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2003 AFCA PLAYER SURVEY INTRODUCTION PARTICIPANTS PLAYER PROFILE
Sample Characteristics Ethnic Origin Place of Upbringing Family Background ParentsÕ Education ParentsÕ Occupation Major Field of Study Reasons for Playing Attending College Regardless of Football Selecting a College Person of Greatest Influence Two-Sport Athletes
Importance of Graduating Academic Interest High School and College GPAÕs Socioeconomic Background GPA and Ethnic Origin SAT and ACT Scores Number of Test Sittings College Entrance Exams and Ethnic Origin When They Became Aware of NCAA Academic Requirements Who Told Them About NCAA Academic Standards Prepared for College
39 40 41 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 61 62
Type of Financial Aid Type of Aid by Ethnic Origin Necessary Living Expenses
Knowledge of the Rules The Recruiting Process Visiting an Institution In-Person Contacts Illegal Inducements Letter of Intent
Drug Use Alcohol Use Number of Times Tested (freshmen excluded) Players Are Well Informed About Perils of Drug Use Legal Energy Supplements
What Players Like Best About College Football Time Commitment to Football Improving The Game
TODAYÕS COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER IS A COLLEGE STUDENT APPENDIX A
2003 AFCA PLAYER SURVEY
During fall practice of 2002, the American Football Coaches Association conducted a player survey to obtain information from todayÕs football playing student-athlete. College football players were asked to provide information regarding a variety of topics that included their personal background, academic experience, personal habits, financial resources and opinions regarding college football. Survey forms were distributed to NCAA Division I-A member institutions. Players were assured anonymity and confidentiality in completing the questionnaire, and the results were subsequently compiled, cross-tabulated and analyzed. Responses were received from 5,474 football players from 66 teams and represent a cross-section of the Division I-A membership. The purpose of the survey is to provide information to college administrators and coaches that will help them to better understand the interests and perceptions of todayÕs college football player. In addition, the data will enable those involved with college football to give consideration to the position of the student-athlete in the development of legislation that impacts the sport. The AFCA also hopes to educate the public about todayÕs college football player. A special thanks to the staff of Pacey Economics Group of Boulder, Colorado for providing the statistical analysis and assistance with the interpretation of this data.
Copyright © American Football Coaches Association 2003 All Rights Reserved
Air Force Akron Alabama-Birmingham Alabama-Tuscaloosa Arizona Arkansas Army Auburn Ball State Baylor Boston College Central Florida Central Michigan Cincinnati East Carolina Florida State Georgia Georgia Tech Illinois Indiana Iowa Iowa State Louisiana-Lafayette Louisiana-Monroe Louisiana State Marshall Maryland Miami-Florida Miami-Ohio Michigan State Minnesota Mississippi State Missouri Nevada-Reno New Mexico North Carolina
Northern Illinois Northwestern Ohio Ohio State Oklahoma Oklahoma State Purdue Rice South Carolina Southern California Southern Methodist Southern Mississippi Stanford Temple Texas Texas A&M Texas Christian Troy State Tulane Tulsa UCLA Utah Utah State Vanderbilt Wake Forest Washington State West Virginia Western Michigan Wisconsin
Data generated from the AFCA Player Survey produced a profile of todayÕs college football player that includes such elements as academic preparation and achievement, ethnic origin, family situation, place of upbringing, parentÕs occupation, socio-economic background, financial needs, recruiting experience, use of drugs and alcohol, and suggestions for improving the game. The information found on the following pages provides an in-depth look at the profile of todayÕs college football player.
The AFCA Player Survey was conducted during the 2002 football season. Breakdown of respondents by year: First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year Fifth Year 25% 25% 23% 17% 10% 25% 13% 18% 13% 12% 12% 7%
Players also identified their playing status: New Player Red Shirt Substitute Starter this year Alternate unit Two year starter Three year starter
The position with the most three year starters is Offensive Line at 23%, compared to Defensive Line at 15%. Only 9% of Backs and 9% of Linebackers are three year starters. An evaluation of the respondents by football position provided the following:
Lineman (O) Linebacker Receiver Back Secondary Lineman (D) Specialists (K,P,KR)
19% 13% 17% 14% 17% 15% 5%
Transfer students accounted for 11.3% of the respondents, with 40% transfers from another four year college and 60% from a junior college.
