What Basketball Players Study

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So those basketball players competing in the NCAA tournament this year are actually also college students, remember? While many, many of them don’t actually end up graduating from college, they all have to major in something.

In a hilarious piece in Slate, Justin Peters takes a look at the academic majors of this year’s college basketball stars. As
he writes:

Basketball players tend to choose majors that emphasize leadership, teamwork, and communication—basically, everything you’d need to successfully execute the flex offense. Business, or some variation thereof, is by far the most popular major. This makes sense—as the engines that drive the multibillion-dollar March Madness industry, they ought to learn how they fit in to the scheme, and how, exactly, they’re getting screwed. Many players note that they want to work in business after graduation—like VCU’s David Hinton, who aspires to “one day become a product manager for Nike”—or own/operate their own businesses—like Missouri guard Kim English, whose very specific ambition is “to become the president of English Concrete Contractors.”

Other popular majors include communications, sports management, and sociology.

While challenging academic majors are present among this year’s top basketball teams, it’s mostly not the star players who choose the tough subjects.

“If you run across anyone who majors in something that requires a crapload of textbooks,” Peters writes, “chances are they’re a walk-on. Duke’s Casey Peters double majors in economics and environmental studies and policy, and averages 0.0 points a game.”

Incidentally, San Diego State’s senior point guard, D.J. Gay, is apparently one of the school’s few men majoring in women’s studies. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer