The US is the only country that ties college education to athletics, and we ONLY do that because the universities are making billions off of free labor of basketball and football players.
The rest of the world you go to school and run for a club, or if you are lucky you just run for a club and get paid.
I doubt you would criticize a young musician for choosing to not to go to college, but because you are conditioned to associating athletics=college you are too dumb to realize your idiotic assumption.
School is not for everyone, nor should it be.
The bigger reason for scholarships is because the U.S. has the most expensive college tuition in the world. Elect someone reasonable like Warren or Sanders and we'll get tuition down to something reasonable and the motivation for students using athletics to get into college will greatly diminish (which, even as a coach, I think is a positive). You're right, school is not for everyone, but if you don't go, be prepared to live in minimum wage land unless you get very lucky. Our economy is now largely driven by college grads and the rest of the bunch generally have to live in poverty (thanks, NAFTA). It's irresponsible to tell a kid that they don't have to worry about school on the long-shot chance they might eke out a living as a professional pole vaulter. Chances are, they'll wind up having to make a living off their brains, and it's up to the adults in the room to encourage a system that promotes that.