Can I Get a Nurse?

October 14, 2011
by Justin

With nursing growing as one of the leading industries in the United States, one has to wonder the lasting impact such a behemoth industry will have on a country. So, the question is: why do we deprive our student-athletes of them. According to the IOM Report of 2010, “over 3 million of the United States workers are conjoined in the nursing workforce”. Now, what does that have to do with football? Well, it’s true that as one of the leading sports in the world, and also considered a behemoth, as well, it’s ironic how these two occupations have in common. For instance,

Football is not just a contact sport, but a high collision sport. With so many injuries that occur despite the safety equipment, many players are tempted to dip into a little self-healing that can be harmful to the body. Many football players take protein supplements, and vitamin pills. However, according to the NCAA rules and regulations, they have some information that might be vital for student-athletes…in fact, it is very vital.

An NCAA report came out that stated “Convincing student-athletes not to take supplements to improve performance is one of the great challenges facing athletics personnel and sports dieticians. So is convincing them that they can achieve the same effects more safely with food, hydration and exercise.” Furthermore, NCAA acknowledges that they are just kids, and it is easy for information to pass through deaf ears. That doesn’t lessen the danger of harmful supplements.

You may, as a football player, say, “well, I don’t do drugs.”

That may be your sentiment, however, you’re taking drugs everyday. For instance, drugs, and chemicals are in just about everything Americans consume. Just to stay out of trouble, not everything. I’ve never heard of someone experiencing a trip off of broccoli. Nevertheless, the NCAA finds if imperative to tell, not just their football players, but also all their athletes of the damages that can be done with drugs and other harmful substances.

A recent study also showed that, “the degree of damage to a student-athlete who takes supplements can be measured in eligibility and health. A student-athlete takes a huge gamble when he or she decides to take a supplement for muscle building or for reasons that go beyond athletics performance enhancement. The athlete doesn’t intend to ingest a banned substance, but the supplement industry is essentially unregulated, and supplements often contain ingredients that are banned for athletes”.

Long time coach William Roberts, Professor in the department of family medicine and community health at the University of Minnesota and former president of the American College of Sports Medicine states that “

“The big stick we can use with athletes is that you lose your eligibility if you test positive, that’s the bottom line. It’s a zero-tolerance policy. Is the risk worth losing your eligibility?”

Again, even thought you’re a football player and what is taken for bodily pain may be common around your peers, it does not diminish the fact that it is still detrimental to your sport, but you life as well. Furthermore, the NCAA stresses that, “Most student-athletes have heard the message, Roberts said, but it can be a losing battle against word of mouth at the gym, the frat house or a good sales pitch”.

Sadly, since ignorance is bliss, students-athletes, many times, don’t see the harm, or even why they are taking the supplements. We sometimes live in a “rat in the cage” culture, where if someone tells you do eat this, or drink that, and they exhibit authority, we just do it. Wrong. Many time, the people who urge others along to induce themselves with harmful substances, don’t even know themselves what they are consuming.

Nevertheless, sports dietician, Diane King, and certified sport trainer adamantly states that, “The students often don’t know why they are taking the supplement, but somebody in a store or someone at the gym who doesn’t have a good understanding of sports tells them about it and how it can improve performance. Even if these people are trying to help, they are not helping.”

For football players, we see the need for bulking up muscle, and creating strength endurance, and healing physical pain that is induced through collision, and wear. However, the NCAA is very strict about this concept of inducing substances that is not prescribed or given by a certified nurse or physician. That is why it is imperative to have nurses present on the football field. Government obviously funds the wrong things, however, it is to our detriment that we don’t take precautions for people who need it, our students. As for students, pay attention to the warning signs. Know very clearly the ingredients of anything you consume, much less, something that comes in the form of a pill. You’re life, and the life your athletes depends on it. Your athletic future depends on it.

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