Inside Man Tackles the Student-Athlete

Morgan Spurlock, of the “Super Size Me” documentary, has a show on CNN called “Inside Man” where he takes a deep dive into topics like education and income equality in order to inform his CNN audience about those affected by these topics. But the episode that really caught my attention and had me hooked till the credits was the episode focused on collegiate athletics.

Of course, the episode talks about whether athletes should be paid, especially football players who help make their universities millions of dollars, yet are only given a scholarship in compensation. Which in this writer’s humble opinion, having paid a lot of money for a college degree, is still a lot of money. And while I would love to spend this whole post discussing if student athletes should be paid, if you want to really learn more about that hot topic I suggest you watch Schooled: The Price of College Athletics on Netflix.

Besides the obligatory discussion into student athletes being paid, what really had me hooked till the end credits rolled was the discussion of how hard these student athletes work for a slim chance into making into the NFL.

Spurlock actually spent time with the Ole Miss football team and soon realized that these student athletes have an insane schedule. They have a rigid schedule of workouts, film study, and practice while also taking a full course load and having to maintain a certain GPA to remain eligible. It’s like having a full-time job and taking 4-5 classes on a steroids. And to think that some of these athletes are doing this for a slim chance of making into professional sports. The NCAA has an article that illustrates the probability of college athletes going into professional sports and only 1.6% of football players get drafted into the NFL. So imagine working every day for 4-5 years for a slim chance into getting a job.

It’s called a dream job for a reason, at least those in college can work towards their dream job with experience and time. But if a collegiate football player doesn’t get drafted into the NFL there’s not really a way for him to work this way into the NFL. Sure, there’s the CFL and arena football as backup options, but the NFL is the end all dream for American collegiate football players. That’s why it’s imperative that college athletes actually get their degrees. If they take their studies seriously and earn their degree they have an automatic backup plan, but it’s hard to tell anyone set on a dream to think about backup plans.

So while I tuned into Morgan Spurlock’s “Inside Man: College Athletics” to see Spurlock take the field with Ole Miss, I stayed till the credits because of the hard hitting information Spurlock gives his audience about just how hard it is to be a college athlete.

 

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