When you hear the term "student –athlete" so freely used by the NCAA and their member schools, we tend to shrug it off and generally think that the term is misused because collegiate sports tend to be all about money.
Instead of colleges and universities being used to obtain degrees in higher education; too many division I student-athletes use it as a minor league system to display their athletic talents.
Currently, the revenue making sports such as basketball and football have many crying that athletes participating in these sports should be getting paid.
I would like to see a monthly stipend for all athletes in division I collegiate sports but I wouldn’t hold my breath hoping for this to happen anytime soon.
Let’s talk about one of the current basketball players at Duke University that fits the term student-athlete so well: Todd Zafirovski who earned his way onto the team as a walk-on in December of 2009.
Most of the fans within the Duke family are aware of this young man but many outside of the family may not be.
Todd, like many collegiate athletes are aware that the percentages are very low that they will play at the next level in professional sports.
Instead of spending time complaining about there being a lack of playing time; they chose to use the system to obtain an education while participating in sports.
Todd is a graduate from Lake Forest, Illinois. He graduated in May 2013 with a degree in Psychology with a markets and management studies certificate. Currently, he is enrolled in the Fuqua Business School.
Todd expressed the excitement he felt once Coach K told him that he earned his athletic scholarship prior to the 2011-12, season:
“This was a dream come true, to come to Duke and get an education and play a game that I love!” Todd recently told me.
Todd gave this advice for success for those enrolled in school and desire to walk-on to their respective collegiate basketball teams, “Follow your dreams and stay focused towards your goals.”
I would say that is great advice coming from a true student-athlete.