Considering we don't, you know, pay all the collegiate athletes who bring in so much money for their universities, an athletic scholarship is the holy grail, the precious, the one benefit to spending so much time training and sweating. So one can't lose it, lest the whole matter go to waste.
And players will go to rather desperate measures to make sure they hang onto their scholarships. Witness Syracuse women's basketball starting forward Fantasia Goodwin, who hid her pregnancy the entire second half of last year. She finally gave birth last week.
Goodwin said no one on the team or the coaching or training staff knew about her pregnancy. She said head coach Quentin Hillsman was the first person she told, on Feb. 25, the night before the final game of the season at Cincinnati. She said Hillsman immediately told her to go see the team doctor and not play.
"Everyone found out the same time," Goodwin said. "I was playing pregnant, yes, and no one knew about it. And when they found out, that's why I didn't play (the last game)."
If a school doesn't have a policy about pregnant athletes — Syracuse doesn't — they could, conceivably, have their scholarship pulled, which is why Goodwin didn't tell anyone. Goodwin just mysteriously missed the final game — which was only two months ago — and suddenly, we have a greater understanding of J.D. Drew and Mark Prior.