ESPNU Campus Call: Student-athlete panel
ESPN.com has invited student-athletes from a number of the top schools and programs across the country to tell us what they think about the issues facing NCAA athletes.
- HOW BIG AN ISSUE ARE STEROIDS?Each week, ESPN.com surveys the student-athletes on our panel to see how they feel about a topic that directly affects collegiate life.
How big of an issue are performance-enhancing drugs?
"In women's soccer, I have not heard of it as an issue whatsoever. As far as throughout college sports in general, I do think it is of great concern. I look at football and baseball players and I sympathize with them. They are trying to make it to the professional ranks. How are they supposed to get there if they do not do what the professionals are already doing? I think the NFL and MLB need to do a better job of keeping performance-enhancing drugs out of their leagues. Children idolize these athletes and I am hearing stories of middle schoolers experimenting with these dangerous drugs, and it just breaks my heart." -- Cori Alexander, Portland women's soccer
Alexander"In college hockey, performance enhancing drugs are a non-issue, at least here at BC. Guys use supplements, but they are all legal according to NCAA rules. I cannot speak for the rest of college sports -- or even college hockey for that matter -- because I simply don't know what other teams do. Hockey is a rough, contact sport that requires strength and endurance, so I wouldn't be surprised if there were some athletes who did use performance enhancers. The trainers help us understand what is legal and what isn't so that way we don't accidentally use a banned substance."
-- Cory Schneider, Boston College men's ice hockey"I don't think that performance enhancing drugs are a big problem in soccer. That's probably because if you take these drugs, they won't necessarily make you a better soccer player. There are other things that a soccer player needs to be successful, and I don't think any drug can perform miracles. In world soccer, I think there were maybe 20 cases last year in which drugs were found in players' systems after games. In other sports I think it is a bigger problem because the athletes are always looking for an edge. However, the new testing policy of the NCAA has cleaned this all up dramatically."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer"I don't think performance enhancing drugs are a big issue in college sports, but I don't feel like I have enough information to know for sure. But what I do know is it is not an issue on my team. There is not much said about the topic from coaches or trainers because there is an unspoken expectation to keep it a non-issue at Rice."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball"I think anytime you are trying to get an edge over an opponent you'll have people who step over the line. That being said, I don't think it is anywhere as prevalent on the college level as it is in professional sports, due to the monitoring methods. Our coaches and trainers do a great job educating us on the consequences. At the end of the day, hard work pays off."
-- Wesley Matthews, Marquette men's basketball"Performance enhancing drugs are not a huge concern in women's Division I basketball, so the coaches and trainers don't really mention it much. I've heard about athletes on other teams who use them. From what I've heard, the results are not worth the side effects."
-- Nicky Anosike, Tennessee women's basketball
PAST QUESTIONS Do you want to play more games? Fewer? "I think the length of the college baseball season is a good length, I wouldn't shorten or extend it. But what I wouldn't mind seeing is schools having more appropriate schedules to work around their academics -- which I think Rice does a great job of. I am referring to Rice's rule regarding play during finals week. Rice does not allow there to be any scheduled games or practices during our finals week in order to allow us to properly prepare for our tests and finish all of our class work. This is an example of how Rice shows its commitment to having true student/athletes as opposed to athlete/students. I have benefited a lot academically because of this rule."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball
Should student-athletes get paid? "I believe that giving scholarships is enough for student-athletes. However, I don't feel there are enough scholarships available. If every player on my soccer team had some sort of scholarship, then I would feel they were being compensated fairly. The amount of time that athletes put into their sport and the amount of money that universities profit is substantial. So when I see people on my team and other teams within SMU that have to pay a lot of money to participate, I think it is sad. But I don't think it would be a good idea to give an athlete money, because an 18- to 22-year-old with a lot of cash, in a college environment, is asking for trouble."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer
Should coaches be able to text message recruits? "I don't think coaches should be able to text message recruits at all. Text messaging is a very informal and unproductive way of communicating and I don't see how either side would benefit from communicating that way. I never received any text messages from coaches, and honestly, I'm glad that I didn't. Making phone calls and writing e-mails are much more effective forms of communication during the recruiting process."
-- Mike Leveille, Syracuse men's lacrosse
How are you preparing for life out of college? "I'm looking forward to life after college. Currently I'm applying for a job with an organization called Teach For America. They place new teachers in inner-city schools for a two-year commitment period. I've always had a passion for teaching, and I think this would be a great challenge and a lot of fun. Their goal of bringing up the general education levels of the schools is something I'm incredibly interested in, and I would love to help in any capacity. If that doesn't work out, I'll be looking at graduate schools and student teaching jobs with the hope of ultimately becoming a high school teacher."
-- Scott Smith, Cal football
MORE COLLEGE SPORTS HEADLINES
- Trio combine for first Bama no-hitter since '42
- NCAA considering football early signing period
- NCAA, conferences sued over scholarships
- Gay ND tennis player: Support overwhelming
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
ESPN.com: Help | Press | Advertise on ESPN.com | Sales Media Kit | Interest-Based Ads | Corrections | Contact Us | Site Map | Jobs at ESPN | Go.com