The student-athlete is one of the most misunderstood “occupations” in our society today. Fans all over the country watch their every move on game day, but no one seems to know or care what happens outside the lines, unless it concerns a felony offense.
I played college baseball for four years, and I can confidently say that being a student-athlete is an occupation. College athletes must be enrolled in at least 12 hours of classes to remain eligible for play; that is 12 hours of class per week. On its own, 12 hours is a breeze for most, but throw in two games on Friday, two on Saturday, one more during the week, and 3-4 four hour practices in between, and that comes out to roughly 35-45 hours a week of just baseball (in my case).
Weekend double-headers (x2): arrive 2 hrs early+two 3 hr games+1/2 hr in between games+1/2 hr after games.
SUM: 18 hours/week
Midweek games (x1): *away game–6 hr roundtrip by bus+3 hr game; **home game–arrive 2 hrs early+3 hr game+1/2 hr after game
SUM: 5 1/2 – 9 hours/week
Practice (x3/4): 4 hr practice
SUM: 12 – 16 hours/week
School: minimum 12 hours/week
SUM: 12 hours/week
NET SUM: 47.5-55 hours/week
So, that’s a minimum of 47 hours every week (roughly, depending on sport, other variables, etc.) that a student-athlete’s presence is mandatory, either in the classroom or on the field. That number doesn’t even account for the time that he/she has to sleep, eat, study, socialize, workout/practice individually (outside of scheduled practice hours), show up for midnight tarp pulls in the middle of a thunderstorm, and the list goes on and on.
We, as student-athletes, understand that participating in collegiate athletics is a choice, as well as a privilege, but that doesn’t make it any easier. There are 168 hours in a week; take 47 hours out of your week, and you’ve got yourself a one hour weekend.
The glamour kind of wore off there, didn’t it?