By: Christian Alvarado
Can you imagine having to stress your body out physically and mentally every day and night? It is tough, and stressful to do on a daily and I am sure anyone who is a student-athlete would agree when I say this. This is an issue that has been ignored by many sports organizations for years and it is something that should be changed.
Out of all the students, there are around the world, student-athletes have the toughest time for plenty of reasons that cannot be matched. Mainly because they have the toughest schedule than any other student throughout the day. Having to wake up earlier to go to morning practices before school, then having to go to school like everyone else right afterward. After school, they spend more than four hours practicing. People should not get confused and think that practice is fun, practice for these student athlete’s puts stress on their body physically since they are pushing their bodies past its limits. Then after wearing your body out from practice, you have to go back home and keep up with all your class assignments.
Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks starting cornerback, has always been a standout student throughout high school and college. He attended Standford University for all four years. Standford is one of the nations top rated school academically. Standford is not only a good academic school but they are equally just as good a football school too, competing in the PAC 12 Conference. Standford is usually the best in its conference year by year. So if anyone knows a little something about being a student-athlete, it would be Richard Sherman.
In a press conference with Richard Sherman used his stage to take the NCAA on and call them out in this situation about student athletes not being able to use their free education to its full capacity. Richard Sherman states “No, I don’t think college athletes are given enough time to really take advantage of the free education that they’re given, and it’s frustrating because a lot of people get upset with student-athletes and say they’re not focused on school and they’re not taking advantage of the opportunity they’re given.
I would love for a regular student to have a student-athlete’s schedule during the season for just one quarter or one semester and show me how you balance that. Show me how you would schedule your classes when you can’t schedule classes from 2-to-6 o’clock on any given day. Show me how you’re going to get all your work done when after you get out at 7:30 or so, you’ve got a test the next day, you’re dead tired from practice and you still have to study just as hard as everybody else every day and get all the same work done. Most of these kids are done with school, done with class by 3 o’clock, you’ve got the rest of the day to do as you please. You may spend a few hours studying, then you may spend a few hours at the library checking out books and doing the casual reading, and then you may go hang out with friends and have a coffee. When you’re a student-athlete, you don’t have that kind of time. You wake up in the morning, you have weights at this time. Then after weights, you go to class and after class, you go maybe try to grab you a quick bite to eat. Then after you get your quick bite to eat, you go straight to meetings and after meetings, you’ve got practice and after practice, you’ve got to try to get all the work done you had throughout the day you’ve got from your lectures and from your focus groups” (Richard Sherman discusses college athletes’ time constraints) .
As much as we love to watch these athletes showcase their awesome skills on tv, schools should be more considerate of the education they need and deserve. Could you imagine given a free education and not being able to take advantage of that? It is just not fair for these athletes who have worked so hard to get the free scholarship and not be able to use it, all because their main purpose for being there is just to play sports. What about life after sports? School should really think about this stuff when they decide to force all this stress on their athletes.
If schools are going to offer these free scholarships to athletes, they should give them all the chances to take full action on them. What is the point of having a full ride scholarship to one of the nations best schools, if they only invite you for your athletic abilities and not to let you take full advantage of their great academics? It just makes the scholarship pointless to offer academics if you are mainly there just for athletics.
This is a problem that has been going on for years, and many student-athletes are trying to stand up and force a change in this situation. I feel like this has been ignored for way too long and should be spoken about more so a change could happen because if people just complain and do nothing about it, a change will never come! The time for a change and doing something is now, and everyone should help to change this and speak out about it more to help out every student-athlete in the world.