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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Columns

Pressure on athletes may be too great


After the recent controversial events involving allegations against Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, the constant pressure on college athletes to do well is extremely evident.

Cam Newton was first accused of leaving Florida, pre-expulsion, for cheating on tests rather than leaving in order to avoid remaining a backup behind Tim Tebow. This allegation turned out to be a dead end, but it did lead to a new report surfacing. This time, Cam Newton and his father, Cecil, are being accused of asking for payment in return for Cam’s willingness to attend Mississippi State to play quarterback. The current NCAA probe that is investigating the issue should hopefully uncover some valuable facts in order to vindicate the current Heisman front runner and potential BCS champion.

Mark Emmert, the NCAA president, thinks that investigations like these should be done as quickly as possible, but only as long as the NCAA gets its facts straight. Emmert went on to say, “You’re dealing with young people’s careers and education. You’re dealing with institutional reputations. You’re dealing with a process, that is, by its very nature, complicated.”

This is very true. These athletes face a monstrous amount of pressure during the course of their college careers. The never ending necessity to do well in school and sports to maintain scholarships and such forces athletes to sometimes make poor decisions, such as in the case of Newton.

Additionally, Emmert compared the opportunities available for a college student who wants to be an accountant, such as internships to the opportunities available to a student who wants to be a professional athlete. Athletes aren’t allowed to talk to anyone in their desired profession because it allows them the opportunity to make improper contact with agents, which usually involves the exchange of money. To allow a professional opportunity for one student while ignoring the potential opportunities for another doesn’t make a lot of sense at all.

Additionally, athletes face the added pressure of being in the public eye compared to the average student on campus.

Student athletes are always going to come under constant scrutiny and pressure because of what they do. Their actions will always be analyzed more in depth than others. But that shouldn’t disqualify them to aspire to eventually make a profession out of athletics. There’s no inherent right to being a student athlete, so if you have the privilege to be on the team, you should make the most of it.

Travis Gumphrey is a communication sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]


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