WE deserve it, do YOU?

20 Feb

(Important note for this post- This is written from a collegiate runners POV, but many of my experiences are the same for athletes in all of the other collegiate sports.  I’m not looking for a pat on the back for describing my schedule/stresses, I can do that myself.)
(Important note number 2: Anytime I write a potentially offensive post, I get a pretty sizable amount of hate mail/bashing comments.  Y’all, read some of my posts. Take things with a grain of salt, relax, and enjoy these for their mix of humor and truth.)

You know something has to get me pretty worked up to bring my blogging self back from the dead.  I was just peacefully scrolling through my Twitter Feed while sitting on the toilet before my night run when I saw this “article” retweeted by an Illinois athlete.


Take a minute to calm down before you read this post.  Maybe go for a run, take a hot shower.

Ok, do you have yourself collected?  Good.  Let’s destroy this horrible human being’s argument.

Before we even get to taking apart how poorly written, biased, unsupported, and stupid this article was, let’s start by looking at a picture of the gal who wrote the piece (it’s not creepy, her picture is in the article)

The symbol of America's oppressed college student, a pretty white female.

The symbol of America’s oppressed college student: a pretty white female.

Also, this was posted in the comments section on your article, but looking at your room really makes me feel for you.  Life looks pretty damn tough 😦  YOU’RE AN RA, YOU DON’T EVEN PAY FOR HOUSING YOU IDIOT.

Next, let me give you a few tips on journalism, dear.  I know it’s an opinion piece, but tip number one:
Don’t discredit your authority in the first few paragraphs of your article.

“I never finished the mile run. I always dropped out around a third of the way to puke or pass out — whichever came first”

LOL. Wait, WHAT??  You can’t run 533ish meters without puking or passing out?  You expect anybody to take you seriously after opening with something like that?  I sure hope you’re exaggerating and this claim isn’t true.  I guess I wouldn’t expect a cardio system to be very efficient in somebody who is so cold-hearted.  I know 200+ pound non-athletes that can run longer than that.  I know people without the bottom half of their legs that can run much further than that, except they use their talent to murder their girlfriends, unfortunately (too soon, I know.)

THIS guy is fitter than you. Hit the gym, girl.

THIS guy is fitter than you. Hit the gym, girl.

“This occurred to me as I noticed my one friend take out her student athlete class planner. I front a small fee for an iBook. Her student athlete school supplies are free.”

A.) You only have one friend?

B.)  I’ve been informed by people at your own school that iBooks can be obtained for free at the Illini Union Bookstore.  Are you paying just so you can get more people to listen to you whine?

C.) Yes, some of us at our respective Universities get free planners.  PLANNERS.  I have never received free pencils, books, pens, papers, notebooks etc. etc.  Maybe your school has a special deal with Staples, or maybe you’re just making another unsupported claim.

Student-Athlete Planners, the number one coveted athletic benefit by muggles nationwide

Student-Athlete Planners, the number one coveted athletic benefit by muggles nationwide

“Not only do they get blue and orange gear free of charge, which includes those trademark Nike tracksuits and backpacks, but student athletes are also privy to tutoring services that the rest of us standard, non-athletic-scholarship students have to go out of our way for or otherwise not have. But I wonder how many of those athletes would be doing so well if they were just plain, non-athlete students?”

Give me your address, I’m being serious.  I will gladly mail you some of my gear for free (as long as it’s not an NCAA violation to do so).  Also, I haven’t met with a tutor since my freshman year in the Fall of 2009.  But say I did need to use a tutor, let’s just examine how “unfair” this is that I could see one for “free”.

Please, dear, tell me how rough your schedule must be.  Tell me how hard studying must be with all of your free time.  Do you have the slightest clue what it means to have the schedule of a student-athlete?  Do you think we can have the same class schedule as you?  Think we can start classes at noon and go until 5pm instead of 8am to 1pm?  Here is a quick look at my schedule.  With this schedule, the best I could work it out since these are required classes for my major, I have to miss practice THREE out of the FIVE schooldays every week (Regular practice is at 2:30pm, I can only attend M/W).

