Letter to the President of the University of Washington

Dear President Young,

My name is Anthony Washington.  I am a former student-athlete at the University of Washington.  I played under Lorenzo Romar from 2002-2004, before leaving after my sophomore year with 96 credits.

My sophomore year at the University of Washington.

My sophomore year at the University of Washington.

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to a story on ESPN by Adam Rittenburg about the Big Tens announcement that all of its institutions will grant athletic scholarships for the entire term of an athlete’s enrollment, and allow some athletes who leave school to return and finish their degrees on scholarship.

Even before the Big Ten made the decision, some of its institutions had already established 4-year guaranteed scholarships for current and former student athletes.

Why wait for the Pac-12 to act?  University of Washington should be the next institution to establish guaranteed 4-year scholarships to prospective student-athletes as well as current and former student athletes who maintain good standing academically, within the athletic department, and in the community.

Some may argue that it’s too expensive.  Last year the athletic department had a record surplus of  a little over 8 million dollars.  Now would be the perfect time to add more money to the athletic scholarship fund in order to cover costs.

Any financial losses would be made up by the potential impact a decision like this could have on recruiting, current and former student-athletes’ lives, the communities these kids come from, along with the UW community.

Currently the UW offers athletes 1-year renewable scholarships, which puts one’s academic future in the hands of athletic coaches.

Although student-athletes enter the UW for the their athletic talents, athletic coaches should have little to no control over current and former athletes’ academic futures.  Although coaches are required to have degrees, their area of expertise is in their respective sport.

Incentives in coaching contracts usually reflect the primary goals of the athletic department and the head coach.  I have yet to see a coach’s contract in which the coach is rewarded more for his players’ high-grade point averages, and the team’s graduation rates rather than for wins and championships.

Unlike coaches, University faculty are paid to educate, and train minds academically as well as socially.  They should have a say in current student-athletes academic affairs.

When dealing with former student-athletes, the faculty and the university should have way more influence on decisions for reinstatement to finish school than athletic coaches and the athletic department.

Players leave school for numerous determinant factors such as disciplinary reasons, injuries, poor performance in their respective sport, family issues, failing grades, and genuine player/coach disagreements in which the player still ends up being released from the program due to the fact that student-athletes are extremely expendable.

Some coaches are not teaching lessons, but rather handing out life sentences that ultimately make it hard for some former student-athletes to make positive contributions to society.

These decisions on the part of coaches have lasting effects on student-athletes’ lives.  A lot of time, the penalty does not fit the infraction.

If education is essential for achieving success in our society, the right thing to do would be to make guaranteed education available to current and former student athletes at the University of Washington that fit  criteria established by the athletic department as well as the University of Washington faculty.

Thank you for your time,



Anthony Washington 



1 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. egrfree2rhyme #

    great article!!!!

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