College Athletes And Scholarships: Not What It Seems

1940 words - 8 pages

Many still seem to believe a “free” education is more than enough, when in reality, not many players are actually given a free education. While every student has the potential to earn financial aid and academic scholarship money, athletes are also capable of receiving athletic money. A majority of athletes today are either playing without an athletic scholarship or a partial scholarship, in addition to other grants and academic subsidies. To non-athletes, this may seem unfair, but look at the big picture. These athletes are spending much of their time in the gym, on the practice field, and even in the trainer’s room dealing with injuries on a daily basis. It is extremely difficult to manage school, athletics, and life itself at once let alone finding the time to earn money working at the same time. When trying to juggle a packed schedule, it is easy to forget important things or at the very least ones effectiveness is hindered thus weaken the ability to be successful. There is also a great deal of stress and anxiety that comes with the game. In fact, there is a field of psychology specifically designed for athletes and their mental privation. The mental ailments and lack of free time definitely prohibit athletes from being as successful as they can academically. Conversely, non-athletes have much more time available allowing them to study and work at a younger age. Although athletic scholarships certainly assist these athletes in attending schools with inflated tuition fees, it is by no means enough for many collegiate athletes.
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that many of these talented players are not receiving degrees either in their desired field or simply in general. The NCAA began recording the graduation rates of student-athletes in 1995 and since then the rates have increased 8%. While the graduation rates for African American’s have increased by 11% (Hosick). Even the current president of the NCAA, Mark Emmert, had said, “We are gratified to see our reform efforts impact the lives of those we serve” (Hosick). Although there are some universities actually improving graduation rates each year, what is not shown by a number is the reasons for the increase. Not many people know but athletically inclined schools are far from adamant when it comes to suggesting challenging classes to athletes.
One of the top basketball and most respectable football programs in the nation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was involved in a ground breaking investigation. In 2010, arguably their best athlete Michael McAdoo was kicked of the football team for improper work on three term papers. He then promptly sued to renew his athletic scholarship to continue playing basketball at the university. During the trials he admitted that counselors in the Academic Support Program encouraged him to enroll in a class called African American studies, even though he was aspiring to major in criminal justice. Clearly the irony has manifested itself. What...

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