College Athletics, a Means to an End for Female Athletes

Photo Credit: Walsh University Athletics

We’ve all heard the phrase, “most athletes will go pro in something other than sports.” It’s tough to get to the professional level of any sport or by the time a student-athlete graduates from college, he or she is burnt out from years of strenuous physical activity. However, at least male football, baseball, hockey and soccer players have the availability of a┬áprofessional league. Athletes have the opportunity to compete in the Olympic games, but they only come around every four years. Where are the women’s professional softball, volleyball and gymnastics leagues? Of the thousands of female athletes within each sport, a portion of them have the desire, talent and longevity to compete year-round in a national league just as the men do. There are female athletes who want more than the experience of being a collegiate athlete and receiving a college degree.

There’s a National Women’s Soccer League, which most people don’t know about. According to politico.com, the women’s salaries reportedly range from $6,000 to $30,000. Each team has a salary cap of about $200,000 compared to a $3.1 million salary cap for Men’s League Soccer. Besides the Women’s Tennis Association, broadcasters have marginalized women’s sports, resulting in less money being dispersed to players. Furthermore, a lot of discussion centers around whether there’s an audience for women’s sports – the WNBA struggles to garner quantitative views, and the most television coverage NWSL players receive is during the FIFA World Cup – so if these leagues are created, will viewers tune in? This topic is hard to decipher due to the lack luster coverage women’s college athletics receive from sports networks. If female college athletes received more coverage, researchers can collect quantitative data to examine to what extent viewers are watching women’s college athletics. If viewers are watching women’s college athletics, more than likely, they’ll watch professional women’s sports. On the other hand, women’s college volleyball and soccer is overshadowed by college football and the WNBA takes the backseat to the NBA playoffs and MLB season. Female athletes just can’t catch a break. Continue reading “College Athletics, a Means to an End for Female Athletes”