Examination of respondents by ethnic origin reveals that 48% are Caucasian, 44% are African-American, 3% are multiple ethnicity, 2% Hispanic and 3% Native American, Asian or other. Analysis of racial and ethnic origin of players by position indicates a similar mix. Notable exceptions are the offensive line where 72% are Caucasian, the defensive secondary where 66% are African-American, and the defensive line with 53% African-Americans.
Hispanic Multipe Race/ Ethnicity 2% Native American Other 3% 0.7% 2% Asian 0.3%
African American 44%
PLACE OF UPBRINGING
High school football remains popular in small communities which in our survey incorporates the categories Òrural,Ó Òsmall cityÓ and Òmedium-size city.Ó The reason for this assumption is that all of the respondents participated in high school football before playing collegiately, and a majority of the players indicated that they were raised in non-metropolitan areas. Each of these areas listed above have populations of less than 100,000 and combined are responsible for 54% of the players surveyed, including 62% of the Caucasian players.
Home Town Size
Suburb of Very Large City 9% Very Large (500,000 or more) 12% Small (less than 50,000) 23% Rural 13%
Suburb of Large City 11%
Large (100,000 to 500,000) 14%
Medium (50,000 to 100,000) 18%
When asked what best described their family situation, 68% said they lived with two parents. Another 25% lived with their mother and 4% were raised by their father. There is a significant difference in family composition between Caucasians and African-Americans. Eighty-four percent of Caucasians lived with two parents and 15% lived with one parent. For African-Americans, 50% lived with two parents, 39% lived with their mother, 5% lived with their father and 6% resided with relatives or others. Few of the responding players are married. Only 2% are married and less than 1% are married with children.
Family Background (all raes)
Lived with Relative(s) Lived with 2% Lived with Father only Others 4% 1% Lived with Mother only 25% Lived with oth arents %
Lived with Mother only 11% Lived with Father only Lived with 4% Relative(s) 0.5% Lived with Others 0.5%
Lived with Both Parents 84%
Lived with Mother only 39% Lived with Father only 5% Lived with Relative(s) 4% Lived with Others 2%
Lived with Both Parents 50%
Lived with Mother only 27% Lived with Father only 4% Lived with Relative(s) 1% Lived with Others 2%
Lived with Both Parents 66%
High School GPA by Family Background
Percentage of Respondents
0% Lived with Both Parents Lived with Mother Only Lived with Father Only Lived with Relative(s) Lived with Others
2.0 to 2.5 2.5 to 3.0 3.0 to 3.5 3.5 to 4.0
1.5 to 2.0
The mean level of education attained by mothers of the respondents is 13 years, which translates to one year beyond high school. Ninety-three percent had completed high school, while 44% had attended college, including 3% that pursued a graduate degree. Fathers of respondents have a mean level of education of 14 years, or two years post-high school. Ninety-four percent have completed high school, while 47% have attended college, including 4% that pursued a graduate degree.
Occupations in management are the most popular among the playersÕ mothers (46%). This includes such pursuits as advertising, banking, and marketing. The next most prevalent occupational category is service (14%), including professions such as beautician, factory workers, and retail sales. Management occupations (28%) are also the most dominant among respondentsÕ fathers. Another 25% listed technical occupations as their fathersÕ profession, which include government work, law enforcement, real estate and insurance. A list of occupations as they are categorized for the player survey follows on the next page.
PROFESSION CATEGORIES USED FOR THE AFCA PLAYER SURVEY
Architect Astronaut Attorney Certified Public Accountant Chemist Dentist/Doctor Engineer Executive Lawyer Pharmacist Professor Coach Communication Fireman Forestry Government Insurance Law Enforcement Other Business Administration Other Medical Related Other Self-Employed Professional Golfer Real Estate Religion Related Sales (NOT RETAIL) Supervisor/Foreman Surveyor Technician Bank Teller Beautician Blacksmith Clerical Factory Worker Janitor/Maintenance NurseÕs Aid Restaurant Retail Sales TeacherÕs Aid 10
Accounting Advertising Banking Business Owner Buyer Computer Related Counselor Editor Educator Financial Advisor Librarian Manager Marketing Nurse President Social Worker Teacher Writer
Craft & Operatives
Animal Trainer Coal Miner Construction Entertainer Farming Heavy Equipment Operation Landscaper Mechanical/Machinist Military Operator Secretarial (Executive) Service Related Transportation Travel Agent Utility Employee Disabled Homemaker Retired
Homemaker/ Retired 6% Deceased 2% Professionals 13%
Craft & Operatives 20% Professionals/ Technician 25%
Homemaker/ Retired 12% Deceased 1% Professionals 3% Professionals/ Technician 13%
Craft & Operatives 11% Service 14%
MAJOR FIELD OF STUDY
Business is the most popular major among the student-athletes surveyed. Almost one-third (33%) listed this as their field of study. The next most popular major is social sciences (17%), followed by arts and humanities (14%). Another 6% are undecided. A categorized listing of majors used for the player survey can be found on the next page. [Note: The figures in parentheses indicate the percentage of student-athletes in the particular major who have earned a 3.0 or better GPA.]