Monday (MY EASY DAY):
8:00am-9:00am- Morning run (6-10 miles)
9:00am-9:30am- Stretch, roll out, rehab, ice bath
9:30am-10:00am- Shower, get dressed, maybe get coffee/eat, take the bus to campus
10:00am-12:00pm- African American Studies 490
12:00pm-2:00pm- Eat lunch, get homework started, make my way to training room.
2:30pm-5:00pm- Practice (10-16miles depending on workout) (Note to NCAA- don’t total up these hours because they aren’t all observed)
5:30pm-6:30pm- Shower and eat
6:30pm-10pm- Homework (once again, remember this is my EASY day)

5:30am-6:00am- 3-4mi jog in the dark, usually below 15 degrees
6:00am-6:40am- Eat breakfast, get dressed for Student-Teaching
6:40am-7:20am- Pick up carpooling classmates and drive to Saline High (20min away)
7:30am-11:29am- Student-Teaching with 10th-12th grade English Students
11:29-12:00pm- Get back to campus and drop off classmates at their houses.
12:00pm-1:00pm- Drop car off at track, get on bus to campus, eat lunch, get to North Quad basement for class
1:00pm-2:30pm- Writing 300 (Peer Tutoring for Education Majors)
2:30pm-4:00pm- Ed 391 (Educational Psychology)
4:00pm-6:00pm- Ed 307 (Education Practicum)
6:00pm-6:30pm- Take bus to the track, get changed, and get ready to run by myself for the second time of the day.
6:30pm-7:30/8:oopm- 10-14 mi depending on workout
8:00pm-8:45pm- Shower and eat
8:45pm-10:00pm- Homework (even though I’m usually completely spent by this time)

Wednesday (My “Easy” day again):

8:00am-9:00am- Morning run (6-10 miles)
9:00am-9:30am- Stretch, roll out, rehab, ice bath
9:30am-10:00am- Shower, get dressed, maybe get coffee/eat, take the bus to campus
10:00am-12:00pm- African American Studies 490
12:00pm-2:00pm- Eat lunch, get homework started, make my way to training room.
2:30pm-5:00pm- Practice (10-16miles depending on workout)
5:30pm-6:30pm- Shower and eat
6:30pm-10pm- Homework (once again, remember this is my EASY day)

6:00am-6:40am- Eat breakfast, get dressed for Student-Teaching
6:40am-7:20am- Pick up carpooling classmates and drive to Saline High (20min away)
7:30am-11:29am- Student-Teaching with 10th-12th grade English Students
11:29-12:00pm- Get back to campus and drop off classmates at their houses.
12:00pm-1:00pm- Drop car off at track, get on bus to campus, eat lunch, get to North Quad basement for class
1:00pm-2:30pm- Writing 300 (Peer Tutoring for Education Majors)
2:30pm-4:00pm- Ed 391 (Educational Psychology)
4:00pm-4:30pm- Take bus to track, get ready to run alone.
4:30pm-6:00pm- 12-16 miles
6:00pm-6:30pm- Shower, get dressed, get home
6:30pm-7:00pm- Cook and eat dinner
7:00pm-9:00pm- Hmwk
9:00pm-10/11pm- Spend time with girlfriend, my cherished free time I’ve made for myself.

9:00am-10:00am-5-8mi depending on what I plan on getting out of afternoon run
10:30am-1:00pm- My best time span for doing homework during the week.
1:00pm-4:00pm- Education 440 (Teaching English, Methods Course)
4:00pm-4:30pm- Get to track, get ready to run
4:30pm-5:30/6pm- 10-12mi depending on total for the day/week

“Easy Day” if there is no meet, generally run 5-10mi and do work the rest of the day.
If there is a meet, I would have travelled one to two days beforehand and would be at a track for 6 or more hours on this day.

Sunday (LONG RUN.)
10:00am-12/12:20pm- 20-23 miles to cap off a 100-120mi week. (in the fall we drive 20-30min out to the run, adding to the time this takes.  In the winter, this run is done in the snowstorms outside while you are lying down comfortably in your bed recovering.
Rest of day- fighting off post long run exhaustion sleep to do my very heavy homework load.

Sorry for the runners that had to read that, I permit you to just skip over that because it’s not anything new to you.  But Miss Renee, does that seem like a fair trade for some “free” sweatpants, shoes, and gear that isn’t given to us for the hell of it but instead so we don’t freeze to death while we are running in snow storms?

Ever had to repeatedly pull ice off of your eyelids for an hour so you can see during your run?

Ever had to repeatedly pull ice off of your eyelids for an hour so you can see during your run?


