Most athletes prove to be good influences on campus, students

posted in: Opinion | 0

There is something to be said about the demeanor of student-athletes; the way they carry themselves throughout the daily grind separates them from any ordinary student, in my eyes. Sure, they are students first and foremost just like the rest of us.

However, I think the lessons learned in sports translate into the character of each student-athlete. I want to take a moment to recognize the times when this shows; a very deserving of a pat on the back.

By no means am I attempting to completely idolize student-athletes. Part of the character established through athletics is humility. During my many years in sports, one of my favorite inspirations has to be to act at all times as you would when a coach is looking, even when there is nobody there. That is what separates the good players from the great players.

This lesson is not only true during practice time, but in everyday life. Recognition should not be something that an athlete walks around asking for, but something that comes as a product of hard work. The ones who understand this are the ones that deserve to be looked up to as role models.

And then there is the typical “jock” stereotype. The big meat-head, letterman jacket wearing, classroom trouble making bully who doesn’t know how to do anything except push kids into lockers, get drunk with teammates, and play football. While this is sadly true in some cases, bringing nothing but shame to the title of student-athlete, I want to put this notion to rest.

Particularly at the university level, athletes take pride in their academics just as much as they do their athletics. After all, they are here to study so they can start their lives, with an actual career that is not professional sports.

I have heard a recent rumor labeling athletes as being disruptive in class because they were not properly paying attention. Whether you are an athlete or not, ask yourself if you have ever spaced off during a long lecture, or commented about how you would rather be anywhere besides class.

Although it is not polite to the professor and should not be done, we have all been there. To single out athletes is not a fair judgment, when so many are working just as hard, if not harder to excel in their schoolwork.

As we all know, a very large part  of Pacific’s undergraduate student body is made up of athletes. A few Index editions back, I wrote an article that both impressed me and made me proud to be the sports editor.

It was about the nearly 100 student-athletes from this school named to the Northwest Conference Scholar-Athlete list for their exceptional performance in the classroom.

I don’t think very many people really see how much that says about this school. Their continued hard work brings such a positive awareness around the collegiate community. These are the people I want to interview, the ones that I enjoy writing about the most.

After all of my experience with sports and school, I am now able to watch from the sidelines. I can honestly say that if more people were able to receive the same lessons that are learned in sports, this world would be a much better place.

There are things in athletics that just cannot be fully matched by anything else. To me, it is important that we all take note of the displays of these lessons, direct or indirect; we all might actually learn something. The good in sports is not seen on the field, but in the community. It is our job to recognize it.


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