Seventeen Tips to Improve American Football – Tip #15

Tip #15 – Big Time college football programs need to give their players more time to get a proper education.

The real reason that big time college football players are not receiving the education they are promised is a very simple one: time. There isn’t enough of it.

Many college football players have less college preparation than average students. They are operating at a deficit from the start. Then, these players are expected to spend the majority of their working hours practicing or studying football. According to Brad Wolverton’s 2008 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, an NCAA study found that college football players spend on average 44.8 hours per week on their sport. This includes film study, training-room time, and “voluntary” workouts. How is a student athlete playing football supposed to pursue a meaningful education when he already spends more time on football than most people do on their full-time jobs?

So, what needs to be done? Understanding the tremendous time demands on football players, the NCAA should allow universities to offer its football players an additional two years of full scholarship (tuition, room, board, fees, healthcare, tutoring, etc.) to be used exclusively for academic study. By doing this, the NCAA and its member universities would accomplish several things.

First, the argument that players are exploited would be diminished greatly as the athletes would now have every opportunity to secure meaningful college degrees that would serve them for their entire lives.

Second, this would go a long way toward silencing those who propose paying players, a solution that provides only a limited, short-term financial benefit and threatens the amateur status of the sport, a trait central to its popularity.

Third, it would provide an answer to critics who point to low academic achievement among college football players as a way of questioning football’s place in institutions of higher learning.

To learn more about how to improve both the sport and culture of American Football, check out Tackling Dummies, Playing Amateur Football Smarter!

Please share these tips with coaches, parents, players, and any fan of the game!

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