I will be the first person to admit I ragged on Carson Wentz.
Carson, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry I doubted your talents, and I’m especially sorry that I joked about your 4.0 GPA.
Wentz’s major was physical education, and he earned a cumulative 4.0 at his time at North Dakota State.
I used to say, “Well jeez, anyone can get a 4.0 in gym class.” But after two and half years of trying to successfully be a student-athlete, all I can do is give props to the future-National Football League quarterback. I don’t know the required classes for the major he took, but I do know I don’t have a 4.0 GPA, so I can’t hold a candle to him.
The NCAA has regulations about the number of hours student-athletes can spend per week practicing, working out or having team meetings. The rule is 20 hours, in season, for all sports.
About the same as a part-time job bagging groceries at CashWise, correct?
These 20 hours don’t include all the time spent. For football, mandatory team breakfast at 9 a.m., followed by film and then its game time all on Saturday at 2 p.m. (which goes until about 6 p.m.) only counts for two hours.
For golf, 36-hole tournament days the crew leaves the hotel at 6:30 a.m., competes on the course for 12 hours, and than returns dead-tired at 7 p.m. only counts for — you guessed it — two hours.
How did Wentz find time to get a 4.0 GPA?
I’m not against the coaches or the NCAA officials for making these rules or requiring team breakfasts.
I’m expressing many student-athletes’ concerns for our studies, and I’m also expressing my encouragement on how to survive the struggle.
Balancing sports and school is tough, and most of the student-athletes have been doing it since they first joined their high school teams. Some teachers are supportive. Others are offended you’re missing their class. Unfortunately, you can only say thank you to the first and work hard for the second.
Sometimes you’re tired, and the only thing pushing you through another set of squats is your teammates telling you can do it.
My message to fellow student-athletes is that it’s very possible to do school, sports, clubs and even socialize. It takes practice but you can do it.
We are already almost finished with week seven of the spring semester. It’s flying by, and we register for summer and fall classes next week.
My mom always says, “You’re a student-athlete. Not the other way around.”
So keep working hard on the books and on your playing fields, and it will all pay off.