78 Balancing Athletics and Academics

Ben Tate and Myson Livingston

As college athletes, Ben and I believe that balancing classes and football is complicated at times. There are days when we are too tired to get up, or we’ve had a bad week of practice. These factors make it harder to focus or produce in the classroom and on the field. Our lives are hard, but we have found ways to make it through these times, and we want to bestow these solutions on next year’s freshman. We believe these will be helpful in regards to helping students become more disciplined. We want to decrease the dropout rate of college athletes because if you think it or not, education combined with athletics has a direct correlation to dropout rates.

In the article “Why Student-Athletes Continue to Fail,” it talks about why these athletes often fail in the classroom. The report says they fail because they believe that school is inferior to their athletics. Athletes often think that their talent can take them anywhere, including the NFL or any other major league. To prove this point, the author conducted a research project. In the project, he surveyed 147 student-athletes. They asked them, “About how do you care about sports and academics ?” When asked about athletics, the average rate was 8.5 on a scale from 1 to 10. However, when asked about academics, the price was surprisingly higher; it was at a nine on average. Later on, the author asked the athletes about how they thought their friends cared about school? The results ended up being lower than expected. He then believed that athletes are trying to fit in with their teammates.

 Another article we used is called “College athletes graduation rates.” It discusses the rate of college dropouts, and it also surveys student-athlete dropouts. And the majority of college athletes believe that the only reason that they are in college is because of athletics, and based on that fact, they think that sports are more important than schoolwork and attending class. Because of that, it’s forcing the dropout numbers to increase over the years because the athletes feel as if they shouldn’t have to go to class, especially if they are exceptionally good at their particular sport.

I believe that these sources of information are accurate regarding student-athletes. Many of these athletes disregard their academics because of their peers. If their roommate is skipping classes and not doing homework, they are probably going to end up doing the same thing. This correlation happens a lot when you are in a new environment. You are going to want to feel comfortable and make friends in order to lessen your anxiety about being alone. However, instead of following your teammates, you have to be an example. You have to encourage them to go to class and develop better study habits as you will yourself. People often lose sight of themselves in college, and they forget who they are. As a student-athlete, you have to keep excellent grades to keep playing football. If you can learn to balance your sport and athletics, you will be successful.

Andre Williams is a 22 year old senior here at Upike. He is from Louisville, Kentucky, and he plays defensive end. Whether it is in terms of football and athletics, Andre has done it and is on the path to graduate. In the interview, he gives tips on how to balance football and academics.

Brandon Gibson is also a 22 year old senior here at Upike. Brandon is from Seneca, South Carolina, and he plays defensive end. He has started since he was a freshman. Brandon is also on the path to graduate.

Interview Here:

          We are firm believers in getting the work done because at the end of the day, without getting the academics done, there would be no football, or the opportunity to play football at the next level. It’s always been that way, and it will never change. It’s all about growing up and taking responsibility for what you know you have to get done. That’s why it’s called being a student-athlete you have to be a student first before you can even think about being an athlete. You should stay focused on the field and in the classroom. You should also pick up your friends and encourage them to be better. That is the true definition of a student-athlete. We decided to choose this topic because we live this. We go through this almost everyday, and we wish someone would’ve gave us this same information when we were freshman.


  • Zocalo Public Square. (2015, April 20).  Why students athletes continue to fail. Time.  Retrieved from https://time.com/3827196/why-student-athletes-fail/
  • Lopez, K. (2017, Sep 13). Student athletes master time management skills. University Wire Retrieved from http://0-search.proquest.com.library.acaweb.org/advanced?


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Balancing Athletics and Academics by Ben Tate and Myson Livingston is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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