Often times, student-athletes’ accomplishments off the field can be overlooked. While they are rewarded with championship titles and praise for their athletic achievements, their academic abilities should also receive recognition. Student-athletes make up a large part of the student body at Keene State College. Not only are these students expected to attend their classes and perform well in them, but they have a similar commitment to their sport outside the classroom. For college athletes, the dream of playing a sport while attending school starts young. They put in work to play a college division level sport and this work starts early on in their athletic career.
Student-athletes have to attend multiple practices a week, sometimes in a day. They also have to attend games for their respective sport, and sometimes these games may not take place at or near KSC. These students face situations where they have been traveling all day for an away game and then have to return back to their home at KSC and study for a test they might have the next day. According to KSC’s official website, there are certain requirements all student athletes must meet in order to participate in a sport while attending college. These requirements are set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC), and the Little East Conference (LEC). KSC’s website states that “NCAA eligibility includes, but is not limited to, these requirements: must be a full-time student, enrolled in at least 12 credits per semester and matriculated into a four year degree granting program must be accepted through the regular admissions process of the College, must be in good academic standing as determined by the institution, must have passed 24 credits applicable to a degree in the preceding two full-time semesters (summer sessions may be included) or must have passed an average of 12 credits applicable to a degree per full-time semester of attendance, has ten full-time semesters to complete four years of eligibility. Transfer students from two-year and four-year institutions must meet additional requirements.”
If students do not meet these requirements, they cannot be considered an athlete at KSC. Sometimes students commit to KSC on a scholarship to specifically play a sport. The commitment of being a full-time division three athlete as well as a full-time college student can become overwhelming. In certain cases, this overlap of dedications can cost students their spot at KSC. The amount of work that goes into being a full time student as well as remaining committed to a team is something that should be credited more often. There is a certain stigma around extremely athletic people where it is assumed that sports are all they care about. For many student athletes, this is not the case. Yes, these students are dedicated to their sport, but they are also dedicated to their studies. The reason people attend college in the first place is to receive an education so they can pursue a career in that field. Athletes are only physically able to play sports for so long before it starts to take too much of a toll on their bodies. But by attending school to acquire an education, students will always have a career in that field front of them when a career in sports might be out of the question. Student-athletes demonstrate dedication to both their sport and education, time management in both of these areas, leadership, and teamwork skills. These students should receive praise for their accomplishments because they are perfect examples of both sides of what the college does well.