Agriculture 1% (21%) Undecided 6% (23%) Engineering 5% (38%) Business 33% (35%)
Arts & Humanities 14% (26%)
Natural Sciences 9% (46%)
Communications 9% (20%) Physical Education 6% (22%)
Social Sciences 17% (16%)
A CATEGORIZATION OF MAJORS FOR THE AFCA PLAYER SURVEY
Accounting Administration Advertising Computer Science Economics Finance Hotel/Restaurant Management Human Resources Industrial Relations Management Marketing Mathematics Travel/Tourism
Animal Science Astronomy Biology Chemistry Mortuary Science Nutrition/Dietitian Pharmaceutical Physical Therapy Physics Physiology Pre-Med Rehabilitation Services Zoology
Anthropology Criminal Justice Government Human Development Philosophy Political Science Pre-Law Psychology Social Work Sociology Urban Planning
Arts and Humanities
Architecture/Drafting Commercial Arts Education English Fine Arts History Industrial Arts Languages Music Photography Religion
Broadcasting Journalism Public Relations Radio Television
REASONS FOR PLAYING
There is a public misconception that a majority of the players consider college football as a training ground for the pros. Players were asked what best describes why they play college football. ÒEnjoyment of the game and/or camaraderieÓ was cited by 57% of the respondents. Twelve percent responded that football provided a means to gain an education and 19% played college football in anticipation of an opportunity to play professionally.
Why Play College Football?
Respect for Other Coaches 5% 3% Camaraderie 8% Desire to Become a Coach 4% Enjoyment of Game 49% Pro Career 19%
Financial Aid 12%
ATTENDING COLLEGE REGARDLESS OF FOOTBALL
Eighty-three percent of the respondents said they would attend college if they did not play football, including 90% of the Caucasians and 76% of the African-Americans.
SELECTING A COLLEGE
Many factors contribute to a student-athleteÕs decision regarding which institution to attend to pursue an undergraduate degree. The AFCA Player Survey provided responses regarding what was important to the prospect in determining his selection of a college. Ninety-five percent of the respondents believed the football program was Òvery importantÓ or Òimportant,Ó while 92% said an institutionÕs academic reputation was very important or important. Ninety percent said the coach was very important or important. Next in order of importance were financial aid, location of the school, specific academic offerings and other athletes.
Factors in Choosing a College
(Respondents listed these factors as Òvery importantÓ or ÒimportantÓ in the following percentages) 100% 92% 90% 80% 73% 70% 60% 50% 40%
General Specific Academic Academic Reputation Offering Football Program Coaching Staff Other Athletes Attending Location Parent Guardian Influence Financial Aid
69% 66% 58%
PERSON OF GREATEST INFLUENCE
When asked what individual influenced them most in making their decision on which university to attend, 43% of Caucasians said it was their father. Among African-American players, the mother had the greatest influence, 32%, with the father at 25%.
Greatest Influence on Choice of College
Other 20% Alumni or Friend of University 1% College Coach 8% High School Coach 5% Peers 4% Other Relative 5% Mother 14%
Alumni or Friend of University 1% College Coach 5% High School Coach 8% Other 19% Mother 32%
Other Relative 7%
Other 22% Alumni or Friend of University 2% College Coach 7% High School Coach 8% Peers Other Relative 4% 4% Father 32% Mother 21%
Four percent of the college football players surveyed participated in other sports. The majority of two-sport athletes competed in track (57%) and baseball (13%).
We are all familiar with recent efforts to ensure the academic integrity of intercollegiate athletics. With this in mind, we asked the players a series of questions related to their academic experience in high school and college. The information on the following pages reflects the playersÕ responses.
