The NCAA recently released a survey of student athletes designed by the SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee), taking a look at time commitments of student athletes.
Football student athletes had one of the lowest response rates of any of the sports at 7%, but with over 2,000 participants, some of the findings were quite interesting.
The biggest thing that I think the coaching profession can take from this study is that student athletes didn't feel like many coaches were completely honest with them about the time demands that football required during the the course of the recruiting process. 43% of FBS athletes that were recruited said that their time demands are more than what coaches told them during the recruiting process, while 25% of FCS student athletes communicated the same sentiment.
Also among the more interesting findings were that 94% of FCS players, and 91% of FBS players would support a "no activity period" at the end of their competitive seasons, and both groups of players felt that 2 weeks of no activity would be the best course of action.
Both FBS and FCS players say that they spend about 6.3 hours dedicated to their sport during a typical day of competition, and that wasn't even high enough to be in the top four. Fencing (8.6 hours per day), wrestling (8.2), and golf (8.0) took the top 4 spots, and around 45% of guys at each level thought that they should get 2 days off during the season.
Just under half of both football and men's basketball players were in support of Countable Athletically Related Activities (CARA) being lifted, but only 13% support moving those activities above the current limit of 20 hours a week.
Other notable findings from the survey include:
- 31% of FBS players polled felt that November was the month was was most difficult for them to manage their time. Interestingly, a slightly higher number of FCS players (37%) felt that October was the most difficult month to manage their time.
- 15% of FBS and FCS student athletes said, had they been more aware of the time demands in their sport, they would not have chosen to go Division I
- Right around 70% of recruited student athletes believe that incoming players should be required to attend an orientation session that addresses time demands
- 43% of student athletes playing football at the Division I level felt that the issue is not with time demands, but rather with lack of time management skills
- Nearly 70% of Division I football players felt that new student athletes should be required to attend a workshop on time management