Plenty of kids start out playing sports but few actually continue to gain an athletic scholarship or become a professional athlete. There is the common notion that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. So why are athletes opting out of collegiate and even high school athletics?
Depending on the sport, the NCAA can offer partial scholarships to full ride scholarships.
“NCAA Division I and Division II members provide more than $2 billion in athletics scholarships annually to more than 126,000 student-athletes.”
This creates a huge opportunity for high school students all over the country to work hard for a scholarship. It is a huge struggle for athletes to have a social life – 20 hours in practice not counting rehab, nutrition meetings, teem meetings, stretching, and study hall hours. Not only is the life of a student-athlete time consuming socially, but also leaves little room for a partial or full time job. This is a huge burden to students in high school w
ho want to begin working. Some opt out of playing a sport, to have a job. So the decision comes down to having a job/money or working for an athletics scholarship. In the long run, a student could potentially have his or her complete tuition paid for in exchange for athletic excellence. So is giving up job experience worth the wait?
Not only does the NCAA student-athlete get a great education and pursue athletic excellence, they learn the biggest lesson in time management. With all of the work put in to school and practice, a student-athlete has to plan for study time and group projects. They must hustle from practice to class, class to practice, and have full focus after a 2-3 hour practice. The NCAA has made a large campaign to create awareness that student-athletes are more than an athlete– the student comes first. The NCAA came out with a 2010 commercial, asking the public, “Still think we’re just a bunch of dumb jocks?” No, more like hard-working, driven, studious, and successful jocks. A Yale University newspaper piece written by Ruth Kim, states
“recruiters treat sports as a commitment beyond a normal student schedule.”
Rather than claiming that athletes do nothing in the classroom, they actually have to work harder than most to stay on top of school. Athletes must maintain a 2.0 GPA to maintain eligibility. If below a 2.0, they put a damper in their athletic success as well as the team’s success. Student-Athletes learn to put a group’s achievement over their own.
Are athletic scholarships worth the risk of job experience in high school? Yes. Collegiate athletics promote academic and athletic excellence as well as the proper training to have a successful career outside of their sport.