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Livingston Scott

Gleaner Writer

P

RESIDENT OF Harbour

View Football Club Carvel

Stewart says that local clubs

should stop sending unqualified

players on scholarships as it is hurt-

ing both the individuals and the

country's long-term football future.

According to Stewart, student

footballers who are not academical-

ly inspired should not be forced to

go to college, but should, instead,

focus their efforts on making a pro-

fessional career, and only students

with the requisite academic qualifi-

cations must take up these scholar-

ship offers.

“Their real intention is to play

football professionally, and that

(college) system doesn’t allow them

to do that. We have to review it

rationally and decide who are seri-

ous about academics,” he insisted.

Stewart said that over the years,

he has seen players who lack the

academic capacity get lost in the

system, or come out with nothing,

and he believes that this is also

having a damaging effect on the

nation’s football as the best young

talent are getting lost in the US

college system. This, he says, is

because they are not “academics”.

“We have followed the college pro-

gramme, and when we have an aca-

demic, and he gets a scholarship, we

say ‘Go ahead’, but when he is not an

academic, we (Harbour View) say,

‘No, you are a footballer. That would-

n’t make any sense at all’, and it has

followed through.

“We had players like Onandi

Lowe. People came to me about

him going to college, but that

wouldn’t have worked. What

worked for him is that he is a foot-

baller, and his focus was becoming

a professional footballer,” he rea-

soned.

He added: “The league is also

suffering from it because you don’t

see the youngsters coming through

the league. You see all of these

youngsters performing at the

schoolboy level, and when they

leave school, you hear people ask-

ing for them.

“But they go and enjoy the bright

lights over there (in the US), and

then they disappear, and Jamaica’s

football suffers because of it.

“So we have to correct that,” he

stated.

38

THE GLEANER’S 2017 SCHOLARSHIP LISTINGS

| TUESDAY, MAY 2, 2017

Tighter scholarship control needed

for sports stars – Stewart

Published April 18, 2017

STEWART