So, I'm having a hard time understanding the authors perspective. Possibly with the exception of a few (who fully intend to be a professional athlete after college) I really don't see how this can be an issue and frankly most of them have something more to offer the world than being a professional athlete. Maybe the bigger issue is adapting to the real world after college? I read the article. I just assumed being a college athlete is extremely temporary because there are time limitations...am I missing something. I knew when I graduated college I was done playing college tennis. Tried my hand at professional tennis and got my clock cleaned. I never thought of myself as a tennis player first, just somebody who really likes tennis but did not have the natural talents to make a living at it. The same goes with my oldest son when he was done with college baseball. He never thought of himself as a baseball player first probably because he knew the clock was running and he didn't have the natural talents to make it to the next level. He loved the game and that is why he played in college. He actually refused to have a reference to a no-hitter he threw in 2012 brought up by his best man at his wedding a couple weeks ago. Again, I just don't get this article.
It's more about "being the man". The star athlete who excelled in the sport and was able to go somewhere with it. Everybody knows who you are in HS, then in college you get the backpack with the school logo, get to leave class early for road trips, live in athlete specific dorms, status with girls, parties, all the social perks that come with being an athlete. It's cool. Then you're just a guy who used to play sports. Like most of the population.
I agree with what you're saying, but that is the psychology behind it.
If you have a personality beyond playing a sport you'll be fine. But I'm sure it is not a great place to be if you're one of the "didn't come here to play school" type athletes. You basically need to have direction beyond playing. For some, it is getting back into coaching. For others, it is graduating and finding a steady job. Either is fine, but some just don't think about what happens when it ends.
You basically just don't want to be the guy wearing a letterman's jacket 10 years later.