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The Majors of Student Athletes

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Many student athletes across the country will tell you they’re not at their school to “play school,” but instead they are at their respective university to simply perfect their craft and make it to the next level.

Though that may be the perception for many fans and followers of college athletics, that’s not necessarily the reality. After examining the data of many student-athletes on the University of Mississippi campus, it shows there are quite a variety of majors across all the different colleges on the university campus.

If you look at the graph, you will see there is a wide variety of majors among the 378 current student-athletes at Ole Miss.

For senior Taelor Rubin, who plays golf for the Rebels, her sport had no weight on her selection.

“My sport didn’t affect my choice,” Rubin said. “After looking at it, I just picked what I had interest in, and competing in college athletics really wasn’t much of a factor.”

Many fans or students on the outside looking in would think that you’ll see a lot of the easy majors among the student-athletes. When speaking with Sheila Padgett, Assistant Director of Academic Support at Ole Miss Athletics, the record was quickly set straight when it comes to the perception of easy majors.

“There are no easy majors at the University of Mississippi,” Padgett said. “The General Studies major is mistaken as an easy major that we recommend to our student-athletes so they can stay eligible. That is simply not true.”

“On occasion, a particular sport may trend towards one major or another due to the interests of the students, but it is not common,” Padgett added.

General Studies accounts for nearly 15% of the majors according to Padgett, while the next closest is undeclared at nearly 12%.

“General Studies allows a student to build their own degree from the areas they enjoy the most or need for future careers,” Padgett said. “Our student-athletes in General Studies have chosen combinations of 22 different minors to make up their majors.”

Some other issues that the public may not know about often arise among the student-athletes in regards to their eligibility. If they don’t meet certain requirements, they could be ruled ineligible by the NCAA.

“Some basic eligibility rules state that they must have completed 40% of their degree prior to the beginning of their 5th semester, 60% by the beginning of their 7th semester and 80% prior to their 9th semester,” Padgett said.

When asked about certain majors for certain sports, Padgett also squashed that thought.

“On occasion, a particular sport may trend towards one major or another due to the interests of the students, but it is not common,” she said. “They talk to each other and share what they like about their major, which could influence a teammate’s decision.”

Padgett went on to say that the large academics staff within Ole Miss Athletics go to great lengths to keep the majors at a wide variety. She stated they try to prevent large clusters of student-athletes all in one major.

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Categories: Miscelaneous
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