Cheating Means Survival: 5 Realities Of An NCAA Athlete

Let's just come out and say it: College sports are shady as hell. It starts with the NCAA and spreads down to many colleges that see their student-athletes as a lucrative source of free labor. And look, we know it's hard to feel sorry for the athletes if you're imagining them as future millionaires waiting for the NFL to call, or hard-drinking bros getting free tuition because they can run really fast. But the vast, vast majority of college athletes aren't in either category.

To get the real story on what it's like being a broke-ass cog in a multibillion-dollar industry, we spoke with an NCAA football player and a track and field athlete. They told us ...

#5. Often, The Only Way To Survive Is To Cheat The System

You already know that college athletes aren't getting paid, and that it's actually a huge scandal when they do (more on that in a moment). But really, why should they? Sports is supposed to be something you do on the side to enrich your growth as a human being, or whatever -- it's all part of the education. But the problem is schools are often asking student-athletes to do three things:

A) Put most of your time and energy into your education (the NCAA has strict requirements about

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