Ryan Trom

What does it mean to be a student athlete?

Schools always push their students to participate in extra curricular activity.  They want the students to be more involved with the school but is it doing anything to help the school or the students?  Nearly 60% of students throughout the country participate in a school related sport.  In 2009 it was proven that student athletes grades were 10% higher than students who did not participate in sports.

High School Student Athletes

Yes, High School Student Athletes have been proven to have a higher GPA than non-athletes but what about the stress levels of student athletes? The lack of sleep?  The majority of student athletes will stay after school and practice for 2 hours or more.  Then they will come home tired after a long day of school and practice and have to do their homework and study for any tests/exams that they have.  Let's not forget about eating dinner and other things like this. It is recommended that student athletes get 9.2 hours of sleep.  A seemingly impossible task for student athletes in high school.  I am a hockey player and spend 12 hours a week practicing, with games on the weekends that often involve traveling.  It is difficult, at times, to manage school and athletics, along with eating and sleeping well.

Student Athletes in College

As you can see by the graph below student athletes in college do not have as good of grades compared to regular students.  Being a student athlete in college means your life is centered around whatever sport you participate in and they are going to school to play that sport, not to be a student there.  According to the NCAA "Student-Athletes must be Students first".  Before student athletes even arrive on campus they must pick classes that fit around their practice schedule.

What does it mean to be a student athlete without pay?
Should be paid

Another big debate surrounding college athletes is whether or not they should be paid. Athletes can create major revenue for the school and they are not getting any of that back.  The student athlete is very similar to a professional athlete with the amount of time they put into the sport and having to be a student as well. According to a volleyball player at Iowa there is no time for an internship. This particular student is a major in biomedical engineering, a field in which internships play a huge role in post college success. Not all college athletes plan to or have the ability to be a professional in the sport they play. So colleges are taking all the money that the athletes are generating for the university and their schedule does not allow the time that they need to be successful after college.

Others argue that students are receiving the benefit of tutors and other assistance along with receiving a free education in some cases.  On average the yearly tuition for a private school is $31,231, for a public college (in-state) it is around $10,000.  If athletes are getting all of this paid for along with special help with their school work why should they need to be paid?


Life of a student athlete is not easy, no matter how old you are, the time commitment required to be an athlete and a student.  What are your thoughts on college athletes being paid? Is a scholarship enough? Do they need more? Student athletes are very hardworking people who make time for being a student and an athlete and they deserve to be recognized for the things they accomplish.  


"Student Athlete." Http://imgkid.com/student-athlete.shtml. N.p., n.d. Web.

Background picture of lacrosse player

"A High School Athlete's GPA Vs. Average High School Student's GPA." Everyday Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.

Stats from first 2 paragraphs


Graph of male and female student athlete GPA

"Student Athletes under More Stress, Pressure." The Foothill Dragon Press. N.p., 16 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 May 2015.

Used in my first analysis

"The Myth of the 'Student-Athlete'" Opinionator The Myth of the StudentAthlete Comments. N.p., 15 Mar. 2012. Web. 27 May 2015.

College athlete data (first analysis)

"Athlete First, Student Second: Examining the Life of an Iowa Student-athlete - The Daily Iowan." Athlete First, Student Second: Examining the Life of an Iowa Student-athlete - The Daily Iowan. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.

Iowa Data, (volleyball player)

"What's the Price Tag for a College Education?" COLLEGEdata. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2015.

College Data at end

Comment Stream

2 years ago

If 60% of students are involved in school sports, wouldn't that make student athletes the "regular" students?