When college football's bowl season rolls around, it's hard to imagine anyone thinking about exams and term papers. So many football fans are glued to the big-time Bowl Championship Series games and their mouth-watering matchups that the whole these-guys-are-still-in-college thing slips through the mental cracks of society. But for many of the student-athletes on the 68 teams playing in bowl games this year, the middle of December is a time for studying, writing papers, taking exams, and more studying. And despite what gets covered in the media, there are actually scores of big-time college football players who are making big splashes in the classrooms at their universities.
For Tebow and other players on the Academic All-America team, schoolwork is just like football. And treating it as such has allowed players on some of the best teams in America--Texas and
"I'm not going to be the brightest kid in my class," says Tebow, who is on the brink of graduation after three years at
The hard work paid off and has him one class away from finishing a bachelor's degree in family, youth, and communication studies at one of the best universities in the nation. Tebow says he'd like to use his degree--and the out-of-classroom experience that came with earning it--to work with nonprofit organizations as soon as he graduates from school. Things like starting orphanages and shelters for children are exactly the kind of work Tebow would like to do. Being in the
For successful student-athletes like Tebow, time management and dedication are key.
"I think [student-athletes] tap into the same characteristics that made them successful athletes," Gutkind says. "Most kids who are recruited to play Division I athletics already have learned how to adjust throughout the course of the season."
A lot of credit goes to the foundation student-athletes have built over the years. Tebow talks about his parents as his biggest supporters for his work in the classroom.
Success in academics starts "at the family level," Peek says. "You have to be accountable. . . . My dad always says that to be a smart and well-respected individual is the highest honor, and I believe that. . . . Football is such a pleasure to play, but it could be a momentary thing for you. At any second, your career could be over. That's why you put in the hard work in the classroom."
And that's why players have to make room for academics, even in bowl season. After all, the "student" in student-athlete comes first.
First Team Academic All-Americans Playing in Bowl Games
Which bowlbound teams had players make the 24-member Academic All-America first team? Here's a quick peek:
Turns out some schools lose boatloads of money during bowl season. The biggest loss of money comes when schools purchase tickets in bulk for an upcoming bowl, only to find limited fan interest in attending
We've traveled down this road before, but here we go again. The Big Ten wants to expand to 12 teams, and it will explore its options over the next 12 to 18 months
Tiger's Woeful Tales: Tiger Woods Scandal
The accident occurred as the tabloid and celebrity media were reporting the first of what has become more than a dozen reported mistresses with whom Woods has allegedly had relations during his marriage. Comedians are having a field day. On a Top Ten list of ways Woods could improve his image, David Letterman suggested, 'Release list of women he did not have sex with.'
What Was Tiger Thinking?: Tiger Woods Scandal
Rejected first draft of a statement by Tiger Woods prepared for his Web site.
Sports coaches, particularly in football, hold a unique place in society. They become surrogate fathers, teachers, and role models. Hollywood often caricatures them as the demideities of small-town America. Mike Ayers is better than the average coach. He's led the Wofford team for the past 21 seasons.
One thing that makes college basketball so enjoyable, yet at the same time so challenging, is that each year the team is different. There are new players, and you may ask the student-athletes who return from the previous season to play new roles. Team chemistry changes, and the attitudes and relationships that ebb and flow from wins and losses always take on a new life. The constant is a need for outstanding leadership
(c) M. Ryder
Be Grateful for Tiger Woods Affair -- It Reminds Us He's Human
John A. Farrell
Is Tiger conceited? Yup. But no more so than any other preternatural talent I have met in a career of chronicling athletes, actors, politicians, and other public figures. Fame has a terrifyingly corrosive effect on the soul.
Tiger's Troubles: Tiger Woods Scandal
Hero worship is the problem, not the heroes. As a human being, chances are Tiger Woods is no better than whoever is sitting in the next room right now. If Tiger goes on to break every record in the book of golf, that's one thing. The mistake is thinking that excellence in any field, reveals anything about one's character
(c) 2009 U.S. News & World Report