Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman spoke on Thursday about the time constraints college athletes face in trying to balance sports and class work.
Sherman was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 draft after playing at Stanford, where he earned a degree in communications.
The two-time Pro Bowler drew national attention for an on-camera interview he gave following the Seahawks' victory over the San Francisco 49ers in last year's NFC Championship game and has been outspoken on several topics, including the Deflategate controversy.
Sherman explained the difficulty college athletes face in navigating schedules that include practices, games and weightlifting.
"No, I don’t think college athletes are given enough time to really take advantage of the free education that they’re given, and it’s frustrating because a lot of people get upset with student-athletes and say they’re not focused on school and they’re not taking advantage of the opportunity they’re given," Sherman said at media availability on Thursday in the lead up to Super Bowl XLIX. "I would love for a regular student to have a student-athlete’s schedule during the season for just one quarter or one semester and show me how you balance that.
"Show me how you would schedule your classes when you can’t schedule classes from 2-to-6 o’clock on any given day. Show me how you’re going to get all your work done when after you get out at 7:30 or so, you’ve got a test the next day, you’re dead tired from practice and you still have to study just as hard as everybody else every day and get all the same work done. Most of these kids are done with school, done with class by 3 o’clock, you’ve got the rest of the day to do as you please. You’re may spend a few hours studying, then you may spend a few hours at the library checking out books and doing casual reading, and then you may go hang out with friends and have a coffee. When you’re a student-athlete, you don’t have that kind of time."
Sherman also talked about the resentment "people" harbor toward college athletes asking for money.
"They are upset when a student-athlete says they need a little cash," he said. "Well, I can tell you from experience, I had negative-40 bucks in my account. Usually my account was in the negative more time than it was in the positive. You’ve got to make decisions on whether you get gas for your car or whether you get a meal for the day. You’ve got one of the two choices. People think, ‘Oh, you’re on scholarship.’ They pay for your room and board, they pay for your education, but to their knowledge, you’re there to play football. You’re not on scholarship for school and it sounds crazy when a student-athlete says that, but that’s those are the things coaches tell them every day: ‘You’re not on scholarship for school.’"