Many of us have gone down this path – adjusting to college courses, college life, becoming young adults.
If you are an athlete who adapts to these things, there are factors that do not come with a campus brochure: training time is longer, practices are more intense. The competition for playing time is more intense.
But for college athletes, there is another correction, dealing with the business side of college athletics and discovering what help is available to student athletes.
College Athletics and Business
“Both high school and college should be treated as a business if you have aspirations to go far,” said Dakota Pruitt, who plays baseball at Otero Junior College. “But it’s definitely a different animal in college. They basically pay you with training to make sure you play your best. If you are not, then – as if it were a job – you will lose it. “
Former Frederick basketball player Isaiah Elise, who played in college at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Wyoming, left no doubt. College sports is a business.
“But it feels like any other team,” he said. “However, you are taken care of very well and differently from high school.”
His former classmate, Ryan Chacken, who runs cross-country at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, said athletics at the college could feel like business.
“If you’re not fast enough to score points or compete at a high level, then you’ll be pushed to the bottom of the depth chart,” he said.
Gerardo Caldera, a former Adams City athlete (he chose to play football at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa), took the same approach as Chacon.
“College is like a business in a way,” he said. “One wrong move or one missed task can cost you your place as a starter or, possibly, in the rotation.
Former BHS player Eli Bowman, who plays college at the South Dakota Mining School, has agreed.
“It’s different to see how your coaches are actively recruiting guys for your position who could either replace you or steal your position,” he said. “It’s just like the workplace. In addition, we are generally paid to play football, so sometimes I don’t feel like I’m playing football voluntarily. “
Stargate School graduate Emma Kulbida, who swims for Legacy High School and now swims for Carnegie Mellon, said the world of college athletics feels more serious to her.
“College athletics feels a little more like a business because of the structure and the requirements,” she said. “Practices and meetings are mandatory at the college. Although I attended as much as I could in high school, this inflexible structure was more difficult to manage. “
“I would say that professionalism is more emphasized in collegiate athletics,” said Madison Rocker, a cheerleader in Nebraska Wesleyan. “However, no, I would not describe it as a business.”
Former Brighton high school quarterback Vershon Brooks, who attends Luther College in Decora, Iowa, said he could feel the business side of college sports.
“It really doesn’t shock me,” he said. “I knew he would come in.”
In the case of Chase Prestwich, this did not affect him at all.
“No, not really,” said the former pitcher from Brighton and Frederick High School, who works at Northwestern State University in Louisiana. “I’m doing something I like.”
Stargate School graduate 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 one reason: to get a degree,” she said. “I am lucky to be able to play football on top of everything, so I take my education and football very seriously. If I don’t play football, I study, do homework or something related to school. I focused on school and football, because if I don’t have good grades, I can’t play football. So school comes first and then football.
Former Brighton High School swimmer Jesspin Bishop, who played water polo at McKendry University in Lebanon, Illinois, did not think college athletics was a business.
“It just seems like a professional sports team to me,” he said. “There is a more serious aspect to this. You have to be a professional in and out of the water. It’s not like a high school sport where everyone can try. Everyone was attracted to be here and we have to show that we deserve to be here. I’m not trying to sound so bad because it’s not. You just have to take it seriously while you’re still having a good time. “
As exciting as the newfound freedom may be, the main reason you go to school is education. Playing college sports takes some of the time available to earn a degree. But former athletes we spoke to say their schools offer some form of academic assistance. In some cases it is mandatory.
“Academically, the team meets with coaches and checks grades and organization,” Brooks said. “For the organization, our coaches make us fill in a table with upcoming tasks and their deadlines.”
Former Brighton and Frederick Pitcher of Chase Prestwich High School said athletes from Northwestern State University in Nachitoches, Louisiana, have access to their own classrooms and computers.
“We can ask for lessons whenever we want,” he said. “Athletes also have academic coordinators who manage the time in the gym, check our grades regularly, help us plan classes, advise us when our grades aren’t good, and generally give us all the support we need.”
The city of Stargate Kulbida said the upper class students at her school are a great resource.
“Everyone is so ready to help you. If you are attending a course, there are probably 10 other people on the team who have taken the course and who can help you with concepts and homework, ”she said. “They are all super encouraging and recommend other resources that they have found useful during their time at CMU.”
The former Brighton Bowman footballer said the South Dakota Mining School is “great” in supporting student athletes.
“Academics are the number one priority for all of us, and they know it,” Bowman said. “There are always teachers for each class at all times, so it’s easy to find help at school.”
The city of Adams City Caldera said his team at Waldorf University in Iowa has a study room where anyone with an average grade of less than 3.0 must attend. Anyone with a higher GPA is also welcome to attend.
“In the academic part of the school, we have to push each other and look for responsibility,” said former Frederick in cross country and two-time state champion at Chacon. “If we don’t do that, some relays may not be at full power. And some points may be missed. “
Stargate School graduate Erica Derby said athletes at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska must attend a certain number of classes each week.
“These classes allow us to do our homework and study,” she said. “There are also teachers in certain subjects. So, if you need help, our coach will help us set up a teacher. Our coach always tells us that school is before football. “
Elise High School basketball player said his team at East Wyoming College had no academic problems this season.
“Everyone on our team has to go to class and there are always teachers available for our team,” he said.
“Our team has really strong chemistry and we all just chase each other if we fight,” said former Riverdale Ridge athlete Dakota Pruitt. He plays baseball at Otero Junior College in Colorado. “It’s good to have someone who keeps you honest and makes sure you’re up to it.”
Nebraska cheerleader Wesleyan Madison Rocker attributed some academic structure to her coach.
“My coach reminds us to prioritize our academic skills and encourages us to excel in school,” Rocker said. “I think my high school experience in sports and clubs, academia, work and other responsibilities has helped me prepare to manage my schedule now in college.”
“My coaches get evaluation reports from time to time,” said former Brighton high school swimmer Jespin Bishop. “And if your grades aren’t the best, then they’re scheduling a meeting with you to talk and see if they can help you or be helped by a campus teacher. We also have weekly training halls that are a must-visit. ”