From the Chronicle of Higher Education comes an op-ed in support of “sports majors.”
The operative model in this case is the major in a performing art, such as music or theatre. I don’t know much about the potential sports classes (though the article does offer an interesting curriculum), but I do know a thing or two about the music major.
I think I’d be OK with this, if it was coupled with a real MLB-esque farm system for the NBA and NFL (instead of the farm system outsourced to the colleges), if the courses had real academic discipline and rigor (as the upper division courses and ensembles of a music major should have), and if the students who took part in the major had a real capstone/senior thesis project (beyond simply playing the game). I could see it as a path to the pros, yes, but also a way to train future coaches and minor-league or semi-professional players. Plus, with the actual farm system in place, a player could decide if s/he wanted to go that route or through the college route.
And of course, one not need major in football studies to play football any more than one need major in music to be in the campus band.
What say you?