by Adina Halagian and Essence Rogers
Out of the millions of high school athletes, few are selected to advance to more rigorous training and competition. According to the NCAA, there are 420,000 student athletes competing at either a Division I or Division II collegiate level. Many of these student athletes have either full or partial 4-year scholarships to compete at this level. Student athletes who are recruited from high-school are sent a contract – with words in small, black font – that lay out the exchange between student and organization. In a sense, one gives the NCAA their body and in return, the NCAA provides them with an education they may have not received otherwise.
Many high school student athletes are well-known in their high school. Some become well-known student athletes while in college. They run, jump, throw, get injured, recover, and do it all over again day in and day out as screaming aces cheer them on – encouraging them to carry the school on their backs and attract other student athletes to come to the college. From the outside world looking in, the life of a Saint Peter’s Peacock and Penhen seems fortunate. Many are able to leave Saint Peter’s University with a BA with little to no debt attached to it. However, student athletes face their fair share of issues much different than those of average students.
For one, many are unable to get a job due to the time consumption of practice, weight training, and competition. On a light day, many student athletes are spending at minimum a couple of hours on the court, in the field, on the track, or in the weight room. Other students can schedule their classes in the morning and maintain a full-time job throughout the semester , making decent money throughout the year for their expenses such as food, bills, clothes. etc. Most student athletes are unable to work and for those who find the time, they have to work less than part-time and still have to call out from time to time because they are contractually obligated to compete. Some are even unable to to pay for average expenses and continue to rely on their parents well through their senior year.
Anyone who has ever did a burst out sprint or ran a mile or played a pickup game of basketball knows who debilitating it can be. Imagine what a student athlete feels like after a long, hard, practice. And imagine going through the same rigorous routine daily. After practice, most people would just want to shower and lay down, or eat and rest a bit – anything that involves a bit of relaxation to rejuvenate the body. Unfortunately for many student athletes, they have a load of homework waiting for them to finish.
UCONN Huskie and NCAA Championship winner Shabazz Napier said: “I don’t feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving.” If a NCAA Championship winner has to go to bed starving on certain nights despite all the money he generates for the school, then something has to be done.
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