IMPORTANCE OF GRADUATING
Earning a degree is foremost on the minds of todayÕs college football players. When asked the importance of graduating from college, 95% said Òvery important,Ó regardless of race or ethnicity.
Attending college seems to have the effect of increasing academic interest. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said they were Òmuch more interestedÓ or Òsomewhat more interestedÓ in academics since entering college. Twentyfive percent had Òabout the sameÓ amount of interest in academics.
Change in Academic Interest Since College
Much Less Interest 1% Somewhat Less Interest 5% Much More Interest 35%
About the Same Amount of Interest 25%
Somewhat More Interest 34%
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE GPAÕS
Player survey respondents were asked to indicate their high school and college grade point averages. Sixty percent reported high school GPAÕs between a 3.0 and a 4.0. Another 25% recorded high school GPAÕs of 2.5 to 3.0, and 12% were between a 2.0 and 2.5. The remaining 3% had GPAÕs of less than 2.0. It is more difficult to attain a high GPA at the collegiate level. Twenty-eight percent of the players reported college GPAÕs between 3.0 and 4.0, while 34% were between a 2.5 and 3.0. Thirty-four percent indicated GPAÕs between 2.0 and 2.5, and 4% were below a 2.0.
College Grade Point Average
40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 3.5 to 4.0 3.0 to 3.5 2.5 to 3.0 2.0 to 2.5 less than 2.0 7% 4% 21% 34% 34%
College GPA by Year in School
Percentage of Respondents
0% First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year Fifth Year
Year in School
2.0 to 2.5 2.5 to 3.0 3.0 to 3.5 3.5 to 4.0
1.5 to 2.0
Each player responding to the survey is assigned a socioeconomic description based on his parentsÕ education and occupation. The categories include upper, upper-middle, middle, lower middle, and lower. The survey indicates that an individualÕs socioeconomic circumstances can have an influence on high school and college GPA and SAT and ACT test scores.
Upper 14% Lower 20%
Upper-Middle 18% Lower-Middle 22% Middle 26%
Upper 17% Lower 19%
Lower-Middle 21% Middle 25%
GPA BY SOCIOECONOMIC CLASSIFICATION
High School GPA by Socioeconomic Background
Socioeconomic Background Upper Upper-Middle Middle Lower-Middle Lower Percentage of Respondents with 3.0 G.P.A. or better 72% 66% 66% 61% 53% Percentage of Respondents with G.P.A between 2.0 and 2.5 8% 10% 11% 12% 15%
College GPA by Socioeconomic Background
Socioeconomic Background Upper Upper-Middle Middle Lower-Middle Lower 3.0 or better 37% 33% 30% 28% 22% 2.5 to 3.0 34% 31% 37% 32% 37% 2.0 to 2.5 25% 32% 30% 35% 36% Less than 2.0 4% 4% 3% 5% 5%
TEST SCORES BY SOCIOECONOMIC CLASSIFICATION
SAT Scores by Socioeconomic Background
Socioeconomic Background Upper Upper-Middle Middle Lower-Middle Lower Percentage of Respondents with SAT of better than 1100 43% 31% 30% 23% 17% Percentage of Respondents with SAT of 860 or less 9% 15% 14% 19% 22%
ACT Scores by Socioeconomic Background
Socioeconomic Background Upper Upper-Middle Middle Lower-Middle Lower Percentage of Respondents with 3.0 G.P.A. or better 43% 32% 36% 24% 24% Percentage of Respondents with G.P.A between 2.0 and 2.5 24% 36% 33% 37% 43%
GPA AND ETHNIC ORIGIN
Analysis of college GPAÕs with regard to the student-athleteÕs ethnic origin suggests that Caucasians registered higher averages than African-Americans. We analyzed the highest group Ð players earning GPAÕs of 3.0 or better and those between 2.0 and 2.5. Forty-one percent of Caucasian players and 14% of African-Americans earned a GPA of 3.0 or better. A look at the players earning lower GPAÕs reveals 25% of Caucasian players and 53% of AfricanAmerican players registered a 2.5 GPA or less. The relationship was similar for high school GPAÕs. Respondents from a two-parent family background registered a higher high school and college GPA than those who lived with one parent or with others.
