This has been a question on my mind for a very long time. Time and time again, an athlete does something that makes no absolute sense which puts his scholarship and eligibility into question. Now, don’t get me wrong. People do make mistakes and that’s understandable. However, some of these mistakes are completely avoidable and plain old stupid judgement.
College athletes commit so many off the field issues on a yearly basis. But let’s think of what’s really at stake. There are millions of athletes that dream to play at a major, Division 1 college. Many don’t get this opportunity for reasons that could possibly fill a stadium. Matter of fact, let’s take it to the college campuses and consider the classmates of the athletes.
A majority of the students that attend these colleges have to take out costly loans and parents are spending hefty amounts of money to make sure their sons and daughters receive a college education. On the other hand, there is a college football or basketball athlete showing just how unappreciative of the opportunity they have been given. These opportunities and benefits include TV time, free school, free meals, free housing, free books, and the list goes on.
After being in college for three years, fellow classmates hate to hear all these perks being wasted and flushed down the drain. There is an understanding for the athletes too. When you have to dedicate yourself so much to one thing and work on a craft all the time, sometimes the first thought is to get away and have fun. It’s even common to hear that most athletes lose their love of the game through the rigor of college athletics. Being a college athlete is a job. Most times these athletes don’t get to visit their families when 90% of the school is at home enjoying a nice home cooked meal with their mother and siblings. During the school year, these athletes are the first ones on campus to be up working out then heading for breakfast to prepare for class for the day. Their day still consists of practice, tutoring, and preparing for tests and homework like the rest of the campus, that’s hard work.
Even from the outside looking in, being a college athlete looks like a tough task. However, all these tasks are assumed when their signatures are placed upon a scholarship. The one thing many of these athletes fail to remember is that having the opportunity to represent a university and play a sport is more than an opportunity; it’s a privilege. A privilege that if taken for granted, can easily be taken away. So, to all the college athletes, take advantage of the moment!