March Madness affects students’ productivity

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The brackets have been filled and the games have tipped-off; now the drama of March Madness begins. However, some find themselves more caught up in the Madness than others. Every year, a question arises concerning the basketball hysteria that ensues when the calendar turns to March. Does the NCAA tournament cause people to be less productive? According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March Madness costs employers an estimated $192 million in lost worker productivity last year. Some reasons for that high number include the greater access to games (through smart phones, live streaming, etc.) and the fact that there are more games to watch now (the NCAA added four teams to the tournament starting last year). So, how does this phenomenon affect Bethel students? Well it depends on who you ask. “I spend about five hours a day (watching games) if the games are going on,” said Ethan Reichenbach, a fifth-year senior and resident assistant in Oakwood-Slater Hall. Does this time spent watching games affect his productivity? “No, because I’m not productive ever,” he said. Others echoed Reichenbach’s sentiments. “I haven’t done any homework,” said freshman Matt D’Amico, “I keep looking at my bracket.” However, there are a few who do not let the games have an adverse effect on their studies. “I don’t really get into it,” said freshman Chase Pinion, “It took me about 45 seconds to fill out the bracket. Towards the end of it, when it gets intense, I watch the games.” “So far zero,” said junior Andrew Staal regarding the amount of time he watches the games. For others, the new-found independence of college life might be a temptation to watch more basketball than in past years. “Usually, my high school had their spring break during March Madness. So it didn’t (affect my productivity) then, but now it probably will,” said freshman Blake Bauman. Whether you’re a bracket-toting fanatic or a neutral bystander, chances are you will be affected by March Madness in some fashion. When it comes to staying up all night watching basketball games instead of doing homework—well that is your own decision.
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