What is more important? Sports or Class


If you have ever gone to college whether it is D1, D2 or D3 you might think that athletes receive a large amount of accommodations One who does not play these sports would say that athletes comes to colleges and universities just to play the sport they have trained for not because of the education. There is some truth in that statement, depending on what program you go into sports might be more important to the school rather than what is happening in the classrooms but only one can speculate. Being a student athlete you have so much more to worry about in a sense, you have classes usually 15 credits equaling out to 5 classes. On top of classes and keeping a GPA high enough to be eligible to play you also have workouts usually being in the morning then you end your day with practice usually lasting longer than 3 hours. After your day is done you are exhausted and then have to relearn the material that was taught during the day, so accommodations might not be such a bad idea.

There are three different divisions when talking about programs in the NCAA, D1 are typically the largest schools where their for the sport that they are competing in, D2 are usually smaller than D1 and these students can use  to provide their students a way to come to their school. And then there is D3 programs these colleges or universities are usually the smallest out go the three and these programs  , students play D3 because (N.D)).

Being a D3 athlete and from being a part of Christopher Newport University, I can say with certitude CNU does not favor their athletes in any special way.  play, The policy at CNU is if you have a game and only a game (practice does not count) are you allowed to miss class. You must in the beginning of the semester have a sheet of paper drawn up letting professors know well in advanced that you will be missing their class because of a game. I have yet in my four years of attending CNU have a professor that was thrilled I was a student athlete; they were more concerned with the classroom. When we miss class because of a game our work must be handed in early rather than later. Most professors allow student athletes to email them their work on the day that it is due but others want the work turned in before the due date if we are missing because of a game. We do not have passes for late or missed work and if our GPA is not a 2.4 or higher we must attend mandatory study hall sessions twice a week for 90 minutes. Along with the sheet of paper we handed to professors in the beginning of the semester we also have to write them an email two days before or remind them in the class before that a game is coming up and we will be missing the class. Overall being a D3 athlete is much harder because we have coaches that train you like a D1 athlete. We have practices and weight lifting that treat you like D1 athletes but at the end of the day most of us are not going pro in any of the sports that we are competing in so school is our number one priority.

D1 schools bring in much more money because of their athletes, people love watching sports especially basketball and football because that is the moneymaker, that is what brings the money to the programs. In 2013, Virginia Tech did a study to find out how much money their football team was bringing into the school. They compared their dollars to other school’s dollars. VA Tech is an ACC school; they are big in sports but not as big as a BIG 10 or a SEC school, meaning they would not be bringing in the same amount of money. So in 2013 VA Tech’s football team brought in $70,030,484 compared to the average BIG 10 school that brought in 101,877,046. In football alone they are making millions of dollars so of course their football team and players will be looked at differently in the classrooms. Schools run on money and the more money they get the more student they can provide for meaning again more money for them. In ticket sales alone VA Tech made $16,689,739 compared to a B1G 10 school who made $28,329,146 off of their ticket sales (Mark, H. (2014, May 12)). From these numbers alone is it clear that schools like VA Tech or any D1 program values their program and without the athletes there would be no program.

Some schools do let their student athletes get away with whatever they want because they are a student athlete and because they value the money they are making. But do they value them more than the education that they are receiving? In these two cases yes, in 2014 the University of North Carolina valued their athletes more than their education because they allowed them to take fake paper classes. The fake paper classes were used in the sole purpose to keep their athletes eligible to play and these paper classes were extremely easy. “UNC has long been a place where it was believed that athletics and academics went hand in hand. It has enjoyed a stellar reputation, producing basketball greats such as coach Dean Smith and Michael Jordan. Now, that reputation has been stained. According to the report, one former head football coach, John Bunting, admitted to knowing of the paper classes and his successor, Butch Davis, also admitted some knowledge. Current men’s basketball coach Roy Williams is steadfast that he did not know, Wainstein said. The detailed 131-page report is being shared with the NCAA and could have huge implications for the university” (Galmn, S. 2014). UNC is probably not the only school that does this for their student athletes but they are one of the schools that have been caught doing so and investigations have taken place so this does not happen again.

At the end of the day money is what they are after and they know that having a huge sports program will get them the money they are after. But being a student athlete has allowed students to learn firsthand about time management, how to be organized, and how to meet deadlines.

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