Are Potential Fame And Mucho Dollars Worth Skipping College Or Missing High School?

Money fame success power.

Super prospect Bryce Harper is apparently great enough of a baseball player that he is bettering basketball prospect Jeremy Tyler by skipping two years of high school instead of just one.

Bryce Harper (photo by Globe Staff / Stan Grossfeld)And yes. Scott Boras represents Harper.

Tyler made headlines a few months ago when he decided to skip his senior year of high school to play professional basketball in Europe. He is getting his G.E.D. while waiting for that pesky age requirement that pretty much mandates potential draft picks to attend at least one year in college and “test” themselves at the N.C.A.A. level.

While money and better competition await Tyler in Europe, I had read rumors (which oddly enough I cannot find anymore) that seemingly
contradicted Tyler’s statements about being academically sound. I’m digressing because I’m not completely interested in his commitment to his scholastic achievements, and sure, Tyler might not have any other (better) option.

I’m taking issue with the idea that Tyler doesn’t want to finish his senior year of high school. And now Harper doesn’t want to finish his junior or senior year of high school.

Everyone knows schoolwork sucks. But what makes attending classes and cramming for tests is the certainty that everyone around you is dealing with the same thing. Shared experiences is one of the things that helps bond you with others.

While not everyone is sold about having to go to college, can no one see the potential harm is missing out of high school? Attending prom, participating in the senior prank, worrying about which college to go to, etc?

And college is a whole different beast.

Jeremy Tyler (photo by Mark Avery/New York Times)There are worries that Tyler and Harper are setting dangerous precedents for future potential prospects that will decide to skip high school, not even think about going to college, and rush themselves (their mental and social developments) to inflate their egos with grandeur fantasies of athletic greatness and gigantic fortune.

I’m not knocking anyone for dreaming big, but relatively few people who play high school sports ever make it professionally. That’s the reality. For every LeBron James (who, by the way, still needs to grow up), there are hundreds more who never make it. Take advantage of scholarships to go to college and get a decent education. Meet new people. Add college life to the experience jar.

Infamy lasts longer than fame, and if professional stardom isn’t achieved for either Harper or Tyler, they will forever be synonymous with FAIL.

[photos via monstro/Flickr | Globe Staff/Stan Grossfeld | Mark Avery/New York Times]

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