Playing for Credits

By Sarah Neavin, Contributing Writer

Being a college student and dealing with the daily stress that comes with it is a tough job. But being a student athlete adds another level of stress.

Student athletes not only have to study and deal with homework and tests, but they also have to incorporate their practice schedules and games into their already busy schedules. Student athletes work very hard to keep up their grades so they can keep playing the sport they are involved in; it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. This task isn’t easy and it takes a certain type of person to be able to balance everything. Student athletes are unique and hardworking, and it’s time they start being rewarded for all they do. Student athletes should receive academic credits for the sport they play.

This is a touchy subject that has been debated for quite a while now. There is a lot more to the idea of receiving academic credits for playing sports than most are aware of.    

“Credit for Physical Education was never given for sports because it opened a can of worms; should band, club sports, intramurals etc. also be eligible?” said West Liberty University’s physical education professor, Dr. Rhonda Noble. This brings up a good point, however, student athletes put in much more time to their sport than most other extracurricular activities.

According to the Business Insider, student athletes spend more than 40 hours a week practicing. That doesn’t include the average 17 hours a week that students use doing schoolwork. Other activities such as band and intramurals don’t use near that amount of hours a week. It is also important to add in the fact that these student athletes have to travel to games and stay out of town at times during the school week.

Most would argue that athleticism has nothing to do with academics. Yes, both are very different, but they both involve hard work, dedication and a lot of time. “I think because they spend so much time in practice and all of the other activities such as weight lifting and conditioning that it should accommodate for some of the hours that they spend in the classroom or some of the hours that they study,” said West Liberty University’s men’s assistant basketball coach Ben Howlett. “Life as a student athlete is not as easy as it sounds. I think we have our guys for three or four hours each day just with basketball and then they have to go and study afterwards, which can be kind of like a job.”

            The majority of student athletes would agree that they should receive academic credits for what they do. “I agree that student athletes should receive credit because we get more exercise and spend more time in the gym than we do for a PE course,” said West Liberty University senior volleyball player Courtney Pyeritz. Pyeritz also explained what a difficult task it is to be a student athlete, “It is extremely difficult, I find myself studying on road trips as well as not getting an appropriate amount of sleep due to long nights and early mornings.”

            Being a student athlete is a lot to take on. They work hard day in and day out in both the classroom and in their sport. These students have more than the average work load and should be compensated for it. Student athletes should be given academic credits for the sport that they play.

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