To stay in school or go pro?
Just this past year, there were several Quakers who asked themselves that very question. Here’s a list of reasons to stay or to go pro.
STAY IN SCHOOL More experience. Like it or not, most college athletes see their playing time drop upon joining a professional team. More time in college gives athletes more playing time to hone their skills and develop as an athlete. Speaking of developing...
Improve stock. Staying in school can give athletes more time to improve and impress scouts. It’s not entirely clear yet as to where Quaker pitcher and rising senior Vince Voiro will be come fall, but if he chooses to return to Penn, it’ll most likely be to raise his stock for next year’s draft.
Prepare for life after sports. Whether an athlete’s career is long or short, it will inevitably come to and end. While there are several professional athletes who are able to find work in sports after retirement, having a diploma — and one from Penn at that — opens up doors once the playing days come to a close.
GO PROFESSIONAL Missing the window. It’s impossible to predict the future, but once an athlete misses the window of opportunity, the road to the pros gets that much harder. This past year, Penn soccer player Loukas Tasigianis turned down an offer to play for the Chicago Fire. Though he did help lead Penn to the NCAA Tournament, he hasn’t had the same interest from MLS teams since then. This isn’t to say he made the wrong decision, but his path to the pros may have become slightly more difficult.
Greater challenges. She wasn’t perfect, but rising sophomore tennis phenom Connie Hsu was pretty close, going 44-3 (7-0 Ivy) in singles this year. She did see an early exit in the NCAA Championships — she lost in the second round — but going pro now could be what she needs to continue improving, not that the Quakers mind her dominating the Ivies for the next three years.
It’s where the money is. We all know that sports is about playing for the love of the game, but at the professional level, it’s undoubtedly also about the money. And when you can get paid to do what you love, it’s at least worth considering, right?