Currently, Arizona State University is one of the few schools making an effort toward supporting athletes’ in their post-playing careers. This includes helping them to complete their undergraduate degrees and offering advanced training.
Together, ASU Online and ASU’s Global Sport Institute have introduced several partnerships to help athletes continue their schooling, including a partnership with the NBA G League and the WNBA Players Association.
Kenneth Shropshire, CEO of the Global Sport Institute, believes that most major research universities should be creating programs to assist athletes in this way.
“The key to success will be a concierge service that provides these athletes with the guidance needed to do this work. But I am optimistic that the partnerships we are building will eventually provide the opportunity for many hundreds, if not thousands, of athletes to advance their education,” Shropshire said.
Shropshire also talks about the uneven level of assistance offered for athletes, in which universities either have assistance or they don’t. Currently, there is no NCAA mandating assistance that helps student athletes beyond their college days. Fortunately, what ASU is hoping to achieve will help build a better life for athletes after the field.
“There are numerous studies that illustrate how much better life is with a college degree than without. This better life includes healthier lifestyles, active citizenship and even smoking less. This is even more so the case for athletes who are the rare few that knowingly enter their first career knowing that at some point they will have to begin a second one,” Shropshire said.
With the continued help and efforts of ASU Online and the Global Sports Institute, ASU hopes to create more partnerships that bring athletes the support they need after their playing careers.