Most people don’t take into account all the things student athletes go through on a weekly basis.
College athletes basically have two full-time jobs: being a student and being an athlete.
Being a student athlete myself, I’ve always argued that college athletes don’t receive enough benefits for representing the school through athletics.
Some will argue that student athletes are rewarded adequately by the amount of scholarship money received.
Well, are we?
At CCSJ, a student athlete is only allowed to receive a maximum athletic scholarship of $10,000. CCSJ tuition is nearly $17,000 and that is without room and board.
Not to mention that student athletes also have to purchase their own food and pay sports fees.
CCSJ baseball player Kai Sinclair, a freshman from Lake Elsinore, Calif., says scholarship dollars aren’t enough.
Sinclair is paying about $22,500 a year to attend CCSJ, meaning the school covers less than half of the cost with its maximum athletic scholarship.
“Being an out-of-state student, I had to find a place to rent since the college does not provide dorms. Along with the rest of the tuition that my scholarship doesn’t cover, I pay $300 a month for rent, about $150 a month for groceries, and just for baseball I had to pay almost $1,000 in order to play,” Sinclair said.
Many college students deal with the same financial issues as athletes. The difference is that unlike athletes, regular students have enough time to get a job in order to pay for their costs.
As an athlete, your time is consumed by schoolwork and your sport.
Geena Locicero, who plays basketball and softball for CCSJ, says it’s tough to manage school with sports.
“It’s exhausting! My week is so jammed up that I barely have time to breathe sometimes,” says Locicero. “I go to class in the morning, then get ready for basketball in the afternoon. If I have a basketball game, especially if it’s away, I usually get back really late. Then I have to get all my homework done for the next day then be up for softball practice in the morning and do that cycle all over again.”
Geena brought up another an interesting point.
Athletes, she said, sometimes have to miss class in order to attend games. They miss the material in class yet they are required to do the same work and have it completed by the same time as everyone else. Which is understandable because no student should receive extensions because they are athletes. They chose to be athletes and knew that would be part of the deal when they signed their letter of intent.
But would it be so bad if they got help from the school outside of the classroom? Many people talk about paying athletes. For a school the size of CCSJ, that may be a bit of a reach. But how about providing students with some form of job where they can earn money? Another alternative could be getting students grocery gift cards to cover their food, or provide free food in the cafeteria. And provide more affordable food in the cafeteria.
College athletes go out and compete against other universities and perform for the school. College athletes also help out in the local community. They do so much to show that they were worth that opportunity to play college sports. They take pride in representing the college but have trouble just getting by with their needs outside of school.
If college athletes are helping promote the institution both in the classroom and in their sport, shouldn’t the school find ways to help ease their financial burden?
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Amy McCormack, Ph.D.
Calumet College of St. Joseph
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