with leaving college to 'pursue the dream' as long as you are prepared ($$-wise) to go back whenever it is evident that the pro track thing isn't working out. Soccer and baseball players do it with few eyebrows raised.

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      • #4
        Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

        Darren Lewis, baseball player and former Cal standout, had a clause in his contract when drafted out of college early, that included him receiving expenses paid for his continued education and degree once baseball ended.

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        • #5
          Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

          I can go both ways on this. For the Webb's and Felix's of the world I believe it is a good thing. Our NCAA system has basically failed to produce Olympic level distance athletes for over 20 years. The pressure to win, combined with big football and a reduction of scholarships has made coaches over race their kids and stop developing them for the long term. If the kid is that good and can get a significant financial incentive to skip the NCAA, it can only benefit their running. I just hope they're smart enough to save the money if they decide to skip school altogether at that time so they can get the education afterwards.

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          • #6
            Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

            arent we missing the point that some of these athletes are actually enrolled in college and just not part of a team there. i thought felix was at least in school. thy and find something wrong with that

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            • #7
              Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

              It's not hard to skip collegiate track and field, run on the professional scene, and still get your degree in four years. Terrence Trammell won every title he could have won while in college. His Junior year he won an Olympic silver medal in 2000. It was obvious that he would not come back to college track and field, but that next year and 1/2 he managed to graduate and Pledge Omega Psi Phi. I even know some older athletes that are getting their master's degree, while still competing professionally.

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              • #8
                Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

                Update on the should have crew...

                Two former prep stars broke the magical 8.00-barrier in the 3,000m yesterday, Galen Rupp in Washington, and Josh McDougal in Boston.

                Rupp (part of the "New Youth Movement") dipped under 8.00 in the 3K in Washington yesterday, finishing fourth in 7.58,02. Freshman collegian McDougal (7.55,70) wins big in the IC4A champs.

                edit: what is the USA junior men:s 3k indoor record?

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                • #9
                  Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

                  edit: what is the
                  >USA junior men:s 3k indoor record?

                  not one
                  USATF doesn't recognize Junior indoor records

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                  • #10
                    Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

                    the type of athlete who's going pro is getting very generous financial offers...

                    assume you go to college, are fairly average, get a jon where you make 35k per year, eventually work up to the 50k range...

                    work 40 years so make somewhere near 2 million...

                    if the offer to go pro beats the 2 million over the lifetime of t&f...it was a good choice...

                    oh, and if you flop in t&f, go back to school, and join the grind....

                    I see no problems with ELITE potentials skipping school....

                    after all most college programs aren't all that intellectually challenging!!

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                    • #11
                      Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

                      The indoor AJR as recognized by T&FN (who needs USATF?! :-) is 7:58.40 by the Gabester in '98. If not for the oversized track, Rupp would now have that distinction.

                      Note also that it's arguably the fastest pure 3K ever by an American Junior. Lindgren had a hand-timed 7:58.0 outdoors in '65, but an auto 7:58.02 is almost certainly superior. Of course, Rupp still has a ways to go to equal Ryun, who has a "7:47.8" from '66. That's a conversion of his American Record 8;25.2 for 2M.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

                        GH, thanks. I did not see a listing for indoor AJRs on the site.

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                        • #13
                          Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

                          It is fairly standard for baseball players in the US who are drafted out of high school into MLB to include a clause in their contracts to cover the cost of their education after their career is completed. A friend of mine did that several years back, and after pitching for the Astros in the bigs for seven years, went back to finish the degree. No reason track should be any different.

                          As someone alluded to earlier in this thread, many of these young pros are still attending college and working toward a degree. Being in college is no guarantee of scholarship. One top player at my alma mater, back in the early 80's managed to remain scholastically eligible all 4 years, but it had taken him 5 years to graduate high school....in one of the special classes. A proud moment for all, I am sure.

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                          • #14
                            Re: The New Youth Movement: Popular Preppy Trend?

                            At our conference championships, we were honored to have former Olympian 800m Byron Dyce speak to us about combining athletics with education. It was interesting to hear because clearly no one in our conference (Carnegie Mellon, Emory, Washington Univ., etc.) is attending school for athletics, and because Byron clearly had a great balance of both. If I recall correctly, he eventually got a Ph.D. from his alma mater, NYU, and is now the dean of a mathematics department.

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