Myths and Facts About College Athletics

football game photo during daytime

Photo by Riley McCullough

College level sporting competition is one of the most popular televised categories of modern entertainment. Since the early days of radio in the 1920s, corporate sponsors and broadcast networks have been earning a profit from the national love for college athletic games. In the radio era as well as today, football dominates the airwaves, but for students, there are numerous ways to earn a varsity letter and scholarship money. They include baseball, basketball, field hockey, golf, tennis, track, swimming, wrestling, ice hockey, and many others. Consider the following myths and facts about the subject to get a better idea about the current state of collegiate athletics.

Most Players Don’t Become Professionals

Judging by media coverage, you’d think that most collegiate athletes go on to become pros, earning millions of dollars in the process. The reality is far from that misconception. Only a tiny percentage of players, mostly in football and basketball, earn massive wealth from their pursuits. Those who play other games rarely achieve fame or fortune, instead setting for coaching positions at other schools or for private organizations. The bottom line is that fewer than 2% of collegiate athletes ever enter the professional level of their respective activities.

It’s All or Nothing When Applying for Sports Scholarships

Most awards cover a portion of the total cost of schooling. Because most athletic awards only cover a portion of school-related expenses, most scholarships are partial awards. The upside is that just about anyone can get money for school. The best way to begin and to find out what you can get is to visit an online platform that lets users search for opportunities and apply for multiple awards, all from the same page. The approach makes sense for several reasons. First, because most scholarships offer partial coverage of tuition and fees, it’s logical for students to apply for as many as possible. Also, prospective students make the best use of their time by doing everything, searching, and applying, from a single online dashboard page.

Athletes Work Hard on the Field and Off

What’s lost on many TV viewers is that young athletes work exceptionally hard, regardless of their chosen sport. This is especially true for students who are on scholarships. Awards typically come with requirements about participation on a team and grade point averages. That means when someone decides to either leave the team during college or does not meet GPA requirements, the award money is no longer available. For many youngsters, the situation is highly pressurized and not conducive to earning good grades or playing to their potential. It’s common for non-athletes to assume that collegiate players on scholarship have it easy. The truth is just the opposite.

Football and Basketball are Top Sports Choices

They’re not even in the top five sports college students choose to play. Basketball and football get the lion’s share of TV and radio coverage, but the bulk of college-level players take part in soccer, baseball, track, swimming, golf, and at least a dozen other endeavors. Tennis and wrestling are popular selections for high school seniors who want to play on university level teams, and only a tiny minority of kids are involved in football and basketball.

Athletic Participation Enhances Resumes

Grades are essential for long-term success in a chosen career field, but having a varsity letter in any sporting activity serves as a massive boost to a job seeker’s resume. Hiring agents in corporations understand that athletic competition teaches young adults about life, discipline, teamwork, and setting realistic goals. When human resources are forced to decide between two equally qualified applicants, the one with a sports letter can usually win out.

Sports Programs and Academic Excellent Don’t Mix

Most ranked academic colleges and universities have excellent sports teams. The image of the not so bright athlete is a pervasive yet misleading one. The nation’s top academic institutions tend to have highly developed athletic programs. Notre Dame, UCLA, USC, the University of Florida, and Arizona State University are prime examples of institutions that foster excellence in young adults’ physical and intellectual development. Across the board of small, medium, and large colleges and universities, athleticism and classroom achievement go hand in hand. Year after year, athlete scholars graduate and go on to rewarding careers in every professional field.

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