Daily Archives: November 22, 2008

“InsideLacrosse Blog LaxHerWay”: What Should “Lacrosse” Recruits Expect?


FROM “LaxHerWay” BLOG IN “INSIDELACROSSE”:

recruit“…A student athlete is a full time student with a full time job. Their season can run (by NCAA rules) 132 days a year, excluding days off. They are full-time students that also must (at the Division I level) endure 20 hours a week of practice in season (maximum by NCAA rules in the fall or spring, which is defined differently by each school)…”

“…By NCAA rules, teams must give a day off each 14 days, but that day can be any within a two week span. So, a student-athlete could get a day off and then go straight 13 days of playing/practicing, and then 13 more days before being off the last day of the second of the two week period…”

 “…I felt a great burden to perform in exchange for that opportunity for an education and a chance to play lacrosse. By the time I started thinking about it and asking the questions and wondering where I was going after graduation, it was too late. I was two years into a degree that really did not interest me, but it fit my practice schedule…”

http://blogs.insidelacrosse.com/2008/11/20/laxherway-what-should-recruits-expect/ 

A student athlete is a full time student with a full time job. Their season can run (by NCAA rules) 132 days a year, excluding days off. They are full-time students that also must (at the Division I level) endure 20 hours a week of practice in season (maximum by NCAA rules in the fall or spring, which is defined differently by each school). Yes, that is 20 hours of actual field time. In addition to that, you add time getting there, in the training room, the locker room, and the hours start mounting.

Out of season, when teams are not officially in fallball or the spring season, each athlete can practice up to eight hours per week, including running, lifting and individual sessions — a full-time job and they have to go to class.

Also, there aren’t a lot of days off. By NCAA rules, teams must give a day off each 14 days, but that day can be any within a two week span. So, a student-athlete could get a day off and then go straight 13 days of playing/practicing, and then 13 more days before being off the last day of the second of the two week period. That boils down to being a full-time student and then working after classes for 26 straight days.

For those athletes and families who are counting and look at these actual days, times and rules some might even realize that their very own program may need to look within itself and ponder whether they need to re-evaluate the definition of the “student-athlete.”

I wonder if, in the great uproar to grab that lacrosse scholarship, the actual student-athlete and her family realizes what it entitles her to other than that financial help. I wonder how many just follow along aimlessly not knowing their rights. Does anyone ever really read the NCAA Student-Athlete Handbook that the NCAA provides for free? Does anyone ever ask whether they are putting in too many hours?

And if you are counting and actually pondering this amazing amount of time spent on something that not only does not earn you credits, but other than coaching, really can’t get you a job, do you actually think that the NCAA has the best interest of the student-athlete at heart?

I know I never questioned. I know I never asked. I knew one thing. WIN. That was all that mattered. I knew I felt a great burden to perform in exchange for that opportunity for an education and a chance to play lacrosse. By the time I started thinking about it and asking the questions and wondering where I was going after graduation, it was too late. I was two years into a degree that really did not interest me, but it fit my practice schedule. I was stuck, because it was a small liberal arts school and not a larger university, so the offerings were a bit narrower. I worked hard. I earned ten varsity letters (three in field hockey, three in swimming and four in lacrosse). I went to almost all my early morning scheduled classes so my afternoon was free for practices and games and I held a part-time job.

I was a product of the system. It may not sound like it, but as a beneficiary of that system, I am a believer in it. But I would be smarter now; I would ask more questions. I would place my trust more carefully. I got into school because I was an athlete. I took a slot from someone that probably deserved to be there more than I did because I could play a game. I graduated with a degree and have worked hard ever since. I look at the game today and see the amount of stress it brings to all parties involved. I wonder if anyone really plays for fun any more. I know that whether I am coaching a tyker team, inner-city team or the U.S. Team, I strive to make the game fun. I strive to give the athlete the voice and keep the sidelines quieter. I have asked for trust in, and accountability to, each other because in my book these are the things we will carry forward. These are the things that will make us better people. These are the things that matter. These are the things that just might be worth the price of that scholarship. I hope so.

Sue Heether is a former goalie and All-American from Loyola College (’90) and World Cup Champion (’93, ‘97, ‘01). She is currently the Head Coach of the US Elite Team and President of Sports Her Way, Inc. To see all the women’s lacrosse stuff go to www.sportsherway.com