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Academics and the NCAA Division Three Athlete

Nov 27, 2017 • by Tim Bailey, Alvernia University, citizen contributor
National Collegiate Athletic Association

When thinking about NCAA division three athletes and academics multiple questions come to mind. Is there more stress on division three athletes than the average student in the same school? Do these athletes receive any kind of special treatment? As a division three athlete myself I can assure you that there is no special treatment to help balance school and athletics. Sam St. Croix, a Business Marketing major and starting attackmen for Alvernia’s Men’s Lacrosse team has some strong beliefs regarding the treatment division three athletes receive. “I do not believe we receive any kind of special treatment regarding academics. I think we are put at a disadvantage if anything because we have to learn to manage and balance every second of our day in order to stay on track. We do not have any special facilities or programs that help us succeed academically. When it comes to succeeding in academics, every student is given the same opportunity whether you play a sport or not.” St. Croix also stated a powerful line, which most athletes in division three would agree with, “If you are playing in NCAA division three, you are truly playing for the love of the game.” Division three athletes cannot legally receive any kind of athletic scholarship, so those athletes really do play for the love of the game, not for any financial benefits.

Hunter Melson, a defensemen for the Alvernia’s Men’s lacrosse team and a Pre-Med major with a business track also has a few thoughts to share. “I believe we should receive some sort of flexibility with the class absences we build up due to games, but in the end playing sports is a privilege and a choice. It is up to us to be able to balance school and sports.”  In the previous lacrosse season (2017 spring season) Melson was a nursing major and he gave me some insight about fellow teammates who are currently nursing majors, too balance school, clinicals, and athletics is indeed a challenge. Although, it is their choice to take on those tasks, in the long run, I believe they will be the most successful in their future. Being an athlete at any level teaches many values such as responsibility on and off the field. As an athlete myself, I believe the sacrifices we make to play are completely worth it, just being able to get out of bed everyday and participate in sports is truly a blessing.

Megan Bruno is a sports management major and apart of Alvernia’s Women’s Basketball team. Bruno stated, “I believe student-athletes carry a lot of stress. It is like being a full-time student with a full-time job. It is not uncommon to have a late away game and return back just in time to rest before a 7:45 am exam.” As an athlete, you choose to make that commitment to your team and studies that you will complete both the tasks of a game and an exam to the best of your ability, no matter what the circumstances are.

After talking to multiple athletes at Alvernia University, it is clear that there is no special treatment for the NCAA division three athletes. When you take on the role of an athlete, you are privileged to be able to play at such a competitive level. You also take on the commitment of two full-time jobs, in which no one is going to hold your hand through.  

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