For many college students, going to college means partying, meeting new friends, the beginning of freedom, and getting an education. For college athletes, the playing field is different.
Some say that college athletes get a free ride for their education because they play a sport that represents the school. Many wonder how an athlete can pass a class if they are rarely there because of a game. The coaches insure that the students are in class as much as possible.
“We don’t want them to take classes on Friday’s because we travel or have games,” Head Men’s Basketball Coach Pete Pena said. “We leave on Thursday nights after their classes.”
Athletes travel two to three times a week for their games, but their class work never goes unforgotten or unnoticed.
“If they are going to miss a class, it’s the students responsibility to inform and remind their instructor ahead of time so any work they will miss can be prepared to take with them or do ahead of time so they don’t fall behind.” Pena said.
All PSC athletes have mandatory study halls two to six times a week that provides tutors for any help they may need when they miss class.
College athletes have to maintain a 2.0 GPA with 12 credit hours to play on a team. If they can’t maintain a 2.0 GPA, they are put on academic probation and are ineligible to play and are in jeopardy of losing their scholarship.
“Sometimes it can become hard,” Lady Pirate Basketball player Kyana Jacobs said.”Just make sure you manage your time and you should be fine.
The perks of being an athlete are receiving a scholarship that covers their tuition and room and board. They also receive a meal check every two weeks for food.
When it comes to freedom, PSC athletes don’t have it like the average college students. They live in the dorms on campus and have a curfew seven days a week.
Sanmi Ogunjobi, Pirates basketball player, says their curfew consists of 10 p.m. on week-days and 2 a.m. on week-ends.
PSC athletes have rules they must abide by in order to be a part of the team and live in the dorms; No drugs, alcohol, tobacco of any kind, weapons, fireworks, or pets.
Assistant Basketball Coach Joey Murdock conducts room and dorm checks to make sure they are following the rules.
“I think the rules are fair and keeps you safe and out of the streets.” Breann Hart, Softball Player, said.
Their schedules are planned for them from the early morning workouts, through classes, games, and study halls, evening workouts, and curfew.
They get a little free time of their own (but have to have coaches permission) to let their hair down and get loose. They get to see what it is that Pensacola has to offer from restaurants and movies to the beach and clubs, and just enjoying the night life.
“I’m just adapting to Florida right now and don’t know much about it. After a busy day I just want to sleep at night.” Ogunjobi said.