The story of the week is the fallout from Scots College’s decision to deny issuing sporting scholarships. Rival GPS schools including St Ignatius Riverview and Sydney Church of England Grammar School, have refused to play against Scots first and second basketball teams amidst allegations Scots used prohibited inducements to recruit players. Grammar’s headmaster, Timothy Wright weighed in, in a letter to parents on Wednesday, saying “while sporting success is encouraged and is part of competing, games that are hopelessly one-sided are of no educational value”.
But honestly, is anyone really surprised?
GPS schools have been offering scholarships for a long time.
If the brightest students are offered places at elite schools, and given learning opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise, why shouldn’t elite sportsmen and women?
It’s not really a secret that private schools are poaching the best sportsmen. In the testosterone-fuelled corridors of GPS schools there is a strong sporting culture. Give them scholarships I say! They’ve pushed themselves to the limit and deserve to reap the rewards.
An ex-Scots boy was hesitant to comment, even off the record, in case his comments were misconstrued or jeopardised the future of his brother, who still attends the school.
“Scots are focused on educating the best and brightest this country has to offer and will continue to nurture boys in whatever they so choose to excel,” he told the Newsroom.
It goes without saying that opportunities, both sporting and academic, are richer and more varied in some of Sydney’s affluent GPS schools. Scots College offers state-of-the-art training facilities, including an altitude training simulator. The stakes are high. Playing in the top sports teams of Sydney’s private schools almost guarantees you great career opportunities. The competition starts – for university scholarships and the chance to play for the Wallabies alike – from a young age.
My sporting colleagues in the Macleay Newsroom disagree with the granting of scholarships.
“It’s a bit like cheating the salary cap,” they said, referring to the Melbourne Storm scandal of 2010. Some schools have a seemingly endless pile of money with which to lure potential students. Unlike sports teams, however, they don’t have a cap on spending.
Meanwhile, in the Newsroom this week, we’ve been keeping up to date with the America’s Cup as well as launching a crime segment. Take an hour or two to wander around Sydney where there’s so much going on over the next few weeks. We’re looking forward to Sydney’s International Fleet Review from October 3-11, for one! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.