Percentage of Caucasians 41% 34% 22% 3% Percentage of African-Americans 14% 33% 47% 6%
GPA > 3.0 2.5 to 3.0 2.0 to 2.5 < 2.0
Total 28% 34% 34% 4%
HIGH SCHOOL GPA
Percentage of Caucasians 74% 17% 8% 1% Percentage of African-Americans 45% 33% 19% 3%
GPA > 3.0 2.5 to 3.0 2.0 to 2.5 < 2.0
Total 60% 25% 13% 2%
SAT AND ACT SCORES
Since the NCAA established minimum academic requirements, both ACT and SAT test scores have been utilized to determine initial eligibility. The survey reveals that 90% of the respondents recorded 68 or better on the ACT and 94% scored 820 or better on the SAT.
819 and below 6%
820 to 860 12% 861 to 930 16%
1101 and above 26%
1011 to 1100 18%
931 to 1010 22%
79 or above 29%
67 or below 10%
68 to 71 28%
72 to 78 33%
NUMBER OF TEST SITTINGS
Forty-one percent of the players took the ACT or SAT twice. Thirty percent took the test once and 29% had three or more attempts at one of the exams.
Times Taken SAT or ACT
One Time 30%
3 or more times 29%
Two Times 41%
COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS AND ETHNIC ORIGIN
Analysis of ACT and SAT scores in relation to a playerÕs ethnic origin reveals that a greater percentage of Caucasians earned higher scores than did African-Americans. Forty-one percent of Caucasian players scored 1101 or higher on the SAT. Two percent of Caucasian players and 11% of African-American players recorded an SAT score of 819 or below. Also, 4% of Caucasian players and 21% of African-American players scored between 820 and 860. The numbers were similar for student-athletes taking the ACT.
ACT TEST SCORES
Percentage of Caucasians 43% 34% 19% 4% Percentage of African-Americans 16% 32% 37% 15%
Score 79 and above 72 to 78 68 to 71 67 or below
Total 29% 33% 28% 10%
SAT TEST SCORES
Percentage of Caucasians 41% 23% 20% 10% 4% 2% Percentage of African-Americans 11% 12% 24% 21% 21% 11%
Score 1101 and above 1011 to 1100 931 to 1010 861 to 930 820 to 860 819 and below
Total 26% 18% 22% 16% 12% 6%
WHEN THEY BECAME AWARE OF NCAA ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
Since the inception of Proposition 48 in 1986, there have been significant efforts to inform high school students as early as possible of the academic standards required to participate in intercollegiate sports. When asked when they first became aware of the NCAA requirements, 38% said during their junior year in high school. Twenty-four percent learned of the requirements during their sophomore year, 20% as seniors, and 18% were informed during their freshman year.
High School Year That Players Became Aware of NCAA Requirements
45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Freshman Year Sophomore Year Junior Year Senior Year 18% 24% 20% 38%
WHO T OLD THEM ABOUT NCAA ACADEMIC STANDARDS
It appears that high school coaches are the most effective source for informing players about NCAA academic requirements needed to participate in intercollegiate athletics. When asked who first told them about NCAA academic requirements for financial aid and eligibility, 38% of the players said their high school coach. High school guidance counselors informed 34% of the respondents about academic standards. Another 12% learned about the requirements from their parents, while 12% were informed by a college coach and 4% learned from other sources.
PREPARED FOR COLLEGE
Are high schools doing a good job of preparing their students for college? Eighty-three percent of the players believed that they were prepared Òto a large degreeÓ or Òsomewhat preparedÓ for the academic challenges encountered in college. Fourteen percent said they had Òvery littleÓ preparation, while 3% said they were prepared Òalmost not at all.Ó
Quality of Academic Preparation (all races)
Almost Not at All 3%
Very Little 14%
To a Large Degree 37%
PREPARED FOR COLLEGE
Almost Not at All 2% To a Large Degree 42% Very Little 12%
Almost Not at All 4% To a Large Degree 31% Very Little 15%
Almost Not at All 4% Very Little 13% To a Large Degree 37% Somewhat 46%
Financial integrity is another issue facing college athletics today. Where does the student-athlete stand in terms of the financial aspects of college football? The information on the following pages provides a general profile of todayÕs college football player and his financial situation.
TYPE OF FINANCIAL AID
Seventy-four percent of the players received a full athletic grant-in-aid, which includes tuition, books and room and board. Twenty-two percent received no aid, while 3% were on partial grants.
Form of Financial Assistance
No Aid 22% Tuition Waiver 1% Partial 3% Full Athletic 74%
TYPE OF AID BY ETHNIC ORIGIN
Observation of the type of aid received by ethnic origin reveals that 64% of Caucasian players and 85% of African-American players received a full athletic grant-in-aid. Thirty-two percent of Caucasian players and 11% of African-American players are not receiving athletic aid.
