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Athletes and Academic Performance

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Athletes and Academic Performance

An athlete attends an institution to help better the team he or she is going to apart of. Not only do they have to deal with the pressures of helping their team, but they deal with the school work that every other student at the institution faces. You might say they have it harder than everyone else because they do not have the time the other students have. Athletes and their academic performance have been studied throughout the years and researchers try to find out why they may not do as well as students who do not participate in athletics or why they may excel in their studies. Robst and Keil(2000) explain how many feel participation in sports inhibits students' ability to do well in the classroom. Practice and travel commitments consume students' time. On the other hand, participating in athletics may provide students with the structure in their lives that enables success. The athletes may be highly motivated individuals and be able to balance athletics and academics. Studies of this show varying results. Focus is primarily on National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I athletes and schools (2000). Research on Division III schools is also needed due to several difficulties in analyzing Division I athletes. Division I athletes in revenue sports (usually men's football and basketball) typically have lower grades than non athletes. This is not sufficient proof that sports participation harms students (2000). Athlete's grades are only one measure of a student's success in college. They may balance their study time by taking only a few courses per semester, which can lead to not graduating on time.

There are many studies that compare athletes' and non athletes' academic performances at Division I institutions.

Results vary somewhat across institutions, however, several findings appear in a majority of research. Athletes are less prepared for college, as measured by lower high school ranks and GPAs, and SAT/ACT scores. Athletes in revenue producing sports have lower college GPAs and graduation rates, while athletes in non-revenue sports are similar to non athletes. Although athletes seem less prepared for college, non-revenue sport participants perform as well academically (Robst and Keil 2000, p. 548).




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