The Daily Grind gives five reasons to think that athletics may not fit into the mission of public education: money, climate (see the article for an explanation), accountability, entitlement, and parents.
Although it’s highly unrealistic to expect an end to high school sports (try passing THAT bill through the state legislature here in the home of “Hoosier Hysteria”), it certainly seems like sports don’t complement the schools’ educational mission like they used to. Even when looking at recreational gymnastics classes for our 3-year old, we were steered away from one place because it was very high-pressure, expecting (I suppose) to try and crank out an Olympian or three every four years. That high-pressure drive toward being the best at something has the cart driving the horse — with athletics dominating the experience and priorities of high schools. And this is to say nothing of the money being spent on athletics; one high school near us just spent half a million dollars to put down professional-quality artificial turf on the football field. What was that about how public schools need more money?