i Division III Athletics are Beneficial | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Ruby Castillo

The college athletics in the NCAA vary by division. The division that is made the biggest deal out of is the first one. It is televised and the athletes get scholarships. It is not all about Division I. Division I of the NCAA is corrupt according to John Oliver. They actually overwork their players and the education quality is not the same. John Oliver shows us an interview where some Division I athletes take really easy courses so that their GPA can be maintained in order to continue playing. As most know, most colleges have a language requirement. Most of the football players were taking Swahili because it was easy. They even admitted that they were not even using it in their everyday lives. Some of these easy courses will never be used. These easy courses are no help for their future. According to the 2010 census of the United States, there are about 10,000,000 people who speak Spanish which is spoken in many places in the United States. Swahili is not a common language spoken in the United States. The entire NCAA is not corrupt. John Oliver only talks about Division I. The Division III portion of the NCAA is the most beneficial to for college students because it allows them to succeed in college.

Regular college students suffer from stress because they are, as Alan Reifman mentions, “ Leaving the family home, feeling intense pressure to obtain high grades in connection with career aspirations, taking final exams, trying to establish a romantic/social life, dealing with (often very high) costs of college and possibly working at a job during the school year”. Students have a lot on their plates and have to get used to the new college experience. Many of these students still have not figured out ways to cope with all these new experiences. Out of all the divisions, the third allows for “our student-athletes to attend college in order to receive diplomas, and in the process enjoy their athletic participation “for the love of the game,” which makes them richer for the experience” (Zak Ivkovic, 2012). Athletes are gaining an education that will help them out in the real world while enjoying playing on a team. The downside to doing both is that they are booked with classes and sports team commitments. Time management skills help Division III athletes manage their stress from school and sports. This forces athletes to find a way to be successful in both, so they have to create a schedule to fit in everything that they have to do. Zachary, who is a classmate, gave a run-through of his schedule during class. He has to attend his classes, eat, work out, do homework, and attend his athletic practices. Many would say that being so busy is unhealthy because of the high amounts of stress that this causes, but being this disciplined everyday takes off a load of stress. The more organized one, is the more they can succeed because they know what has to get done. The sports commitment is still there but there is not the pressure of always doing your best. At Division III schools, athletes do not get awarded sports scholarships. If they have to stop playing, there is no loss for them. They can still take courses that are helpful to their future and still succeed in college and not have to drop out so that expenses can be paid.

A team member in Division III is taught responsibility. They are not thinking only for themselves anymore. They have to think for the good of the team. If a team member makes a stupid choice, then they let the team down. A classmate of mine is part of the golf team. She shared that the coaches told the team that they were not allowed to drink. If they did and were caught, they were not allowed to play for two games. One of her teammates who also happened to be a senior and the captain was caught drinking. She was not able to play during the conference game. She let her whole team down because she was not able to contribute her skills in the game. The consequence that she had to serve helps the other athletes stay away from drinking. They see that drinking is a serious thing that will not be tolerated. They will learn how to act responsibly in order to not let the team down. If athletes are peer pressured into having a drink, they will now think twice. They will be more likely to refuse the drink knowing that they will be punished if they get caught.

Being part of a team builds a community. Teammates hang out, eat together and practice together. All of their time is spent together. Freshmen are always scared that they will have no friends when they come to college because it is a new experience. A classmate named Rebecka, who is a freshman, plays for the women’s hockey team. She comes from Sweden and she shared her story. Before she came to the country she” already had 25 good friends from my team and they have been a great support for me with classes and practice and everything.”  During the summer she knew no one from here but the hockey team reached out to her through face book. They introduced themselves and helped her get acquainted with the school by telling her about life at school.

Some might say that being part of a team might limit social interaction from happening outside of a sports team. Since all the time is spent with the teams, sport players may not get a chance to meet new friends. That is not always the case. Athletes are still living in dorms with a roommate. They can make friends with their roommate and their roommate’s friends. Also a dorm offers a hallway full of people. In my residence hall, the girls keep their doors open. They go into each other’s room and hang out. As I walk by, I sometimes catch some of the girls on their way out and we have a short conversation. I can say that some of these girls can now be considered acquaintances. That is another way to meet new people and make friends. During classes the people around one are a great start for getting to know people. Athletes have a bunch of opportunities to branch out of their circle of friends that are not from their sports team.

It’s true that an athlete can get injured at any time but that is inventible. No matter how careful one is, an injury can still happen due to an over wear of muscles or an accident while playing a sport. At one of the football games I went to, a player had to be taken off of the field because when he was tackled, his head collided with another player’s head. Yes, he still had a helmet on for protection but the collision can still cause an injury. Yet when an athlete plays a sport, it helps one stay healthy. Many have heard of the freshman 15 when they first start college and a lot of college students do gain the weight, but athletes are constantly working out at the gym and working out during practice. They are kept in shape because they are maintaining a healthy weight. Exercising daily prevents gaining fat, instead muscle is gained which aids in weight loss.  Also, it lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease. Exercising is a great way for releasing stress, since the brain releases endorphins that make one feel happier.

In conclusion, participating in Division III athletics are beneficial to students. It helps manage their stress and they are more likely to be successful in college. More specifically, Division III players benefit the most because they can learn and play their sport without the stressful environment a division I school offers.


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