When I played I found that actually did better academically during the season than in the off season. I had limited time to do school work and I managed my time pretty well. Once the season ended, I tended to procrastinate more. Having said that, now there are way more off season things going on than in my day. We had a few guys in engineering carrying 30+ hours / week of class but most were likely in the 12-17 range like me. Once difference is that I believe you can now essentially carry a part time course load and still play. When I was playing, you had to be a full time student. I stand to be corrected on that but I think that's the case and it definitely helps. Either way, the overall point is that you need to have your ducks in a row to succeed.