It is very easy to fail as an college athlete because of the constant pressure placed on their shoulders by coaches, family, and university officials.
Quinnipiac’s Women’s Soccer team finished 3-12-1 last year. Injuries plagued the team last season, and hampered their run at the playoffs.
What we tend to overlook are the little things that can’t be seen on the field. How hard is it to really be a student-athlete?
Can you really be a student-athlete or an athlete-student? Is there as much pressure from the team’s staff to perform well on the field as there is to perform well in the classroom? What is the real reason these athletes are in college?
Physical Therapy majors Stephanie Cintron and Jamie Ahearn are both members of the women’s soccer team.
Cintron (Castleton, NY) is a Junior Forward for the Bobcats and Ahearn (Jr., North Brookfield, Mass) is soccer’s equivalent to a utility player in baseball (Forward, Middy, Defense). Being a physical therapy major entails an enormous amount of time spent studying.
Cintron saID that playing soccer has actually helped in her studies.
“Soccer keeps us busy, but it also good for time management. Soccer makes sure we are on top of things and organized with our schoolwork,” she said.
When asked if the coaching staff puts more emphasis on soccer or school, both girls agreed on their responses.
Cintron said the staff makes sure they maintain a certain G.P.A. to remain eligible.
“We have an academic advisor for the team that lets us know if a player is headed for academic ineligibility, which means she won’t be able to play in the next game or two,” she said.
Ahearn said, “the coaching staff doesn’t really promote class room achievements to the team, but he’ll send us an e-mail when he gets our grades congratulating us if we did well.
Coach always reminds us that soccer usually has one of the top G.P.A.’s in Quinnipiac’s sports program.”
In an article titled “Why Can’t Rutgers Ever Win”, written by Michael Farber (Sports Illustrated; August 25, 2003), Professor William C. Dowling of Rutgers University lashes out against the notion of an athlete-student.
Prof. Dowling said that he wants “to make sure people care more about a kid who is brilliant at Greek or Philosophy or physics than which moron is hired for the football team.”
Both Cintron and Ahearn agree with Dowling’s statement, but they don’t believe that it applies to our school.
“We aren’t a big enough school to have the teams have that kind of an impact on the professors. ” said Ahearn.
More often than not, non athlete students tend to look as the athletes as people who get special privileges.
Athletes miss classes for important games or meets, while the rest of the student population has to attend class regardless of the situation.
Ahearn said “lots of students feel like we get special treatment.”
Cintron pointed out athletes are told they are role models for the other students.