Form of Financial Assistance
No Aid 32% Full Athletic 64%
Tuition Waiver 1% Partial 3%
Tuition Waiver 1% Partial 3% No Aid 11%
Full Athletic 85%
No Aid 20% Tuition Waiver 1% Partial 4%
Full Athletic 75%
NECESSARY LIVING EXPENSES
NCAA regulations stipulate that a maximum grant-in-aid may consist of room, board, books, tuition and mandatory fees. For those that qualify, additional financial assistance is available through a Pell Grant. With that in mind, we asked the players what amount of additional money they estimated was required on a per-month basis to meet necessary living expenses while attending college. Fifty-nine percent of the players on a full athletic grant said $200 or more per month, while 19% indicated between $151 to $200. Eleven percent would like between $101 and $150, and 11% would be satisfied with $100 or less.
Estimated Monthly Living Expenses (For those on full athletic scholarship)
$0 to $50 6% $51 to $100 5% $101 tp $150 11%
More than $200 59% $151 to $200 19%
The American Football Coaches Association has made recruiting one of the foremost issues on its agenda. AFCA sponsored recruiting seminars have been successful in educating coaches about NCAA rules pertaining to recruiting. The following pages contain information about experiences during the recruiting process.
KNOWLEDGE OF THE RULES
Colleges are working to inform those who want to play college football that athletes must understand recruiting rules as established by the NCAA. Seventy percent of the players indicated that they had a Òvery good knowledgeÓ (21%) or Ògood knowledgeÓ (39%) of the rules and regulations that pertain to them as prospective student-athletes.
THE RECRUITING PROCESS
How actively was a student-athlete recruited? Nearly three-quarters of the players indicated that they were Òvery activelyÓ (44%) or ÒactivelyÓ (27%) recruited.
Level of Recruitment
Minimally 9% No Effort 7%
Very Actively 44%
VISITING AN INSTITUTION
Fourteen percent of the players did not receive an expense-paid trip during the recruiting process, while 30% received one paid visit. A large number of prospective college football players visited institutions at their own expense. Sixty-one percent paid for one or more visits at their own expense.
Recruiting Visits Paid for by Institution
Five Visits 6% Four Visits 9% No Visits 14%
Three Visits 18% One Visit 30%
Two Visits 23%
The study attempted to ascertain the number of institutions that made inperson contacts by coaches, excluding telephone calls and written communications, during the recruiting process.
Recruiting Visits Paid for by Institution
Six 6% Five 12% Seven 5% Eight or More 32%
Four 10% None 6% Two 10% One 6%
Of particular interest is the fact that 97% of the players surveyed reported that they had not received any illegal inducements during the recruiting process.
LETTER OF INTENT
Coaches have discussed the possibility of developing an early signing date for football. Those players on aid were asked if they would have signed a National Letter of Intent in December, rather than wait until February. Seventy percent responded Òno,Ó while 30% would have signed an early letter.
It appears that many of todayÕs college football players are saying ÒnoÓ to drugs. AFCA Player Survey respondents were asked a series of personal questions.
AFCA Player Survey respondents were asked if they had used drugs (nonalcohol) since entering college and 90% said they had not used drugs since attending college. Of the 10% who indicated they had used drugs since attending college, a significant majority (91%) had used marijuana, whereas a minimal number of respondents had indicated use of other drugs including steroids.
Players were asked a series of questions regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Two-thirds of the respondents indicated that they drink alcoholic beverages. Of those that had consumed alcoholic beverages, 79% did not drink regularly, while 21% indicated they did. Beer was the preferred beverage (85%) of the respondents.
NUMBER OF TIMES TESTED (freshmen excluded)
The NCAA conducts a random drug-testing program for all its national championships and year-round testing of Division I football players. In addition, the institutions that participated in the survey have their own drugtesting programs. According to the AFCA Player Survey, 82% of the respondents have been tested for drugs. Ten percent of the players have undergone drug testing 10 or more times, 21% have been tested five to nine times, and 51% have been tested one to four times. The remaining 18%, basically first year players, have not been tested.
PLAYERS ARE WELL INFORMED ABOUT PERILS OF DRUG USE
A majority of the players surveyed (88%) believed that the institution they are attending is making a serious attempt to inform them about the hazards of using drugs, including alcohol.
