A new survey finds that college players–who, unlike us, are at the top of their game in the prime of their youth–may have a harder time with their health when they reach middle age. An Indiana University graduate student who is seeking her degree in public health talked to 457 Indiana alumni aged 40 to 65, half of whom played college sports during their days at their alma mater. The other half of the survey sample talked to students who were just “recreational athletes.”
She published the results in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. The study found that those who played in the Division I leagues for their school were more likely to suffer from arthritis and other chronic injuries. The study also found that top-tier college athletes were more likely to suffer from depression or a “poorer quality of life.” Those who just play sports on a recreational level in college were healthier overall than those who played for their school.
Of course, a survey doesn’t provide a conclusive causal link between playing Division I sports and these health problems but they do point to a disturbing trend, especially since some universities don’t even cover students if they are injured on the field and can’t play anymore. Hell, they don’t even get paid to wreck their bodies for college glory. Sure they get a college education or a partially paid one but most of these guys who make it that high up may not finish their degree when a pro-sports league can draft them at the top of their game. What are they supposed to do with their lives if they can’t play sports anymore?