I’ve been thinking about college sports.
This should not particularly surprise you, since we are in the middle of March Madness (and by “middle” I mean the early days) which means everyone and their brother is talking about brackets and basketball and how to skip out of work in order to watch Important Sporting Events.
It will (probably) not surprise you that I’m not trying to skip out of work since I can barely figure out how to follow basketball. (It helps when Dad yells, “Look right there! Right There! He grabbed his arm! He definitely grabbed his arm!! That’s a foul! You have to call that!” and then they show the alleged foul in ultra slow motion. Fourteen times.)
I have been thinking about college sports in terms of (wait for it) academics.
Yes, I said it. Sports and academics. In the same sentence. I’ll write quickly so I can finish this before the fan police arrest me.
I sort of understand that some sports can be played around an academic schedule. Like crew (I still haven’t figured out if one actually “plays” crew, but go with it for a moment). When you were rowing, you went to class (presumably), did homework (presumably), worked out with the team (for sure), and studied (presumably). (NOTE: I assume these things because I was not there to see you do them and you didn’t really talk about your academics that year. Also, you didn’t get kicked out which was a good hint that you were busy learning something.)
I assume that even some sports with more, um, political and alumni pressure can be played while continuing with one’s academic pursuits.
What I’m confused about (at this particular moment) is how one breathes the rarified air of playing basketball during March Madness and manages to attend class, do homework, and study subjects other than the next team on the schedule. The travel alone makes it seem daunting if not impossible.
So how is it that these athletes stay academically eligible? I can only assume some magic, a bit of time travel, and some exceptional tutors. If it’s anything else, I’m not sure I want to know…