Many of us have followed this path: adapting to college courses, to college life, to becoming young adults.
If you’re an athlete who’s adapting to these things, there are factors that don’t come with a campus brochure: the longer the training time, the more intense the practice. The competition for playing time is more intense.
But for college athletes, there is another adaptation, managing the business side of college athletics and discovering what support there is for student-athletes.
University athletics and business
“High school and college should be treated as a business if you plan to go far,” said Dakota Pruitt, who is playing college baseball at Otero Junior College. “But it’s definitely another college animal. Basically, they pay you with the school to make sure you are doing your best. If you don’t, then you’ll lose it.
Former basketball player Izayah Elize Frederick, who played college football at Torrington (Eastern Wyoming College, Wyoming), left no doubt. University sports is a business.
“But it feels like any other team,” he said. “However, they look after you very well and unlike in high school.”
His former classmate Ryan Chacon, who runs cross country at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, said college athletics can feel like a business.
“If you’re not fast enough to score points or compete at a high level, then it will take you to the bottom of the depth chart,” he said.
Gerardo Caldera, a former multi-sport athlete from Adams City (who chose to play football at Waldorf University in Iowa Forest City) took the same approach as Chacon.
“The university is kind of like a business,” he said. “A wrong move or a missed task will cost you a starting position or maybe a rotation.”
Former BHS footballer Eli Bowman, who is playing at the University of South Dakota Mining School, said yes.
“It’s different to see guys that your coaches actively hire for your position, who might be your replacements, or who steal your place,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. Basically, we also pay to play football, so I don’t feel like I’m playing football on a voluntary basis. “
Former Stargate School student Emma Kulbid, who swam at Legacy High School and now swims at Carnegie Mellon, said the world of college athletics feels more serious to her.
“College athletics has felt a little more like a business because of its structure and requirements,” he said. “Internships and meetings are mandatory at the university. Although I attended high school as much as I could, the structure has been more difficult to manage. ”
“I would say that professionalism stands out more in college athletics,” said Madison Roecker, all of Nebraska Wesleyan’s animators. “However, no, I wouldn’t describe it as a business.”
Former Brighton High School defender Vershon Brooks, who is attending school at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, said he could feel on the side of the college sports business.
“It didn’t really surprise me,” he said. “I knew he was coming in.”
In the case of Chase Prestwich, it had no effect on him.
“No, not really,” said Brighton and Frederick, a former pitcher at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. “I’m doing something I enjoy.”
Stargate School student Erica Derby, who played football at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, described being a college athlete as “a job.”
“I’m in college for a reason: to get a degree,” he said. “I’m also lucky to be able to play football, so I take my education and football very seriously. If I don’t play football, I’m learning, doing homework, or something related to school. I put my focus on school and football because if I don’t have good grades I can’t play football. So school is football first. ”
Former Brighton High School swimmer Jespyn Bishop, who played water polo at McKendree University in Lebanon, did not think college athletics was a business.
“I think it’s a professional sports team,” he said. “It simply came to our notice then. You have to be a professional in and out of the water. It’s not like a high school sport where anyone can try it. They were all hired to be here, and we need to show that we deserve to be here. I’m not trying to make that sound bad, because it’s not. You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
As exciting as the newly discovered freedom may be, the basic reason for going to school is education. Playing in a college sport takes away some of the time it takes to get a degree. But the former athletes we spoke to say that their schools offer some academic support. In some cases, it is mandatory.
“Academically the team holds meetings with coaches and conducts grade and organizational checks,” Brooks said. “For the organization, our coaches have to meet the schedule of upcoming tasks and their deadline.”
Chase Prestwich, a former pitcher at Brighton and Frederick High School, said athletes from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana have access to their classrooms and computers.
“We can ask for tutoring whenever we want,” he said. “Athletes also have academic coordinators who manage the study schedule, check our grades regularly, help us organize classes, advise us when our grades are not good, and generally give us the support we need.”
Stargate-based Kulbidak said her high school students are excellent resources.
“Everyone is ready to help you. If you are taking a class, there will probably be another 10 people in the group who have taken the course and will help you with the concepts and homework,” he said. they recommend other resources “.
Former Brighton footballer Bowman said the South Dakota School of Mines is “great” at supporting student-athletes.
“Academics are the number one priority for all of us, and they know that,” Bowman said. “There are tutors in each class at any given time, so it’s easy to find support at school.”
Adams City-based Caldera said his team at Waldorf University in Iowa has a study room that anyone with a grade point average of less than 3.0 should attend. Anyone with a higher GPA is welcome to attend.
“In the academic part of the school, we need to encourage each other and hold each other accountable,” said Chacon Frederick, a former cross country country and two-time state track champion. “If we don’t do that, some relays may not have full power. And you might lose some points. ”
Stargate School student Erica Derby said athletes from Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, should attend a specific study hour each week.
“These hours allow us to do homework and learn,” he said. “There are also tutors on certain topics. So if you need help, our coach will help you with a tutor. Our coach always tells us that school comes before football. ”
The Elize High School basketball player said his team at Eastern Wyoming College had no academic problems this season.
“Everyone on our team has to go to class, and there are always tutors for our team,” he said.
“Our team has very strong chemistry and we all fight against each other if we’re fighting,” said former Dakota Pruitt Riverdale Ridge athlete. He is playing baseball at Otero Junior College in Colorado. “It’s nice to have someone who keeps you honest and makes sure you’re in your stuff.”
Nebraska Wesleyan cheerleader Madison Roecker credited her coach with an academic structure.
“My coach reminds us to prioritize our academics and encourages us to be great at school,” Roecker said. “I believe that my high school experience in sports and clubs, academics, having a job and other responsibilities helped me prepare me to manage my college schedule.”
“My coaches receive grade reports from time to time,” former Brighton High School swimmer Jespyn Bishop said. “And if your grades aren’t the best, then they arrange a meeting to talk to you and see if they can help you or get help from a campus tutor. We also have study rooms every week, which is a must. ”