Do you know what the graduation rate, nationally, for scholarship athletes is vs. general students? Hint: it’s not good.That’s my point: a good number of these kids aren’t getting an actual college education.
Of course it’s lower. First, scholarship athletes generally have worse academic credentials to begin with, so logic would dictate they don’t graduate at the same rate - especially given the demands on their time. Absent academic fraud, some are not going to survive academically.
Second, a lot of athletes turn professional in their sports, for which a degree is not required. If non-athletes had these kinds of career options, many of them would leave without graduating, too.
I think it’s still in the best interests of any athlete to complete his/her degree requirements, since you don’t know how long the athletic career will last, but for some I can understand the desire to strike while the iron’s hot. And of course, some do come back later to graduate, but they aren’t included in the graduation rate if they don’t graduate within six years of enrollment.