LEGAL ENERGY SUPPLEMENTS
The respondents were asked if they used legal energy supplements. A majority (55%) indicated they do not use supplements, 45% responded affirmatively.
AFCA Player Survey respondents were asked a series of questions concerning their opinions and perceptions of college football.
WHAT PLAYERS LIKE BEST ABOUT COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Players were asked to express in their own words what they liked best about college football and what benefits they have gained. Seventy-four percent indicated that Òplaying the gameÓ was Ònumber one.Ó Included in this group were such answers as Òcompetitive challenge,Ó Òplaying the big game,Ó Òexcitement and pageantryÓ and Òthrill of winning.Ó Another 16% appreciated the camaraderie and team atmosphere. The remaining 10% cited Òpersonal reasonsÓ. As far as benefits are concerned, 33% said that Òfinancial aid for educationÓ is the greatest advantage from playing college football. Another 35% said they had learned to be responsible and included such answers as Òdiscipline,Ó Òwork ethicÓ and Òtime management.Ó Ten percent gained from meeting new people and becoming part of a team, 12% matured as result of the experience, and 10% cited personal reasons.
Benefits of College Football
Friends 10% Maturity 12% Personal 10%
TIME COMMITMENT T O FOOTBALL
Players (not including freshmen) were asked about the time they spent on football during the season and in the spring.
TIME SPENT ON FOOTBALL
Time Spent on Football in Season
(First Year Players Excluded) 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 15 to 19 Hours per Week 20 to 25 Hours per Week 26 to 30 Hours per Week More Than 30 Hours per Week 12% 20% 28% 40%
Time Spent on Football in Spring
(First Year Players Excluded) 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2 to 4 Hours per Week 5 to 8 Hours per Week 9 to 15 Hours per Week Other 2% 18% 8%
IMPROVING THE GAME
Players were asked to advance suggestions for improving college football for the athletes. Sixty-two percent of those responding recommended more financial support, with many indicating that it was difficult to live on the money provided through their scholarships. Thirty percent suggested that more personal time would be appreciated. The remaining responses advanced proposals for fewer regulations, more opportunities for walk-ons and less commercialism.
Suggestions for Improvement
More Personal Time 30%
More Financial Support 62%
T ODAYÕS COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER IS A COLLEGE STUDENT
The college football player is bigger, faster and stronger than most, but he is a regular college student. TodayÕs player enjoys the game, believes in the importance of education, is an average student and could use a little more spending money. Simply stated, he is not much different than other young men his age. The media and public often stereotype the college football player in unflattering terms. While our survey suggests that this is not true, changing the publicÕs perception is a difficult job. One way to achieve this is to do a better job of presenting the team as individual players. Hopefully, the information found in the AFCA Player Survey can be of assistance. The other objective of this study is to familiarize administrators and coaches about the athlete. We hope that the data gleaned from the survey will aid decision-makers in the development of legislation that will be productive for college football players, both today and tomorrow.
The College Football Association conducted football player surveys from among its membership in 1996, 1991, 1986 and 1980. The CFA surveys included approximately 3,000 players and more than 50 teams that were representative of the membership. A comparison of the responses from the 2002 AFCA survey of 5,474 athletes from 66 teams and previous surveys indicates similar responses in most areas, yet changes in others. Those responding in terms of class standing were basically the same in all four surveys (e.g., 25% of the respondents in three of the surveys were first year players; 17% of the 2002 respondents, 18% of the 1996 respondents, 14% of the 1991 respondents and 19% of the 1986 respondents were fourth year players).
