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Herz: Athletes should be able to major in athletics

College treats athletes unfairly.

Sure, there are great perks to being a college athlete, but there is one area where they face an uneven playing field; choosing a major.

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A typical student entering college, whether they already have chosen their major or not, will eventually exert the majority of their academic energy toward the field of study that most interests them. Equally important, they most likely will choose a field that they feel gives them the best odds to succeed professionally.

Some collegiate athletes, especially those attending college solely to play sports, struggle in the classroom and seemingly only attend class because they are required to. Though there are a significant amount of college athletes who are academically motivated, there are enough who are not to make a point of it.

In 2014 there were 11 Division One football programs that received sanctions from the NCAA for failing to meet the NCAA’s required academic progress rate. The list included major programs such as Oklahoma State University, UNLV, and New Mexico State University.

It’s easy to argue that for the athletes attending the schools listed, as well copious amounts of other college athletes, sports are a major interest of theirs as well as something that motivates them daily.

Since regular students are granted the ability to expand their knowledge on a topic they love by majoring in it, athletes should be allowed to do so as well by majoring in athletics.

Athletes on athletic scholarships, which often reach six-figures over four years, are practically getting paid to play the sport that they are passionate about and succeed in. So why not allow them to learn more about what they are getting paid for by their University?

It makes absolutely no sense that college athletes would not be prohibited to focus on such an evidently strong-suit of theirs in a classroom setting. After all, an artist can study art. A musician can study music. So why can’t an athlete study athletics?

Of course, even for many exceptional college athletes, the odds of making a steady income from playing sports are stacked against them. But majoring in athletics can educate college athletes on the seemingly endless careers in athletics.

A major in athletics would give these students an opportunity to learn more about the many faces of athletics, such as business, marketing, medical, broadcasting, etc.

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Though there are classes on all the previously listed topics already offered at most colleges, a major in athletics would obviously require a student to have more of a well-rounded knowledge of them in order to earn a degree. To elaborate on this a little more, there is a fine line between someone, who, say majors in business and someone who takes a basic course on Microeconomics at one point.

Besides giving many athletes a more desired college education, a major in athletics would also increase their chances of succeeding after graduating.

Collegian sports reporter Eddie Herz can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Eddie_Herz

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