What is a ""scholar"" athlete?

    The term, “”scholar athlete”” at UCSD is not an unfamiliar one. With UCSD athletes juggling an enormous amount of schoolwork in addition to games and practices, I can only imagine the struggle to keep on top of things off the field.

    From what I’ve seen of professors here at UCSD, I’m betting they’re not the happiest people when athletes inform them they will either miss their lectures or will have to reschedule an exam due to a game. It can’t always be easy to be an athlete (to, at many times, play in front of a sparse crowd) and a student at the same time. Nonetheless, our athletes overall hold a higher grade point average than the general UCSD student population according to the athletic department. Yes, “”scholar athlete”” would be the proper term for the Triton athletes.

    Imagine my surprise when I found out how much scholar athletes at other schools are catered to. I was visiting a friend who attends an athletically prominent Division I powerhouse college (think football, baseball, basketball). She tutors athletes who, well, aren’t the best readers in the world. Freshman athletes are required to have a tutor to “”help”” them with schoolwork throughout the season and the rest of the school year. Unless their grades are good (usually they aren’t), the athletes have to work with tutors the whole time they’re playing. At this particular school, athletes are basically gods with just about everyone worshipping the ground they walk on, including TAs (one was reportedly quite enamored with the quarterback although he only attended class once). I attended high school with one of these athletes attending this particular college. No, he isn’t the brightest, and yes, I do recall him needing help with grammar basics.

    In addition, some of these athletes are ensured that each and every tutor knows exactly who they are and what they’ve done for the team. This system has been almost too good for the athletes and, unfortunately for them, the NCAA caught wind of just how much “”help”” they’ve been getting.

    Recently, the college has been on probation because some of these tutors may have written papers for their beloved athletes (What? Are you serious?). Nowadays, if an athlete is typing a paper on the computer, the tutor cannot touch the keyboard. Hilarious. Now these “”scholar athletes”” (here, I use the term loosely) have to learn how to type. But that can’t be that hard because even if the tutors cannot touch the keyboard, I’m sure the oral dictation works out just fine.

    As if that isn’t enough, the athletes are also given the option of having “”organizers”” if they feel so inclined to have one. These “”organizers”” literally go over their schedules and plan their lives because, you know, it’s impossible to learn how to manage time if you have to play a sport and go to school at the same time. How on earth can anyone figure out the complexities of time management without any guidance?

    Let’s not forget that when many male recruits are visiting this long-respected particular college, the recruiting guides (sorority girls) are very convincing in their persuasion to send a letter of intent to the school. They are given a full tour of the school and I’ve heard that includes the dorms of these recruiting guides as well. A friend admitted that he questions the integrity of the school after witnessing these “”recruiting”” guides in action. Life seems so tough for these athletes from the get-go.

    Well, my goodness, it seems as if UCSD has done our athletes an incredible disservice! No recruiting guides giving the “”full”” tour? UCSD has the audacity to expect our athletes to know how to manage school and play a sport at the same time with no mandatory tutoring? You mean class attendance counts? No personal time managers to tell them when to eat, drink, sleep, play sports and go to the bathroom? You cannot be serious! How on earth are athletes going to survive in the real world if they have to do all the work themselves and damn them if they turn in anything late or don’t show up to the exam? How ever will they cope when they go out into the real world having to juggle several things at once?

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