Earlier this month, Kemba Walker led the University of Connecticut Huskies to victory in the NCAA men's basketball championship. The hardworking star guard is now slated to go pro, and is expected to earn a degree after just three years at UConn. Given the number of college stars who turn pro without graduating, Walker's academic commitment had been widely celebrated... until now. In a Sports Illustrated interview, the 20-year-old made a "ridiculous" admission: He's just finished his first book, William C. Rhoden's Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete. "That's true," Walker told SI. "You can write that. It is the first book I've ever read." What does Walker's rather short reading list say about the state of college athletics?
This is unbelievable: "How does anyone graduate from a Division I university — in three years, no less! — without ever finishing a single book in his life?" asks Dashiell Bennett at Business Insider. Simply remarkable. But, hey, at least the one book he has read probably has a chapter on education, or lack thereof, in college athletics.
"UConn star Kemba Walker has read ONE book in his entire life"
It shows just how entitled college athletes are: "I'm sick of pundits saying these kids should be paid on top of being given, oh, just a couple hundred thousand dollars in scholarship money," says Matt Kiebus at Death + Taxes. Not only do college athletes get "an invaluable college education for free," they also, it seems, have to put in a fraction of the academic effort as their peers. Who else but a celebrated athlete could skate through college without reading a book?
"Kemba Walker is not a voracious reader"
Teachers and coaches are also complicit: "Walker's teachers and coaches — both in high school and college — had to have been well aware of any academic shortcomings, but all were ignored in order for these schools to have a winning team," says Hayat Mohamed at The Root. This is "seriously wrong," and Walker alone is not to blame. "He was clearly robbed of a true education," and now, "yet another undereducated black man joins the league — way to go, NBA."
"Kemba Walker: UConn star reads first book"