Once again, a poor choice of words by the translator - in my opinion.
The word scholar means: a specialist in a particular branch of study, especially the humanities; a distinguished academic.
He looked like a high school honors student-athlete who had entered middle age virtually unchanged (from the French translation). An honors student-athlete is a student that consistently receives excellent grades and excels in one or more sports .
“By the way, Professor Ebisuno is not an academic anymore, is he? He left the university, and he’s not writing books or anything" (also from the French translation). I think that "scholar" (as originally translated and as you have defined it) could also be used here but I prefer the French word because one does not really stop being a scholar but one can easily stop being an academic.
Student or Learner