The average student-athlete in the Pac-12 Conference spends about 50 hours a week on sports-related activities -- and the the time commitment is such a strain that it inhibits those students' academic success, according to a new study.
According to a report obtained exclusively by CBS Sports, those students suffer from high amounts of stress and physical exhaustion that impedes their ability to study effectively.
The NCAA limits how much time students can spend regarding their official obligations to a sport with the set limit of 20 hours. But conference schools averaged 21 hours of time per student. They spend another 30 hours per week involved in voluntary workouts, travel time for competitions, medical treatments and other activities.
The Pac-12 commissioned the study as a way to evaluate the current student-athlete model and to ultimately introduce the most effective reforms. Commissioner Larry Scott has acknowledged that student-athletes face unfair challenges in managing their academic and athletic workloads.
The revelations come even as the NCAA works toward better financial compensation for student-athletes. Yet the report underscores a larger problem that increased compensation won't fix: The compromise of academics in favor of athletic performance.
Even if student-athletes do receive compensation for their efforts, academic institutions face an ethical dilemma if those efforts compromise their primary role as students seeking an education.
It's unclear how the Pac-12 will use the report to recommend or implement changes, but the numbers offer critical insight into just how much is demanded of student-athletes -- and how much ground the NCAA has to make up.