Student-athletes need more class time

first_imgIn the argument of student-athlete compensation, one side generally defends the current system saying that these athletes are getting their tuition paid for and that is a huge sum of money. Of course, not all college athletes are on a full-ride scholarship, but for those that are; their scholarship doesn’t achieve its full value.Photo courtesy USC Sports InformationBusy schedule · The men’s golf team has a busy November, playing on Monday and Tuesday before hitting the links again next week for three days. It’s just one instance of an athletic team tied down by a rough schedule.Student-athletes continually choose their sport over school because the Pac-12 and their school force them to. How can anyone expect student-athletes to put their academics first when their governing bodies refuse to do the same?This debate is especially relevant given all the attention that Thursday night football games have been given and their impact on the minutes football players spend in the classroom, but it isn’t just about football players. Once again the massive entity that is collegiate football has overshadowed the non-revenue sports that suffer from this problem just as much if not more.The men’s golf team has two consecutive weeks in November in which they have a tournament during the week. This week, the team played on Monday and Tuesday and next week they will be on the links Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.That means they are missing the equivalent of a full week of school from just two tournaments.The women’s volleyball team also plays a significant number of times during the week. This week they played in Tucson on Wednesday night and again in Tempe on Friday, meaning they will miss Tuesday through Friday this week.“On Tuesday we travel, Wednesday we play and Thursday we travel to Tempe,” women’s volleyball head coach Mick Haley said to the Daily Trojan before the team left. “Then we play early Friday at 6 p.m., but we can’t get out that night, which is terrible because we have to get up early to get them back by 9 the next morning on Saturday.”This atrocious schedule leaves very little room to achieve academic excellence. In the same interview, Haley said he thought the team would only be in school for eight days in November.It doesn’t matter how many administrators and coaches come out and say academics are the priority for their teams if their actions speak differently.This isn’t a new problem either and the NCAA in all its resplendent glory is aware of the problem.The organization has conducted a study in order to gain insight into the experiences and well being of student athletes. This survey, “Growth, Opportunity, Aspirations and Learning of Students in College,” was conducted in 2006, 2010 and most recently in 2015.The findings are disheartening, considering the word student comes first in student-athlete. In Division I schools, athletes reported dedicating a median of 34 hours a week to their sport in-season, a two-hour increase since 2010. Not surprisingly, football players spent the most time, averaging 42 hours a week. The other sport that struck the 40-hour mark — that of a full-time job — was baseball at 40 hours per week.The silver lining is that athletes also said they are spending more time on academics than they were in 2010 with the number of hours per week rising from 35.5 hours to 38.5 hours while they are in season. Across the board, female student-athletes said they spent more time studying than their male counterparts.Fifty-nine percent of male and 66 percent of female Division I athletes said they want to spend more time on academics during the season. The three sports who consistently reported they spent significantly more time on athletics than academics were football, baseball and men’s golf.Student-athletes are missing class at very high rates as well. Ten percent of football players reported missing three or more classes a week during their season, and this was the lowest number among of the categories the NCAA provided for Division I athletes. Nineteen percent of baseball players, 21 percent of men’s basketball players and 22 percent of women’s basketball players — all limited to Division I athletes — reported missing three or more classes a week during their season.Between the time spent traveling or working out and the time spent pursuing a degree, the life of a college athlete is far busier than most average students. Unfortunately, most of the student-athletes surveyed were not dissatisfied with these time commitments during the season.By promoting a culture of athletics taking precedent over academics, these athletes are being done a disservice by their universities.According to the NCAA, just 1.6 percent of NCAA football players go on to compete in the NFL. 1.1 percent of men’s basketball players make it to the NBA and for baseball players, 9.7 will be drafted by a Major League team.By taking athletes out of the classroom for such a significant time, the University is taking away valuable preparation for a world beyond athletics. This isn’t to say that college sports should be done away with, there just needs to be some reform in the amount of time that these athletes are expected to contribute to their schools when what they are receiving in return — their education — is being taken away from them.Hailey Tucker is a junior majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs Thursdays.last_img read more

Steel Sensations…What we know thus far

first_imgA Pittsburgh Steelers fan waves Terrible Towels during the first half of the NFL football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Houston Texans, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers won 30-23. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)The Steelers improved to 4-3 after beating the Houston Texans on Monday Night in a must win game. In doing so, many things were further proven if not brought to light after the victory.First and foremost, this team is still not consistent. Their season continues in an every other week fashion as they have not won or lost two consecutive games yet.They showed they have the ability to look extremely bad, as they did at the start of the game, falling behind 13-0 but then showed they have the talent to be really good, scoring 24 unanswered points to go up 24-13 and ultimately winning 30-23. All of this further illuminated that this team does not have an identity yet.It was also proven that the defense lacks significant depth across most positions. The linebackers in particular seem to be in big trouble with Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier out. Nobody has been able to fill those positions adequately yet and that’s a testament to the lack of talent at the position. Lawrence Timmons is a phenomenal player and Jason Worilds has a lot of talent but beyond that, the black and gold have very few options to play the position at the moment.We also continued to see that the signing of Cortez Allen to a long term deal was a mistake. For some reason Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin elected to let Keenan Lewis walk before last season in favor of Allen. Allen has done nothing but get beat over and over again to the point where he has lost his starting job. Now as a reserve and coming off the bench vs. Houston; he still couldn’t make a play when necessary. He’s so bad that he shouldn’t be on this roster in 2015, at least not at this salary.On the offensive side of the ball, the talent is there, LeVeon Bell, Antonio Brown and Big Ben are all studs. They can play with anyone in this league and just need others around them to do their jobs, occasionally, to provide some help.With all that said, Antonio Brown is one of the most dynamic players in the league and it’s time Tomlin takes him off punt returns. Sure, he’s an All Pro return man but they black and gold cannot afford to have him hurt in a wild play like a punt return. He’s far too valuable. They need to put Dri Archer back there or anyone else really.  If they don’t, they could pay dearly.Brown is the clear number one receiver but the number two spot needs to go to Martavis Bryant. I’ve been calling for that move since training camp. He reminds me a lot of Plaxico Burress and he can not only stretch the field but he can go up and get the ball in the red zone or third down. He’s a true threat and finally the Steelers activated him and he caught a touchdown on his first NFL reception. He must start from here forward because Markus Wheaton has proven over the last few weeks that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He and Big Ben are not on the same page, at all.The team is very young and needs leadership. They have the ability to be good if they can gel and the veterans show the young guys what it takes to win. But with the youth on this team and the apparent lack of depth, without leadership, should this team lose a few games in a row, they could completely come off the tracks.This season has been shaky thus far and despite the good looking win on Monday, it appears to me it will continue to be an up and down ride. The upcoming game against the Colts is very critical in measuring just how quickly this team can grow, gel and learn from success or fail from arrogance.Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at read more

