The NCAA season is about to begin, preseason polls have been released, and people are already predicting who will win the National Championship.
Of course, no one is more excited about the arrival of the new season on the gridiron than the players themselves. College players are back on campus, running drills, enduring practices, and preparing for that opening kickoff.
What do they look forward to the most?
“I cannot wait to get back to class!” exclaimed one Florida State linebacker (the NCAA has asked me not to use the players’ actual names). “I’m taking Calculus and Economics this term, and I am so pumped!”
“All Summer long, I count down the days until football practice begins,” a UCLA running back told this Modern Philosopher. “Because once we’re back at practice, that means classes are only a couple of weeks away.”
“I decided to switch to a double major, so I’m anxious to sit down with my academic adviser and plot out my semester,” explained a Boston College safety, who was sneaking peeks at the school’s course guide between plays. “I might have to cut back on practice so I can get this Microbiology Lab…”
Coaches and Athletic Directors echoed this sentiment as well. “We’re really hoping the starters can maintain a solid 3.5 GPA in the Fall term,” one ACC Coach revealed. “Last year’s starters finished with a 3.4, and we’ve challenged our guys to prove they are true student athletes by topping that number.”
“I’ve told my Head Coach that classes and grades come first,” the AD of a prestigious Big 10 powerhouse assured me. “We’re going to cut back on practices, allow the players to study while in film sessions, and even bring tutors when we travel for away games.”
The NCAA is quite thrilled with the “classes first” mentality of its players. “So often, college football players are stereotyped as dumb jocks, who take easy classes, cheat, or have other students do their work,” an NCAA spokesperson told this Modern Philosopher as we walked the halls of an SEC university. “Nothing could be further from the truth. These young men hit the books as hard as they hit each other on the field. It’s about time the world saw that side of our players.”
As we stood in a lecture hall where a Gross Anatomy class was in session, my tour guide pointed out seven players from the school’s football team who were in attendance. “That young man right there is a front runner for the Heisman Trophy, and three of them made the All-American Team last year,” he told me proudly. “Of course, all seven made the Academic All-American Team.”
It seems like the young men who pull double duty as NCAA football players and students are definitely ready.
Just as soon as they study for that quiz and finish their homework, of course…