Student-Athletes and Favoritism

By June 22, 2015 No Comments

We all have heard the word favoritism when it comes to speaking about athletes in the classroom. How true is this? Do you think that there are some teachers who let student-athletes pass their classes due to sympathy of their schedule, or that they are a star player? Those are just minor examples regarding what could possibly go on regarding that issue.

A lot of outsiders, regular students, would have a lot to say because they see it first hand in the classrooms. It may be a comment that a professor will make not knowing who is listening that could strike the ears of another student. I will tell you a little about my perspective and how I think things like this could possible be avoided.

Speaking from experience as a former student-athlete, there is a certain type of attention that athletes get from teachers, staff, as well as those in the college community that comes with the territory. All attention isn’t good attention! I can recall a time where a couple of athletes in my class were all in the same group for a group presentation. It was four people to a group and we all had to present based on a case study that we read and had to analyze.

They recently got back from a tournament and they didn’t even show up dressed up for the presentation. When it was time for them to present, one of them stated that they were at a tournament three days last week and the didn’t have time to complete it, could they get an extension? To the non-athletes in the class, that could be a form of favoritism to them. If a regular student would’ve had a different excuse, would it have been the same ‘okay’ for an extension?

They’re a lot of things people can say about athletes’ performance in the classroom or how ‘special’ they get treated. I don’t agree too much with favoritism but there is a level of understanding for different situations upon most professors. You may have a professor that supports athletics and if you walked in their classroom with an excuse because of athletics, they may let you have that extension.

It’s different scenarios as well as different opinions on how all this works. My advice, stay on top of your classes, stay on top of your professors! Build that relationship with your professors starting on the first day. That’s not “Hey I play sports, I’m going to miss a lot of days.” Be professional, “Hi, My name is _____. I’m a member of the Women’s Volleyball team. I printed out a calendar for you to keep which marks days I will absence from your class due to games and travel. I will have access to my email as we’re traveling and I would like to communicate with you to stay on track with my assignments.” NOW…. you have their attention as a STUDENT first, ATHLETE second.