Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Emphasizing the STUDENT in Student-Athlete

In this week's Defender, the sports section featured an article on the academic achievements of Saint Michael's student-athletes. It turns out we are a rather impressive bunch :) I also heard that for the first time in Saint Mike's history, athletes had a higher GPA than the campus-wide average last semester. I'm pretty impressed with us especially considering that I often embrace the sport bro stereotype. I guess you can't judge a book by its cover.
Enjoy the article!


Peter Hanson - Sports Editor - The Defender

There will always be those who stereotypical define athletes as dim-witted people who focus only on sports and not on schoolwork.

College athletes are not just athletes, they are also students; hence the label student-athlete. St. Michael’s athletes showed that they take pride in being student-athletes throughout the fall semester as 60.5 percent of them were honored in the Northeast-10 Fall 2010 Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

In order to accomplish this honor, a student-athlete must reach a 3.0 GPA. And 188 of the 311 Purple Knights who compete in the Northeast-10 had at least a 3.0.

This statistic shows that athletes on campus are about more than wins and losses. In a non-scholarship school, St. Michael’s attracts varsity sport participants because of its academic reputation.

Athletes at St. Michael’s have to overcome many obstacles in balancing team time, homework time and social time.

Students don’t recognize how difficult it is for student-athletes to pick classes that work with their practice schedules or that teams have study halls throughout the week in order to stay on top of their work.

They may not know that if athletes don’t achieve a certain GPA depending on their class, then they are ineligible for a year or that if you’re 21 years old, you can’t even have one beer within 48 hours of a game, race or match.

Balancing time between sports, school and social life is challenging, but not impossible. Of the 188 students on the honor roll, 10 recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Garret Clark plays defense for the men’s lacrosse team and is one of the 10 students to receive a 4.0. He manages to be a student, boyfriend, orientation-leader and an athlete, all while maintaining a social life. Ask him how he does it, and his answer is simple.

“I just do my work in between classes and when I have an exam, I make sure I know the material,” he said.

Students at St. Michael’s realize the importance of schoolwork, and hopefully the spring semester report will be even more positive than the fall.

With March Madness coming up, I’m sure you will all see the commercial that says, “There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and almost all of them will go pro in something other than sports.”

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