Special Selection

Photo by Alina Husain

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, last year in the United States, 7,963,535 students participated in athletics. Which means that an estimated 55% of high school students participate in athletics. With such a large amount of student athletes, more high schoolers are exposed to the tough schedules that they and CHS students alike, learn to deal with. But while some feel that having a tough schedule is just part of being a student athlete and learning to balance time is an important skill, others feel that receiving academic special treatment would be beneficial to their success as student athletes.

Academic special treatment in the case of student athletes is when athletes would receive special treatment like homework extensions, being able to take tests at a later time and more, all in the pursuit of accommodating their schedules. However, receiving such special treatment could potentially anger students in other extracurricular activities because they believe it undermines the work those particular students do in the extracurriculars they’re involved in.

For his part, Jack Muller, Cabinet member, men’s soccer player and senior, said he believes getting special treatment as a student athlete would undermine the work he does in other extracurriculars.

“I value my work in other extracurriculars as well, so something like (receiving special treatment) wouldn’t be fair,” Muller said.

Andrew Bacon, football player and sophomore said he also believes this.

“I do think that people would see (other extracurriculars) as less important,” Bacon said.

According to Muller, both sports and clubs require a lot of hard work like showing up for meetings, games, practice and events. The work even continues outside of school. There isn’t a student in one that works harder than one in the other.

“Sports is just another extracurricular, all students should be treated equally,” Muller said.

Still, dealing with pressures to do well in school and the added pressures to perform well in their sports, student athletes can struggle to balance responsibilities. The struggle to do so could be a reason why some feel student athletes deserve academic special treatment. Bacon said he believes special treatment isn’t something that athletes need.

“You don’t have to be involved in extracurricular activities, if it means you have too much on your plate then you have to drop something. School has to come first,” Bacon said.

Proponents of special treatment for student athletes argue that receiving extensions on assignments would ease the lives of students athletes and cause them less stress. But opponents say giving athletes an easy way out of their busy schedules won’t teach them anything.

Colin Altevogt, men’s cross-country coach and world language teacher, said he feels the same way.

“Part of being a student athlete is learning how to balance time, it’s about learning to balance all your responsibilities, that’s the most important part,” Altevogt said.

Time management is a skill many students struggle with and are constantly trying to improve on. Even adults struggle with time management at times. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 out of all employed people, 22 percent did all or some of their work at home. Opponents of special treatment for student athletes argue these habits can be prevented by learning how to balance athletics and school.

“Time management is huge, I’m always planning out weeks and days,” Muller said.

To help out his players with time management and completing assignments, Altevogt has spoken with his team about it.

“I haven’t noticed anything with my players, but we have talked about using SRT time wisely,” Altevogt said.

Muller acknowledged that special treatment would be nice but said he understands the value of time management.

“I’ve thought about (asking for special treatment), but I just have to manage my time well. It’s important to balance time because it’s a skill you can use in the future,” Muller said.

Muller, Bacon, and Altevogt all said athletes are better off learning how to manage time rather than receiving special treatment. For these athletes and coaches they said the skill of learning how to balance responsibilities is more important than receiving special treatment because of athletics.

“I don’t think they would deserve (special treatment),” “ because athletes should have the same academic standards as everyone else.” Muller said.

Photo by Alina Husain

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