What do you view as the biggest issue for college athletes?
Hughes: “I see a lot of guys who don’t have the opportunities that they need to go out and look for jobs or develop themselves for a career besides just being an athlete. I had teammates who didn’t even know how to fill out a checking deposit slip at the bank. … First of all, they have to pick a major they’re actually interested in. Some guys just pick a major because it’s easy. When they get done playing, they have this degree sitting there and they can’t do anything with it.
“I take myself, as an example. I went to Mississippi State, which is a big engineering school. I wanted to be an electrical engineer so I could help my grandfather out with his radio station. I felt like I wouldn’t have the right amount of time to study. I ended up majoring in history. I don’t really have many regrets. I love history, but there’s really not a whole lot you can do with history.”
Bramlett: “I think the biggest hurdle we have right now is mistrust from top to bottom. That’s something we have to work on where upper-level administrators are communicating with student-athletes and letting them know what are the issues and how they impact your welfare. But it comes back to us that we have to be advocates of our own cause and let people know we’re old enough and mature enough to understand what the issues are and voice how they impact us. We have to be unified in our voice. We have to have the responsibility that now we have this voice and we have to use this in the right way. The worst thing that could happen is have frustration exhibited.”
Marc: “A lot of hot-topic issues that the media decides to cover, like should student-athletes get paid, honestly isn’t a hot topic issue for student-athletes. The majority of us aren’t the superstar football or basketball players, so for us, I think it’s the opportunity to gain summer internships, winter internships or gain valuable work experience outside the competition season so we’re better prepared when our athletic careers are over. A lot of us feel like we’re struggling to be able to find that time to take control of our opportunities.” by J. Solomon