Student Athletes Shouldn't Have To Participate In The "Student" Part, And Here's Why
Start writing a post

Student Athletes Shouldn't Have To Participate In The "Student" Part, And Here's Why

Destroying the fantasy of the student-athlete.

Student Athletes Shouldn't Have To Participate In The "Student" Part, And Here's Why

It's an average Saturday afternoon, and I scroll through TV channels (and by TV channels, I mean sketchy internet websites), surfing through college football game after college football game, looking for something to watch. I may come across a college or two that I know someone from my High School attends, or even possibly a school I was accepted to but didn't have the heart (read: money) to attend. So, in the back of my mind, if only for a split second, I think of what it would have been like to attend a major sports powerhouse with students storming the field/court/rink (ok, maybe not a hockey rink) and living the hot cheerleader, beer-induced, fight song, "Rah-Rah" alma mater glory that is Division 1 college sports. But more often than not, I am confronted with some of the more head-scratching aspects of college sports, and to be honest, I'm not intending to make a multi-faceted argument on whether college athletes should be paid (I mean I could, but I'm far too lazy and strapped for time to do so). Instead, I'll offer a solution. See, I was inspired after this now infamous tweet by Ohio State star Quarterback Cardale Jones:

While Mr. Jones was almost universally derided for this tweet three years ago, fans were less hostile when he carried Ohio State to their eighth National Championship in 2014. Regardless, Mr. Jones actually makes a great point. Why should athletes have to "play school?" The sentiment of the All-American "student-athlete" is so ingrained in our society it is practically a cliche, as Mr. Bundy here heartily demonstrates:

Outside of popular media, however, the realities of the student athlete are much different than the fantasy many Americans seem to understand it as. Well known (if just a wee-bit controversial) pro cornerback Richard Sherman demonstrates the difficulties and almost impossibilities of managing athletics and a full time college education.

No one is obligated to empathize with Richard Sherman or any of the thousands of young adults who juggle the rigors of sports and college every semester. However, it is apparent that the system is broken. Thousands upon thousands of students attempt to go to college to play sports and achieve their dreams of becoming professional athletes. But even the NCAA's own website articulates the raw stats of how far-fetched that really is. When faced with the 1.6 percent probability of getting drafted into the NFL, for example, the popular TV slogan for the NCAA becomes almost gut-wrenching:

There are over 380,000 student athletes, and most of us go pro in something other than sports."

Well, it seems pretty obvious that "most of us" will go pro in something other than sports. But then again, stats aside, why should they? What is an education truly worth if it isn't what you're in school to get? It's 2015 and the job market isn't exactly looking pristine for any college grads right now, and student athletes are no different, except for the added stress that school and athletics currently bring. So what is there to do? Well, it's simple. We make Athletics Departments around the country their own schools. And the umbrella of sports within those departments would be their own majors. That's right. If Cardale Jones, or anyone else for that matter, doesn't want to play school, they shouldn't have to.

I love to read and write, which is why I'm an English Major. The love of cells and organisms is why many become Biology majors, and the list goes on and on. So if you love football, tennis, or Jai Alai (I'm not even sure what that is, but it sounds like a fun sport), nothing should stop you from making it your degree. There are a limitless possibility of classes one could theoretically take. FOOT 101: Intro to College Football. BASK 118: History of John Wooden and UCLA Basketball. BASE 205: Advanced Analytics in Baseball, etc. This isn't just some free ride for students to get out of learning; students would actually get an education in their field of study. Students should be experts in the pros and cons of their sports, how to become an ESPN analyst when they retire, how to thoroughly analyze film, or how to become a coach one day. I could go on and on, but athletes aren't always the fantastical jocks that our film tropes make them out to be. They are our peers and fellow students, and before they have to "play school," maybe we should stop schools from playing them too.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments