Early registration vital for athletes

Division III student-athletes do not have access to the same priority registration privileges of Division I or Division II student-athletes.

Under the NCAA, Division I and Division II student-athletes have the opportunity to schedule classes before most of the student population so they can attend all practices and acquire all classes required to graduate. 

The NCAA does not allow Division III schools such as California Lutheran University to give priority registration to itsstudent-athletes making it very difficult for the student-athletes, coaches, professors and athletic departments.

Academics should be the priority for all student-athletes because sports will inevitably end at some point in every athlete’s career. Student-athletes cannot devote their best efforts to both academics and sports without the opportunity to schedule classes that work for the schedule of an athlete. Students will be able to form a better routine if they are able to go to class in the morning, go to practice in the afternoon and continue their studies at night. This maximizes the amount of time that student-athletes can spend on their studies outside of class.

“I like the concept of early registration because I was an athlete and it was great at the University of Arizona,” Debby Day, head softball coach at Cal Lutheran said. “There is not one day of practice that I have a full squad. However with that being said, I think Cal Lutheran does a great job of making sure students get their classes. I haven’t heard any complaints from my players about classes.”

Cal Lutheran has a high population of student-athletes and they make sure to try to accommodate all students and their schedules. However, there are many schools in Division III that struggle with the lack of priority registration. Many schools have lab classes that are only offered in the afternoon, making it nearly impossible to attend practices on those days of class. This causes a dysfunctional routine for student-athletes who are science majors.

Not only will Division III sports teams benefit on the field from priority registration, but student-athletes will also benefit in the classroom when they are comfortable with their schedules. Student-athletes are usually hard-working individuals who understand that their free time is limited while in their seasonal sport. Priority registration will eliminate the stress of finding classes that work in their schedule. Student-athletes will also be more likely to graduate on time.

Priority registration for athletes will allow more students to attend the school and will inevitably bring in more money for Division III universities. This will enhance the quality of the sports programs and the money can be used to improve other parts of the school. All of these factors combined will create a healthier academic environment for students.

Most people believe that athletes want priority registration only so they can completely focus on practices and games and never miss due to a poorly timed class. However it is quite the opposite as student-athletes focus on their studies as much as their seasonal sport. The assurance of getting classes at convenient times is an important component to their success on and off the playing field. This will simply improve the quality of life for the student-athlete and will increase their chances to succeed.

If student-athletes are performing well both on the field and in the classroom, it will reflect well on the university. This will allow more students to attend the school. For example Cal Lutheran has experienced a large increase in enrollment recently. This is due to their success in their athletic programs as they have already solidified themselves as a great academic university. Priority registration will improve the overall quality of the university by making lives for student-athletes more convenient.

Jeff Rebello
Staff Writer
Published November 18th, 2015