The purpose of this paper is to describe the life as an Intercollegiate Athlete. Every single decision a college athlete make's on and off the field of play relates to an athletes status as an intercollegiate athlete. I am going to try and explain the role as in depth as possible, and then look at juridical restrictions that apply to it.
All across the United States collegiate sports are very much the forefront in communities. As a result the difficulty to become an intercollegiate athlete is high, due to the demand and the talent required. In the case of say the MSU-Billings Men Soccer team. As a team they train at least 5 times a week during regular season, and as much as 10 times a week during pre-season. The site of our practice is the College of Technology, which is situated approximately 15 minutes off campus. The equipment they use at practice depends upon the session they are undertaking, and sometimes only a pair of running shoes required. During tactical and technical drills the use of cones and balls and goal posts are required, and also a large field (COT Soccer Field). A lot of this equipment is very expensive, and as a result the team does a lot of sponsoring in order to provide this equipment.
In order to make practice and games productive, the team has to have a collective knowledge on the purpose of each drill and exercise they execute. If the team is not on the same page in that respect than sessions can soon lose their importance and relevance, and become a waste of time. As far as people in roles, the buck starts with the coach, who is in charge of absolutely everything, from scholarships, training, planning, player guidance, and organization of events. Throughout the team, all of the players on the roster have a duty to respect the code of conduct and act in a way that brings positive reflection of the school. When the team travels on the road and plays in the local community, there is an individual responsibility to be a good leader and role model to aspiring children, and watching spectators. As far as secondary activities, there role as an intercollegiate athlete requires them to give back to the local community. The MSU-Billings mein's soccer team has taken disabled children to the fair, set up events for under-privileged children and coached young soccer players. This all helps spread the word of the soccer program, and more importantly allows people to become part of the environment the team live's in.
Obviously being an intercollegiate athlete is not all about soccer or anyother sport for that matter, the athletes also have the more important issue of education. As athlete they are given excused absences and allowed to catch up with classes, but this is still very difficult to do. The amount of information they miss in class puts them at a severe disadvantage to fellow students. Education can actually act as a very big interference at times, with the body really being tested by the strains of combining both events. The desired outcome is to excel in both areas, with the main aim obviously to prioritize education. The purpose of education is to prepare the student athletes for the real world and make them more marketable for potential employers. Soccer is really just an added luxury that will be played for the 4 years you attend college, unless you are a real special player.
The process of becoming an intercollegiate athlete is perhaps the most scrutinized process the athlete will ever endure. For example take an international athlete, the first step they must go through is to get all vaccinations up to the average American citizen’s level. After that the athlete must apply for a visa appointment. Once the visa is in place and the I-20 form is signed, the matter of becoming a intercollegiate athlete is complete and the wait to arrive is just beginning. The governing body at MSU-Billings is the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletics Association). Every year the requirements are looked at and reviewed, with the typical criteria for athletes including all of the following:
No Drug Use
Eligibility to play
Ability to show sportsmanship at all times
The list of rules and regulations are posted on the university web page and also the main NCAA webpage, so there is no excuse for breaking any of these rules.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Looking at the rules and regulations directly linked to soccer, they are built upon the basic worldwide principals of the English Football Association. The only way you can really be punished through playing is by fouling and ill discipline, with 5 yellow cards or 1 red card resulting in a 1 game ban. Rules are sometimes adapted and changed, but this is not done secretly, so all players across the country experience similar playing fields adding to fairer competition. The rules have to be abided by at all times and punishment is handed out at all times in which they are breached. Intercollegiate Athletes are well aware of the consequences of not complying with them. The burden carried by the average intercollegiate is very heavy, and it always will be. There is always someone looking at the athletes every move on and off the field, which leaves no room for error and false judgment. This is not limited to the classroom either, which obviously is a very important aspect and contributor to the burden. Signing the scholarship agreement can be compared to signing your work papers, if you fail to comply to the rules and standards, you will be cut off the team. This definitely restricts athletes from leading the average college students life, which we all know is not just reading books and studying. Sometimes this can be very frustrating, because at the end of the day college is meant to be fun at times also. When looking at the big picture the benefits of representing the college and participating in intercollegiate athletics outweigh the negatives. After asking fellow athletes, it is obvious there is slight frustration about the rules and standards which are required, there is also a general acceptance of that the privilege of participating in athletics requires sacrifices. Another juridic control is the use of drugs, which even though is illegal across the country has more prevalence to intercollegiate athletes. In this day and age drug use is not uncommon, people do it every day and we as a society are aware of this. Most people who do it get away with it because its so hard to prove without testing. This is the problem for athletes, who can randomly be tested at any time. Without trying to approve of drugs in anyway, this is just another example of how athletes personal life is much more of a burden than the average student.
The one aspect about intercollegiate sports that allows withdrawal is the schedule length. When your team is out of schedule you experience a huge withdrawal from it, which for some comes at a relief, others quite the opposite. The controls are lifted to a degree, obviously practices reflect that, and social activities increase sufficiently. I think the major difference between intercollegiate athletes in the intermountain-high prairie region compared to the mainstream is the rule about skiing. Across the nation skiing is definitely not an average past-time and as a result many colleges prohibit athletes from participating in this activity. In our environment in which we live, skiing is one of the most popular winter activities and our coach allows us to participate on the basis that we act responsibly. This example definitely reflects a bias towards people from this area, without being hugely juridic, it is quite possibly the only example that can be differed to the mainstream on the area of intercollegiate athletics.