Is Being a College Athlete All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
Why do so many college athletes quit?
NORTHRIDGE, CA - While the idea of getting the opportunity to continue playing a sport in college after countless years of hard work sounds like a dream come true, for former student-athlete Talia Taufaasau, the strain proved to be too much. The current California State University Northridge senior decided to quit college basketball last year.
Ventura College alum, Talia Taufaasau, signed with the CSUN'S Women's Basketball program during the 20-21 season.
Before signing, Taufaasau became the 11th player in Ventura College history to earn California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors.
She had many other accolades.
Despite that, Taufaasau says that playing college basketball began to negatively affect her mental health leading to her decision to quit playing.
“The older I got and the more I started playing at a higher level the harder it got on me mentally,” Taufaasau says.
Becoming a college athlete is an amazing accomplishment. However, once most athletes are recruited many began to feel like they have reached “the end of the road.”
CSUN’S Men’s basketball assistant coach, Brandon Billups, says that unfortunately, a lot of athletes reach “the realization” that is time to move on from their sport while they are in college.
Most athletes in college play sports simply because of not only get a free education but to have one last go-round of playing before moving on.
Not many athletes play college sports to play professionally.
Most might believe that when an athlete dedicates most of their life to a sport and decides to quit in their elder years, they might regret that decision.
Tausaasau says that although she misses her teammates and enjoyed the opportunity, she received to be a Division I athlete, she does not regret quitting basketball.
Despite Taufaasau’s decision to stop playing, she expresses that she always had a great support system from both her family and coaches while she was an athlete.
She has turned her focus to graduating this spring and is in a much happier state no longer being a collegiate athlete.
Video Credit: Victoria Garrick
Video Credit: Paige Jones
By: Paige Jones
Contributions from Victoria Garrick
Photos from Theotusmedia
Photos from Ivan De Luce