Some athletes seem baffled by the whole process of sorting out a major.
The vast majority of Florida players start out in social and behavioral sciences, which is actually a broad area of study that leads to choosing a major and getting a degree.
Tight end Trey Burton, a sophomore, wants to pursue a career in business. He isn’t sure why he started out in social and behavioral sciences.
“I have no clue,” he said. “I guess they just give you that when you get here and that’s what you start out with. I really don’t even know what that is. What is it? Social and behavioral? I don’t even know what that is, to be honest with you.”
Sperber believes the Academic Progress Rate, a landmark program set up by the NCAA to compel schools to move student-athletes into meaningful courses and show they are moving toward a degree, has actually led to more clustering of majors.
Schools can be stripped of scholarships if not enough players are making the grade. Therefore, he said, advisers tend to steer players toward less-demanding classes.
“The whole APR stuff puts a tremendous amount of pressure on academic advisers. It puts pressure on athletes to choose their major very early. It’s the law of unintended consequences,” Sperber said. “You think of a good defense, and immediately the offense is thinking of ways to get around it.”
The NCAA makes no apologies for the APR, saying it has led to tougher academic standards and ensured that athletes from all sports graduate at a rate that matches or exceeds the student body as a whole.
“We need to remind ourselves that before the reform effort, some students weren’t getting a degree at all,” Lennon said. “The APR is incredibly significant. We have more young people moving toward a degree. We have many more getting degrees. That’s the most important thing.”
The NCAA has also done extensive research that shows the vast majority of athletes _ more than eight in 10 _ are satisfied with their choice of major.
And if they aren’t, Myron Rolle advises them to make it a priority to take control of their academic careers.
The former Florida State star earned a Rhodes scholarship while starting at strong safety for the Seminoles. He took a year off from football to study at Oxford and is now trying to make it in the NFL. Ultimately, he hopes to become a neurosurgeon.
“I took a very proactive approach immediately when I got to school that I wanted to be in a certain major and I needed tutors and I needed this time for my teachers after class to be able to succeed and flourish,” Rolle said.
“You have a lot of young kids, 18- and 19-year-olds, who want to do exactly what the coach says to get on the field. They go to college with the dreams of winning a national championship and being the best player they can be.
“But ultimately, after you’re done with your school, you want to say, What did I gain from this school? Did I gain an education?”View Entire Story
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