Heimann: College athletes struggle to manage time

One of the hardest parts about going to college is trying to manage time effectively. Regular students have this issue and for students that double as athletes, it is harder for them to do so while also getting the necessary amount of sleep. 

Jasmine Harris, a sociology professor at Ursinus College, ran a study to see the difference between how much time an athlete spends on their studies and how much time a regular student spends on theirs, according to newstimes.com.

During her study, Harris examines different aspects of life that are affected by college athletics as well as the benefits of devoting so much time and energy to college athletics. The statistics her study produced show that there is a difference between time spent on athletics and academics. 

All time spent on sports-related activities outside of games came to more than 25 hours per week whereas the time devoted to doing academic-related activities was less than eight hours per week. These two numbers are obviously very different and it shows that not only are students spending more time with their team and staying active but that their studies become a second priority when it comes down to the bottom line. 

College sports are also a prominent component of American life. Many know at least something about college sports and are aware of what colleges have the best teams. The National Collegiate Athletic Association is an organization that promotes the success of student athletes. Because of its size, the NCAA has grown so much that in 2017, the company reached over one billion dollars in profit. 

The schools that are a part of the NCAA are granted air time, publicity and a chance to show off their talent pool and campus. Money is always a driving force in the world, but it is important to evaluate the stranglehold it has over college sports. 

Harris states that students who are a part of a team in the NCAA do not get the chance to find themselves the way their classmates do because the team becomes their identity. It is not so clear cut as to whether this is a positive or a negative. 

When you are part of a team, the friendships that grow between teammates are very strong and usually long lasting but secluding yourself to only the team keeps you from getting to know others outside of the team. 

This should be noted because the common view of college is that young adults get to find out who they are and experience new things whereas the argument against sports would be that you are mostly confined to that team and do not get to try other things because of the time commitment.

The last issue is whether colleges are centered around academics first or sports first. This has come into play quite often since the early 2000s. The NCAA put Georgia State University on two-year probation when they found out that two members of the staff committed academic fraud for three athletes in 2016, according to insidehighered.com.

The bottom line that Harris wants the world to know is that students that play sports are more likely to underperform in their academic subjects and the NCAA does little to change the practice. There is no way to fix this because as long as there are athletes, there will always be an imbalance in time spent committed to athletics and school.