“I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully,” said George Petrie in the Auburn Creed.
The term “college athlete” is a frequently used and often misunderstood phrase that is filled with negative stereotypes. The lives of college athletes are different than those that are not athletes, but not in the ways that some imagine. Outsiders have a typical idea that college athletes are nothing more than college athletes. They forget athletes are students at the university first then an athlete second.
“Some people look at student-athletes just as athletes, and then others understand that we are students first and athletes second,” said Auburn University baseball player Kevin Davis. (Photo right/ Kevin Davis)
Athletes still get thrown into the confusion of being a new college student, which is unfamiliar to most students. New students try to balance taking care of themselves, cleaning up their mess because mom isn’t there to do it, and taking on a full course load at the university. All that is true for athletes plus more. They have to balance their school schedule as well as practice and game schedules.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association limits practice time to 20 hours a week for athletes, but there are several loopholes within that rule. Those 20 hours a week do not include warm ups, traveling to games, watching their film or rehabilitation. College athletes spend about 40 to 50 hours a week at practice, games, and in training for their sport, compared to about 35 to 40 hours on their schoolwork.
“Time management is crucial in order to be successful both in the classroom and on the field. It can be challenging when it comes to balancing academics, athletics, and social life,” Davis said. “From the moment I wake up I try to efficiently manage and maximize my time.”
Auburn provides student-athletes resources such as tutoring, career planning and advisory services. The Student-Athlete Support Services, SASS, provide direction for student athletes by assigning each athlete a counselor to educate them on the procedures and policies of Auburn University, Southeastern Conference, and NCAA.
The tutoring and counseling that is provided to the student-athletes are there to help the athlete to succeed in school as well as their athletic career. The amount of pressure on a college athlete is tremendously high. If a student-athlete misses a class, they have to be responsible in making that work up. Athletes are encouraged to use the resources that are provided in order to make their life easier.
“The resources Auburn provides made me be responsible and get work done to have more time for football and fun. It helps me stay organized as well,” said Auburn University football player, Justin Thomas-Thornton. “These services help me to stay task-oriented and make sure everything gets done.”
Being a college athlete isn’t a walk in the park like most people think it is. They are still required to do the same amount of schoolwork as students who are not athletes as well as continue to play their sport. With the right resources and dedication, they can hit the game winning homerun or score the winning touchdown in their academics and sport.
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