Academics vs. athletics

By Breeze Rivers |Staff Writer|

Playing a sport in college can be the most rewarding, yet challenging experience for collegiate athletes who endeavor to effectively balance academics and athletics.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) requires student-athletes to earn a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 2.0 in order to receive scholarships, train in practice sessions and participate in games.

“To keep my grades up I consistently check my BlackBoard account and email so that I stay up to date with my classes and assignments,” said Sarah Bradley, Kinesiology major and women’s soccer player.

“I also go talk to my professors if I need help or clarification,” said Bradley.

Time management plays a key role in the lives of athletes.

“I keep a planner with me at school and I write down all the things I have to do for school and soccer in it,” said Bradley.

Study hall is a resource that athletes can utilize to help them succeed academically.

“Study hall is important because it provides a space for the athletes to focus on their academics and keep their GPA in an honorable place,” said Katie Rumfola, study hall proctor, and assistant coach for women’s soccer.

However, some athletes are forced to complete study hall hours.

It is up to the head coach of each sport to set a rule for their players to participate in study hall.

Each sport varies for study hall requirements. For men and women’s soccer, if a player has a GPA below 3.0, they must complete six hours of study hall a week. For women’s basketball, if a player has a GPA above 3.5, they do not need study hall.

“I had study hall last quarter because I was a freshman and it was mandatory,” said Tawny Vanderlinden, a redshirt for Coyote soccer.

Daytime study hall is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Evening study hall is open Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Students are able to come in during these times and complete the number of hours they need. All hours are tracked with a sign-in sheet.

Academics are an important aspect for athletes because without it, they become ineligible to compete. For this reason, it is always stressed that student-athletes are students before they are athletes.

The NCAA believes that managing a sport in college correlates with life and will better prepare students for the world.

“Increasingly, the business world is focusing on creating a team environment with employees. By competing in college sports, student-athletes learn important skills such as leadership, time management and how to work with others toward a common goal,” said the NCAA website.

The value of academic success for athletes is also recognized in the Athletics Department’s mission statement, which promises to emphasize the importance of academic progress so that our student-athletes will graduate with a degree in their chosen field of study.

While it is a rewarding privilege to compete in Division II athletics, CSUSB’s student-athletes face pressure to maintain grades and work hard each day to manage both the academic and athletic aspects of their lives.