View Full Version : Sacrifices Our Student Athletes Make

03-13-2007, 06:20 AM
This article on Yahoo (http://sports.yahoo.com/ncaab/news;_ylt=A0WTWazvnvZF0gsAUATevbYF?slug=mj-missedclass030607&prov=yhoo&type=lgns) really got me to thinking about the sacrifices our kids make for basketball, in trying to meld academics and the challenges of a demanding basketball schedule.

There is no denying that the livelihood of the vast majority of youngsters playing college basketball will be determined by their degree and the quality of education they receive, not by their basketball ability. Grades, eligibility, graduation and knowledge are diminished every time a class is missed. What would you say if your son or daughter came home and told you that he or she was going to have an extended spring break and miss 36 classes during the month of March? And that's a conservative number that quickly balloons for teams that go from the conference tournaments all the way to the Final Four or the last week of the NIT.

The Washington Post ran an interesting story, "Trying to Balance the Student and Athlete (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/22/AR2006032202143.html)," which followed the LSU team's attempts to maintain academics during last year's tournament run, with a vivid description of the atmosphere during the "study hall" that had been set up. I could just imagine myself trying to keep up my school work in the midst of so many distractions!

The WP article described some of LSU's attempts to assist their student athletes:

Like most major Division I schools, LSU has invested considerably to support its athletes. The public school in Baton Rouge, La., opened a $15 million academic center for student athletes in 2002, and the cavernous complex includes a 1,000-seat auditorium a 2,800-square-foot library and about 100 computers. A staff of 15 full-time employees helps athletes manage class work, and each incoming freshman athlete is assigned a mentor and tested on study skills and learning methods.

Does anyone on this board know what kind of supplemental support GU offers its student athletes to help them deal with the conflicting demands of academics and athletics, especially for the men's basketball athletes who have faced such difficult challenges traveling and maintaining a high profile?

P.S. I was interested to note in the WP story that despite the fancy academic center at LSU and the 5-full-time employees to help athletes manage class work, the WP story pointed out the fact that the 2006 LSU men's basketball team's APR was just 860. The minimum acceptable according to the NCAA is 925. Gonzaga's 2006 APR was 980. And somehow, during all the demands of this year's incredible basketball schedule, Pendo and Sean still managed to make the WCC academic first team! Maybe it's good the winners were named before the NCAA tournament!

03-13-2007, 09:08 AM
But I can only be grateful for the work these kids put in.

Obviously, you can assume they want to be out there on the court, soccer field, baseball diamond etc. etc. that doesn't mean it's not a ton of work, however.

Not to mention missing time with their families, spending time in empty apartments/hotel rooms/dorm rooms when the rest of the student body is home for breaks and they're on a plane for New York. For those of us that travel some for work, the luster and romance of it wears off about four feet into the airport after about six seconds of standing around with your shoes off in public being wanded by some moron who is collecting way to much money for a job a monkey could do in his sleep that actually provides zero security, but I digress -

I guess the point is yeah, playing college sports has its sacrifices and those of us that are fans would do well to remember them from time to time. Muchas Gracias lads.

03-13-2007, 11:11 AM
I guess the point is yeah, playing college sports has its sacrifices and those of us that are fans would do well to remember them from time to time. Muchas Gracias lads.

Yes, yes, and yes. However, these kids (excepting a few walk-ons) are getting full sholarships, books, room & board, training table, etc., to play the game they love.

There are plenty of students working to pay their ways thru college that are sacrificing much more than the average D-1 baller, IMO. Plus, nobody cheers when they do their jobs, and nobody writes on chat boards lauding their sacrifices (wait a minute, I'm doing exactly that right now--how postmodern of me!).

Go Zags!


03-13-2007, 11:26 AM
Plenty of kids work hard to get through school, get good grades put in lots of time etc. Agreed - some of them are on Academic scholarships, grants for all kinds of reasons some stupid some great, some have daddy's visa card, I get it.

Oh yeah, none of them have their athleticism/abilities/performance/personal lives since high-school/grades/girlfriends/families/and mostly their failures paraded on a nation or probably worse, intense local stage.

I'm not saying are kids who aren't d1 ballers don't work hard, all I said was we'd do well to acknowledge that they have to put in extra for my amusement, pride, pain and satisfaction as a fan/alumni. And the ones (Derek, Pendo, Sean i.e.) who put in a yeoman's day in practice, games and classrooms over and over again should be appreciated.

Besides, gratitude is a good thing and shouldn't be put on scale or PC'd as to whom should get the most of it. C'mon, just because my barber doesn't work as hard as my lawn guy doesn't mean you can't appreciate both.