College Athletes, You Might Have Time For A Class

More evidence to shatter the NCAA’s diversionary talk of the preeminence of academics for college athletes, from the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription only, alas):

The NCAA started a Web site last year, NCAAStudent.org, to illustrate how its athletes balance sports with their academic responsibilities. And in Mr. Brand’s speech here, he said the main difference between college and professional sports was that “those who participate in our athletics events are students, and students first.”

But even the NCAA’s athletes don’t believe that’s true. According to an NCAA survey of 21,000 players, the majority view themselves more as athletes than students.

It’s no wonder. Major-college football players reported spending an average of 44.8 hours a week practicing, playing, or training for their sport, the survey found, with golfers, baseball players, and softball players not far behind.

44.8 hours a week spent athletically – there’s a conventional nine-to-six job spent in sport. Then add fifteen hours of classes. Where’s time for study afterwards? I’m not really sure where to find it. The article continues, pointing out that one in five college athletes in the survey stated that their sports commitments prevented them from choosing their preferred major. Additionally, as the NCAA has raised academic requirements for play, “academic advisors have seen an increase in athlete’s choosing certain majors.” Read “easier” majors. Sound like the cart pulling the horse? Exactly.

Anthony Paletta

Anthony Paletta is a freelance writer.

One thought on “College Athletes, You Might Have Time For A Class”

  1. Dear Sir,
    You may want to check out Division II and III schools. Our own conference, the Sunshine State Conference, ranks highest in the country in academic success of student athletes. Kids in Division II and III schools take real majors, not “General Studies.” Before retiring from academia I taught student athletes in Division II schools for 25 years and found the academic quality of the athletes comparable, and at times better, that the average student.
    You do a disservice to all the hard working student athletes who are successful when you make an argument based on football players at major Division I schools. The problem isn’t athletics per se, but what happens at some Division I schools for whom athletics is a cash cow.
    Roy Kerr

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