Dr. Ruth Darling is the president of the board with the NCAA, and he also does some work with the University of Tennessee. In an interview with Black Issues, he spoke a lot about how he motivates his student-athletes to succeed and how he encourages them to take interest in their classes. In his experience, the best way to motivate is using their sport. When you get to the collegiate level, all athletes take their sport very seriously and most of what they do is for their respective sport. His methods include explaining how their classes can help them on the field. For example, a student that thinks they are taking the easy way out by being a psychology major, usually doesn’t realize how much that can benefit them. Learning how people think, how people can be persuaded, and how to motivate which can help in any sport you play. In my experience, one of the biggest reasons students don’t succeed is because of motivation, and having a sport to motivate a student is hugely beneficial.
Hamilton, Kendra. “Creating A Successful Student-Athlete.” Black Issues In Higher Education 21.4 (2004): 30-31. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.
Collegiate athletics are on a pedestal in our society, especially division 1 sports. The NCAA makes it a point to help the athletes understand that they need to use their reputation and status to help the community, and help themselves. A great example is Kenneth Avila, the centerfielder on the Northwestern baseball team. There was a first grader who needed help with his academics because he had trouble focusing on his work, and Avila felt it was his obligation as a high profile student-athlete to help this young boy with his work. This is a great example of how college athletics is helping young men and women become better well-rounded people outside of their sport.
Rogers, Ibram. “A Legacy Of Leadership.” Diverse: Issues In Higher Education 26.8 (2009): 9. Academic Search Premier. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
Being a student-athlete is a tremendous advantage as a student. Playing a sport, in particular a team sport, can teach you so many things that you’d never learn in a classroom along with helping them as a student. This, along with a little extra drive to be able to play your sport can make an enormous difference. “…NKU does have a GPA requirement to play intercollegiate athletics…” One example is Northern Kentucky University. Their men’s tennis team had an average GPA of 3.71. Throughout all their student-athletes, they had a 3.22 GPA. I’m not certain on the GPA for an average non student-athlete in college, but I would be shocked if it was above a 3.2. Obviously that’s just one example out of every school in the country, and there are always going to be some exceptions. However, whether the athlete is aware of it or not, they are learning so much about hard work, character, dedication, and so much more by competing in athletics. Athletics is a beautiful part of many student’s college careers, and it is so beneficial to most of them as well. -Ben Johnston
“Student-Athletes Break Department GPA Record.” University WireJan 28 2015. ProQuest. Web. 25 Feb. 2016 .