Going pro

Dec. 31, 1969, 7 p.m. | By Kent Anderson | 54 years, 5 months ago

It's never too early for a headstart

When I was a lad you stayed in school. Back in my day you served your four years and then signed your contract. My how things have changed.

It seems as if those days of anxiously waiting to cross the stage and receive your diploma before you sign a NIKE shoe contract are over. Fourteen year-old Freddy Adu from Potomac, who signed with D.C. United, our local Major League Soccer team, has showed us that it's never too soon to enter the wonderful world of sports.

And really, what is wrong with someone starting early in what they are destined to do? In this case, very little. Adu is set to graduate from high school after this year, it seems that he excels not only on the field, but in the classroom as well.

Of course education is important, but people who are obviously going to be playing sports for a living shouldn't be made to endure a large amount of schooling that doesn't directly relate to their area of expertise. The Lebron James' of the world really don't need much more than their physical talent and some general knowledge in a few basic subjects. If, heaven forbid, Adu tears his ACL and can't play, then he will still be able to go to college. The beauty of the American education system is that education is always available; these athletes will always be able to return for more schooling.

This particular incident has created quite a buzz in the soccer world; fans of the game are hoping that Adu will be able to captivate the public much like Lebron James did last year. James breathed a breath of fresh air into a sport that had been struggling, many hope that Adu will do the same. Soccer, the world's most popular sport has had problems creating a sturdy fan base in the United States, and this 14 year-old phenom might be the boost soccer needs to take hold.

Many people profess that school is important, and it is. However, in some cases it's more important to let an athlete develop on the field and not stifle them in the classroom.

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