R.J. Curington


Sports fans praise athletic abilities and sensational games, especially during championship play. However, extreme criticism and judgment arises when athletes fall into financial and/or mental pitfalls after college. We all have heard horror stories of student-athletes being exploited by outside influences that result in suspensions to the student-athlete and even penalties on their athletic program. The exploitation of the nation’s top student-athletes can even begin in the early stages of high-school. These young student-athletes, who may not have the financial resources or the proper guidance, are often misled by self-interested outside sources. Dreams of financial stability are thought to be student-athletes’ only way to support their families and to escape the “trenches” of tough neighborhoods. With hard-work, significant time-commitment, and dedication to reach their dreams, athletic scholarships are earned to play their sport in college. The goal of becoming a professional athlete still persists and leads student-athletes to a path of mental and financial anguish. The hard-work to become a professional and the pressure to win competitions for their university with certain disparate collegiate regulations can take a toll on student-athletes’ mental health. Further, the focus on becoming a professional athlete takes time away from learning the tools needed to survive in an economically driven society, regardless of whether or not the student-athlete makes it to the professional leagues.

Student-athletes are ostensibly learning the subject matter taught in their courses for their respective majors. However, they are not necessarily learning the importance of financial management and mental health, which is an issue formed by strict bylaws that should be enforced by legislation, especially in a new era which allows student-athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness.