You all should read Mike Jarvis’s article on student-athletes in college basketball’s Big Dance.
While Coach Jarvis focuses on the basketball end of this, it is the same for most college student-athletes. I had a mother ask me about my daughter’s experience at a Division 1 school who happened to make it to the NCAA soccer tournament. She wanted to know specifically how much class my daughter missed. I was honest and upfront. My daughter was gone – off campus at soccer games, conference championship tournament, NCAA tournament – nine out of 16 weekends of the first semester she was at college. While many professors would allow extra time to finish assignments, they were not required to do so. She had to drop from 15 to 12 credit hours due to missing class. When all was said and done, my daughter managed to eek out a 2.9 for her first semester. All in all, not great but considering the number of classes she missed, acceptable.
The long and the short of it is parents and high school coaches push these students to be athletes. Teenagers wrap their identity around this part of their lives and then move to college where very few are the Top Dog ever again. Now, a student-athlete is missing classes, not getting to know what a professor feels is important and having a part of his/her identity redefined by a new level of play. The NCAA has to do something – podcasts, webinars – something.