By Lauren Kingsbury
More often than not, everyone will at some point, be in a class where the professor favors athletes over non athletes. Not all professors favor athletes, but it is slowly becoming a bigger issue.
Numerous studies have been done to prove that professors show favoritism towards athletes. Favoritism could be bumping their grade up just a little, letting them into programs when they don’t meet the prerequisites, or giving them extensions on homework and assignments because they had a game or match.
When this happens, it feels like my degree is worth less because an athlete was allowed to slip right through. Now I’m not saying that all athletes don’t do their work, aren’t determined, and take advantage of the fact that they are an athlete, but some do.
I have personally been in a class where three athletes were given an extension on an assignment because they had a game the day before the assignment was due. We had known about the assignment and the due date for two weeks. This is not fair to every other student in the classroom, athlete or not, you shouldn’t get special treatment because you play a sport.
I understand that you have to lift, go to class, go to practice, maintain friendships/relationships, work, find time to do your homework and study, and then sleep. There are only 24 hours in a day and as college students almost all of us could use extra time. But just because you play a sport doesn’t mean you should get extra time.
On the other hand, there are athletes that struggle through their classes and there are some that don’t need extra time and can maintain their eligibility on their own. I feel that if an athlete comes in their freshman year and has an interest in the sciences, most of the time, their coach will try to dissuade them from majoring in it because with the sciences, there are a lot of labs and it is time consuming. Labs usually run right into practice time and no one wants to miss two hours of practice every Tuesday or Thursday because of a lab, and everyone knows, if you aren’t at practice, someone else is getting those two hours of practice in to beat you for a spot.
Revisiting the idea of athletes getting extensions on assignments, it is extremely discouraging for non athletes to sit there and watch an athlete get extra time. It’s discouraging because we are working hard, too and it seems that our efforts are unnoticed. If a non athlete studies all night for a test and gets a B+, it seems like that is expected. But if an athlete can get a B+ on the same test, they get praised. That just doesn’t seem fair.
If you are an athlete and you aren’t convinced that some professors favor athletes over non athletes, and you haven’t seen it firsthand, you might be one of the athletes. If you are a non athlete, and haven’t seen it firsthand, just talk to some of your friends. I’m sure someone you know has seen the favoritism.