Talking about Terrell Pryor on Michifan64's post got my pre-caffeinated brain working... Pryor has aspirations to be a dual-sport athlete on the national stage. But where is the reality check for him and other high school kids like him? Playing sports in college is not the same as it was 20+ years ago, and it is DEFINITELY not like it is in high school.
In Div. IA (sorry, I still have problems with the name change), the off-season is no longer-- now it's year-round conditioning, weight-training, etc. Being a student-athlete is really a full-time job. And being a dual-sport athlete in this division is exceptionally difficult at best, impossible at worst. It is slightly more achievable in the other divisions, if you're willing to forego the opportunity for the national spotlight, but it's still hard. And then there are these little annoying things called classes that the NCAA requires you to attend... you know, that STUDENT-athlete thing?
I'm not naive-- I know that A LOT of these kids coming in (and many parents, coaches, and fans) see college sports as solely as pre-NFL, pre-NBA, etc., and the education piece is just a minor annoyance on that path. But who tells these kids that less than 5% of them will actually go pro and that little annoying thing called a degree might come in handy??? (Especially this generation, the Millennials-- they deserve a trophy just for playing, they are superstars and don't have to rise through the ranks, and the world revolves around them. Just ask them. It's true because their parents told them so...)
Let me also say for the record that I know of and know quite a few academically-driven athletes. I've worked with several who graduated/are on track to graduate with a 3.75+ GPA. And I still hold a special place in my heart for Greg Smith, the former OSU NG who spoke, held doors, and was a genuinely good guy-- he had med school in his sights and is probably a doctor now. (I had SUCH a crush on him! Smart, tough, AND good-looking... ::SIGH:: but I digress...)
I guess my point is this: what is being/can be done to help these kids choose their paths based on real life rather than the fairy tale of what could be?
(Started rambling at the end-- gotta go get coffee now so I can be more coherent...)