Some number crunchers at the University of North Carolina broke down the types of classes that their student-athletes are taking and for some reason, a bunch of them are consistently enrolling in a certain drama class offered by the school’s art department.
The Daily Tar Heel looked at the student populations among their various student-athletes over a period of six years and found that almost half of the class populations were enrolled in a technical course or “Drama 160” since the 2006-07 semester. The breakdown of students also found four additional drama classes in the school’s catalog that had a noticeable number of of student-athletes enrolled in the same period of time including Perspectives in Drama, Perspectives in the Theatre, Stagecraft and Play Analysis. The same report also found high numbers of student-athletes in courses for communication, English and exercise and sport science.
So why are so many athletes signing up for drama courses? Do they hope to have a better acting career than Shaquille O’Neal if they ever turn pro and decide to make the jump to the big screen? One of the school’s primary drama professors speculated that the workload “isn’t particularly heavy” and the classes are also available at convenient times that allow them to work around their very busy training and practice schedules. The classes have also earned a reputation as becoming an easy way for student-athletes to earn their arts school credits while they practice and play so they’ve started to fill up with more and more athletes with each passing semester.