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Student-Athlete or Athlete-Student?

The average college athlete spends too much time on the field and not enough time in the classroom, leaving their schedules devoid of much study time. Is it possible to be a college athlete and enjoy the typical college experience?

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Today’s Division I collegiate athletes are having to devote almost all of their time to the sport they are at school to play.

In a study done by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Division I baseball players devote 42.1 hours a week to the sport during their season, which is 10.4 hours more than they spend on academics.

From waking up early in the morning for conditioning practice, classes all day, and then another practice in the evening, there is not much time for the athlete to live a normal college life, hold a job, or just have free time.

“This is my first year at Indiana University and honestly I have not had much time for schoolwork outside of class,” said Nate Richie, freshman basketball player at Indiana University. “I knew that the homework and schoolwork was going to be difficult, I just also thought I would have had more time to focus on it. Basketball has me from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. with classes in between.”

I do not think that athletes should be held to such a tight schedule that they can not enjoy themselves and do the schoolwork that is being expected of them.

Always being slammed busy every day is not exactly how college students want to spend their time.

If there is a way to lessen the demand that is put on athletes — making practices shorter, setting aside time for schoolwork, for example — I think they would get more out of school.

In a way, the amount of time and dedication that is put on Division I athletes is robbing them of the true college experience.

When an athlete is busy with their sport six days a week, they are not spending an adequate amount of time on their schoolwork, which is the real reason they are in college.

Although the graduation rate of Division 1 athletes is high, 82 percent, how much are they actually taking from the classroom?

The demand placed on Division 1 athletes in the NCAA is much heavier than the demand placed on student-athletes playing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA.

Daniel Hartman, a junior at Missouri Baptist University and a member of the men’s baseball team, said he does not feel that his sport takes up too much of his time.

“The amount we practice is not overbearing. We practice for a few hours a day but it never takes up so much of my time that I can’t go home and get my homework done,” said Hartman.

I understand that some of the top athletic schools in the country want their athletes to work hard and be able to perform well, but they must make sure the athlete is getting a good education first and foremost.

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David Long

David Long

David Long is a staff journalist for MBU Timeline. He is a junior who is majoring in General Communications Studies. Long is the captain of the MBU Mens Golf Team and has been a member of it for 3 years. Born and raised in Goshen, Ind., Long now lives just south of Asheville in Rutherford County, N.C.. He plans on pursuing a career as a golf professional after he graduates. Long will be the president and founder of Phi Lambda Phi, the first men's fraternity at MBU.

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