Student Athletes And The National Collegiate Athletics Association

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Over 460,000 college students participate in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) in the United States but research on the cohort is quantitatively and qualitatively unsupportive of athletes on and off the field. Athletes make up a particularly stimulating population for mental health professionals as athletes and their teams operate within their own culture and systems allowing for mental health professionals to expand their innovative skills to deal with the multidimensional realm of “no pain, no gain”. There is stereotype threat that follows athletes, the idea that athletes are less motivated in the classroom and over privileged in comparison to their student peers. In turn, peers and professors alike create their own biases towards or against the benefit of the student athlete; not allowing make up assignments for class time missed due to collegiate athletic events or, on the other end of the spectrum, giving preferential treatment to athletes (in turn perpetuating the negative stereotype). Although research indicates this threat to be strong, research also indicates that the stereotype is seemingly unfounded. Student athletes are recruited into university less academically prepared and must devote upwards of 20 hours a week to their sport while the graduation rate for student athletes (51%) is virtually equal to that of non-student athletes (52%). (Fletcher)
Intercollegiate athletic departments provide services for student athletes to better assimilate

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