NCAA Sports – 1980 – HBO Inside Sports Special Feature – Barry Tompkins Highlights Student Athletes


student athlete is a participant in an organized competitive sport sponsored by the educational institution in which he or she is enrolled….as student-athletes are full time students as well as full time athletes.  Due to educational institutions being colleges….they offer athletic scholarships in various sports…..with many student athletes being compensated with scholarships to attend these institutions…. but these scholarships are not mandatory to be considered a student athlete.  In the United States, athletic scholarships are largely regulated by either the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) or the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA)….which sets minimum standards for both the individuals awarded the scholarships in terms of grade point averages and standardized test scores and for the institutions granting them….in terms of the form and value of the scholarships and the proportion of recipients who must ultimately earn degrees. Also students that are very talented may get scholarships for playing a particular sport. The term student-athlete was coined in 1964 by Walter Byers, the first-ever executive director of the NCAA, to counter attempts to require universities to pay workers’ compensation.   

When making the ultimate decision of choosing his or her college….student athletes may sign The National Letter of Intent…..which is an agreement between the athlete and their school they have chosen to certify that they are entering a four-year institution for the first time. In order to sign the school has to have offered financial aid and the student has met the institution’s admission requirements.  It is a belief that student athletes comprise one of the most diverse groups of people on our college campuses today….particularly with regard to factors such as personal history, academic preparedness, life goals and expectations, physical and psychological skills and developmental readiness.  Student athletes are likely to come into contact with important and influential alumni who can help them during their college years and most importantly after college. 

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