I student-athleted for one season at tOSU. Let me tell you - it's a grind, and I didn't put in nearly as many hours as the football players do. In order to get to practice in the afternoon, you have to schedule very early classes, and often miss breakfast. Then after practice you hustle home, and I often missed dinner because I had to be at study tables at a certain time. I usually slept during study tables because I was exhausted.
I know some of the football players' majors aren't as challenging as engineering, but I have tremendous respect for all student athletes and would have words with anyone who knocked student athletes without trying it themselves.
P.S. I only did one season because it was such a grind. I quit to have my weekends open for...um...other activities.