The following comparisons may be of interest: 1. Place of upbringing: 2002 Ð 54% from communities with less than 100,000 population 1996 Ð 55% from communities with less than 100,000 population 1991 Ð 55% from communities with less than 100,000 population 1986 Ð 57% from communities with less than 100,000 population Marital status: 2002 Ð 98% single, 2% married 1996 Ð 97% single, 3% married 1991 Ð 97% single, 3% married 1986 Ð 96% single, 4% married
Ethnic origin: 2002 Ð 48% Caucasian, 44% African-American, 3% multiple ethnicity, 5% other 1996 Ð 45% Caucasian, 50% African-American, 5% other 1991 Ð 52% Caucasian, 43% African-American, 5% other 1986 Ð 60% Caucasian, 40% non-Caucasian Major field of study: 2002 Ð 32% business, 15% social sciences, 13% arts & humanities, 6% physical education 1996 Ð 32% business, 19% social sciences, 11% arts & humanities, 6% physical education 1991 Ð 31% business, 20% social sciences, 11% arts & humanities, 7% physical education 1986 Ð 34% business, 14% social sciences, 9.5% physical education Why play college football: 2002 Ð 60% enjoyment of the game, 15% necessity of aid for education, 19% opportunity for a professional career 1996 Ð 66% enjoyment of the game, 15% necessity of aid for education, 15% opportunity for a professional career 1991 Ð 65% enjoyment of the game, 20% necessity of aid for education, 11% opportunity for professional career 1986 Ð 72% enjoyment of the game, 16% necessity of aid for education, 9% opportunity for a professional career Socioeconomic status of playerÕs family: 2002 Ð 14% upper, 18% upper middle, 26% middle, 22% lower middle, 20% lower 1996 Ð 3% upper, 31% upper middle, 40% middle, 19% lower middle, 7% lower 1991 Ð 14% upper, 28% upper middle, 30% middle, 16% lower middle, 12% lower 1986 Ð 12% upper, 16% upper middle, 39% middle, 26% lower middle, 7% lower
Percentage of players who would have attended college without playing football: 2002 Ð 83% 1996 Ð 84% 1991 Ð 84% 1986 Ð 79% Type of financial aid: 2002 Ð 75% full aid, 22% no aid 1996 Ð 76% full aid, 21% no aid 1991 Ð 81% full aid, 17% no aid 1986 Ð 83% full aid, 14% no aid [Note: In 2002, 33% of Caucasian players and 14% of AfricanAmerican players were not receiving aid, compared to 31% of Caucasian and 11% of African-American players in 1996 who were not on aid. In 1986, 19% of Caucasian and 8% of African-American players were not receiving athletic aid. It is important to remember that the number of allowable grants-in-aid for football has been reduced since 1986.]
Necessary living expenses: 2002 Ð 62% of the respondents said that $200 or more per month was required to meet expenses while attending college 1996 Ð 52% responded that $200 or more per month was required to meet expenses while attending college 1991 Ð 37% responded that $200 or more per month was required to meet expenses while attending college 1986 Ð 47% responded that $100 or more per month was required to meet expenses while attending college
Recruiting: 2002 Ð 71% indicated they were actively recruited 1996 Ð 71% indicated they were actively recruited 1991 Ð 73% indicated they were actively recruited 1986 Ð 75% indicated they were actively recruited Expense paid trips during recruiting process: 2002 Ð 6% 5 visits, 9% 4 visits, 18% 3 visits, 23% 2 visits, 30% one visit, 14% none 1996 Ð 10% 5 visits, 14% 4 visits, 23% 3 visits, 22% 2 visits, 20% one visit, 11% none 1991 Ð 16% 5 visits, 18% 4 visits, 24% 3 visits 18% 2 visits, 14% one visit, 10% none 1986 Ð 19% 5 visits, 17% 4 visits, 24% 3 visits, 17% 2 visits, 12% one visit, 10% none College in person contacts during the recruiting process: 2002 Ð 57% 0 to 5 contacts, 25% 6 to 10 contacts, 18% 11 or more contacts 1996 Ð 47% 0 to 5 contacts, 27% 6 to 10 contacts, 18% 11 or more contacts 1991 Ð 47% 0 to 5 contacts, 28% 6 to 10 contacts, 25% 11 or more contacts 1986 Ð 47% 0 to 5 contacts, 27% 6 to 10 contacts, 22% 11 or more contacts Multi-sport athletes: 2002 Ð 96% football only, 4% multi-sport athletes 1996 Ð 93% football only, 7% multi-sport athletes 1991 Ð 94% football only, 6% multi-sport athletes 1986 Ð 95% football only, 5% multi-sport athletes
Use of drugs: 2002 Ð 10% indicated they had used drugs while in college 1996 Ð 12% indicated they had used drugs while in college 1991 Ð 10% indicated they had used drugs while in college [Note: Of those who indicated that they had used drugs while attending college, a significant majority had used marijuana.]
All four surveys devoted a considerable number of questions to academic preparation and achievement. Specific comparisons between the surveys reveal a strong correlation between SAT and ACT test scores and high school and college grade point averages. Also, a playerÕs family situation (two parents) and socio-economic status have a significant impact upon testing performance and academic achievement.
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