Baseball: Payne has good feeling for T.O.

first_imgPayne’s walk-off single to right-center field allowed Thousand Oaks (4-0) to remain undefeated despite a less-than-impressive day on the mound for a team known for its pitching. The Lancers, who allowed only four hits but issued nine walks, were pleased to show they are capable of winning in other ways, especially against a previously undefeated team that will soon be challenging Thousand Oaks for the Marmonte title. “That’s what the guys on our bench are capable of,” Lancers coach Frank Mutz said. “We’ve got four or five guys who can come in and deliver. It was just (Payne’s) turn today. I had confidence in him. … “We’d been talking and I told him his chance is going to come, just keep working and be ready. Now he’s back in there.” Thousand Oaks’ Kyle Jones tied the score with a solo home run in the sixth, and Jeff Johnson started the seventh-inning rally with his second double of the game. The late-game heroics were required after Calabasas (3-1) scored four runs in the fifth inning for a 6-5 lead. Mike La Rosa capped the Coyotes’ comeback from a 5-1 deficit with a three-run double to right after Thousand Oaks had walked the bases loaded. THOUSAND OAKS – Just a day earlier, Daniel Payne asked his coach what it would take for the senior to work his way back into the Thousand Oaks High baseball team’s lineup. On a team loaded with talent, Payne’s bat had cost him his starting job at first base. On Thursday, Payne’s hitting not only won him another shot at starting, but it also won the Lancers a spot in the championship game of the Easton Southern California Showdown tournament. Payne, who entered the game as a replacement for an injured teammate, drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 7-6 victory over visiting Calabasas. Thousand Oaks faces Marmonte League rival Newbury Park for the tournament title Saturday at UCLA. “It was pretty hard to sit on the bench and watch everyone play,” said Payne, who appeared in just one of his team’s first thrree games. “Coach just said to keep working hard. It feels really good, the hard work is paying off.” center_img “We’d heard so much about how good Calabasas’ hitters are, I think we were being too careful,” Mutz said. “They weren’t going after ’em.” The Coyotes entered the game hitting .433 and having scored at least 12 runs in each of their first three games, including Monday’s upset of nationally ranked Chatsworth. Alex Kurland, who doubled twice, was Calabasas’ only player with multiple hits Thursday. The Coyotes’ lone hit through the first four innings was a solo home run by Adam Dong in the second inning. (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Klopp laughs off Warnock’s ‘mission impossible’ claim

first_img0Shares0000Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to meeting Cardiff counterpart Neil Warnock © AFP / Lindsey PARNABYLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Oct 26 – Jurgen Klopp has jokingly dismissed Cardiff manager Neil Warnock’s claim that the Bluebirds will have a “virtually impossible” task trying to beat Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday.The raw statistics seem to justify Warnock’s words given Liverpool are currently unbeaten and second only in the table to leaders Manchester City. They also head into this fixture on the back of a 4-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade at Anfield in the Champions League on Wednesday.Cardiff, by contrast, are 17th and only recorded their first league win this season with a 4-2 victory at home to Fulham last weekend.The often outspoken Warnock, asked about Cardiff’s prospects at Anfield, said Friday: “It’s massive. It’s virtually impossible for any team in the current game.”When the veteran English manager’s comments were put to Liverpool boss Klopp at his pre-match news conference on Friday, the German replied: “I am really looking forward to meeting him. I heard a lot about him, and he’s obviously vocal-wise very talented.“It will be a big pleasure to meet him — not sure during the 90 minutes, but before and after I’m sure.“It would be so cool if that’s the truth, but it’s not and they will try everything.“He is one of the most experienced managers in the world of football, and so successful in the past – it’s unbelievable.“We are aware of the quality of Cardiff. Cardiff and Neil Warnock are famous for the way he plays. Last week gave them for sure a big boost, 100 percent, but before that they were not bad.“They deserve all our respect and they will get it.”Klopp added of Warnock: “He looks like a character, a very, very emotional and lively person.“I watched a lot of the final period of the Championship last year, and it was impressive how they did it (got promoted).“From all the big English active managers, he’s the last one I have to meet. I’m looking forward to it.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more