BY MELANIE DASILVA
When it comes to exercise, you often hear about how important it is to let your body recover. The reason for this is to prevent injury and to protect your well-being, so it is important to properly give your body time to rest.
This past August, the NCAA declared a rule change regarding their previously-given one-day-off-per-seven-day cycle during a team’s regular season. The NCAA has, however, always been one to gloat about how their student-athletes are guaranteed one day off in a seven-day span.
According to the NCAA website, the new rule change states as follows: “If an institution’s team participates in three contests or dates of competition in a seven-day period, an institution is not subject to the one-day-off-per-week requirement, provided the student-athletes do not engage in any countable athletically related activities for two days during either the preceding or the following week.”
This new rule change means athletes may have to work for up to 24 consecutive days without a single day off, assuming the athletes get their 2-day rest in the previous and following weeks. As a student-athlete at a Division I school I find this to be absolutely unacceptable because of how many things can go wrong.
From an academic standpoint, and also a physical needs standpoint, this is not a good change at all for student-athletes. Giving coaches the power to not give their athletes a day off in a 24-day period is dangerous. It will cause student-athletes to backslide in their classes and their health.
To start, it is already hard to manage both sports and school work. Student-athletes are already burnt out as it is with the high demands from school and athletics with only one guaranteed day off in a seven-day period. Taking away their day off from sports does not allow students to to devote a full day to just their studies. Having a day to focus only on school is extremely important for student-athletes to catch up on work.
In addition to school work, this rule change will also prevent student-athletes from focusing on their physical needs. Without any time to properly rest from the high demands of the sport they are devoted to, many more injuries may result. Your body needs rest days to prevent injury, help your muscles relax, and to keep your performance from crashing and burning.
Overworking physically and mentally also affects your sleep. The more you overwork your body, the worse your sleep-patterns will become, and sleep is important for your health and well-being.
Aside from physical needs, psychological needs are just as important to focus on. Mental fatigue is just as harmful as physical fatigue, which is why taking an off-day is seriously important. Having a day to focus on bettering yourself and what you need to keep yourself happy is extremely important for student-athletes.
In response to this article, many people will say things such as “collegiate sports are not for everyone if you can’t handle the new rule change” but I say shame on you if that is what you choose to believe.
It is sad that the NCAA agreed to change this ruling. They are ignoring student-athlete academic needs, physical health needs, and mental health needs. This will lead to student-athletes being afraid to speak up for themselves when they are tired and need a break. Since 24 consecutive days seems manageable for players to the NCAA, why should coaches or anyone else think otherwise? Shame on you NCAA.