In-depth: In a battle for higher GPA student-athletes lose out

by Isaiah Martinez
edited by Kelsey Hausmen

Studies show that everywhere across the country student-athletes have a lower GPA than those who are not student-athletes.

Athletes would endure intense workouts, push their bodies to the limits, and go beyond the regular student in order to keep their athletic ability up to to the required physical standards, but some athletes fail to excel in academics.

According to the NewYorkTimes, “The term “student-athletes” implies that all enrolled students who play college sports are engaged in secondary (“extra-curricular”) activities that enhance their education.  Student-athletes must, therefore, be students first.”

A recent survey evaluated male non-athletes, male recruited athletes, male walk-on athletes, female non-athletes, female recruited athletes, and female walk-on athletes. Results showed that male non-athletes averaged a 3.04 GPA compared to a 2.84 GPA for male recruits. Male walk-on athletes averaged a 2.97 GPA. On the other hand, the females out performed the males in every category. The average for non student athlete females was 3.24 GPA,  3.18 for female recruits, and 3.22 for female walk-ons.

These results concluded that male and female non-athletes on average have a higher GPA than athletes. It also concluded that the females score higher GPAs than males overall.

Big time athletes in D1 colleges do not see the importance of academics because they believe they are athletes first and students second. The local fan base doesn’t care because the athletes are helping the team win and get money for the school, said the Times.

According to the NewYorkTimes, “As a result, according to a N.C.A.A. report, the graduation rate (given six years to complete the degree) for football players is 16 percent below the college average, and the rate for men’s basketball players is 25 percent below. Even these numbers understate the situation, since colleges provide under qualified athletes with advisers who point them toward easier courses and majors and offer extraordinary amounts of academic coaching and tutoring, primarily designed to keep athletes eligible to play.”

Although athletes receive a lower GPA, they are more likely to graduate than non-athletes. A recent study shows that roughly  86 percent of percent of all NCAA Division I athletes male and female graduate from college, according to the NCAA. In contrast 64 percent of non athletes graduate college.

An article by Nick Robinson said, “Even when the media focus on college athletes leaving school early for professional sports, the vast majority of athletes stay in school and ultimately complete degrees.”

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