I’m actually LUCKY with my schedule, my coach allows me to miss practice for these classes. The majority of athletes have from 8am-2pm to sneak in ALL of their classes.  Friday classes, you can forget about that. I have to miss 1/4 of my Friday classes this semester and my professor already told me “it’s going to be very hard for you to pass” (to which I replied, in my mind, “Game On.”)  And for each time I have to miss class to go to a meet, do you think my professor gives me extra time to study for tests, to hand in homework later? NO. The OPPOSITE, actually.  Professors don’t bend over backwards for us, and actually many times you probably have the advantage in winning your professor’s approval over us.  We have to turn in our work EARLY more often than not, and have you ever taken a test while at a hotel with your athletic trainer sitting next to you in a room making sure you have no extra resources that aren’t allowed and that you get exactly the amount of time that the instructor has provided you with?  Let me tell you how awkward that is and just how “fun” and “easy” it is to focus when you’re taking a test in an eerily quiet hotel room the day before a major race.  No late night cramming the day before either, because you need your rest to run fast.

As for your comment about what if we were regular students- I think I would have a 4.0.  In fact, I have little doubt that I would.  I would literally have 20 or more hours given back to me every week and an unmeasurable amount of energy restored to my body and mind allowing me to perfect my studies.  In fact, with your schedule you have no excuse not to get the highest grade possible.  But that’s just me.  I have so many teammates, with schedules similar to or worse than mine, who very rarely if ever use tutors and maintain GPAs between 3 and 4.0 in difficult majors like Engineering and Pre-Med.  But yeah, they don’t deserve those grades because from time to time they see a tutor and they can show up to the tutor in a pair of sweats the university provided for them, right?

Oh, in case you were wondering, my GPA is above 3.0.  I have been a part of 8 Academic All-Big 10 Teams and have received several accolades for my academics.  What’s yours, hot shot?

By the way, what do you do on weekends?  Go out? Get drunk? Sleep in?  Howabout St Patty’s Day, Football Pre-games, “Thirsty Thursday”, Halloween, Your Birthday? Your friend’s Birthday?  Because WE don’t do that.  I can’t speak for every collegiate athlete on this, obviously, but since you made grossly over-generalized statements you’ve set the rules for this game.  You know what a crazy Friday night is for me?  When I stay up past 11pm.  St Patty’s Day? I believe I did a 21mi run last year on that day and then spent most of the day sleeping the run off. Yeah, it can be a boring life, but there’s a thing called discipline you might not have ever heard of.

Muggle spring break.

Typical regular student spring break.

Actual picture from Ann Arbor Spring Break 2011

Actual picture from my Ann Arbor Spring Break 2011. Not allowed to leave campus, studying for exams as it snowed heavily outside.

 It would take me 18 years to discover coordination, stamina or anything that vaguely resembled athleticism. And it’s too bad, really — had I hit my fitness stride just a few years earlier, maybe I could be getting more out of this University. Because that is exactly what student athletes do.

This is the dumbest thing I’ve read all year, congratulations!  You think ANYBODY can do what we do?  You think I just happened to run one day and automatically was good enough to run for a Division 1 institution? This is a slap in the face to every one of us who have worked our ASSES off to get the incredible opportunity to MAYBE, just MAYBE, compete for a university should all of our hard work come to fruition.  If this was something everybody or anybody could do, EVERYBODY would be doing it. So shut your mouth, lady, because I’ve been running since I was 7 years old so I could have an opportunity like this.  My parents lived in a trailer park when I was born and although we’ve achieved middle class through my dad’s service to our country and my mom’s 20 years of teaching, I still don’t receive any aid in tuition from my parents.  I, like regular students, have over 50 thousand dollars in loans I will have to try and pay off some day.

“It’s no secret that it pays to play. Sports generate money, and every state in the Union knows Illinois is basically broke. But not everyone knows just how much is spent on sports and the student athletes who play them. Athletes at nearly all American colleges and universities get some sort of specialized physical, nutritional, psychological and academic accommodations. I understand the priority put on food, workouts and mental health, and there are services at the University that are of little to no cost that us mere-mortal, sport-challenged folk can go to for our own lifestyle concerns. But academically, student athletes here are blatantly getting a leg up on the competition.

At the Irwin Academic Center, student athletes have to log mandatory hours in either the study rooms or computer labs reserved specifically for them. It is the Salt Lake Temple of our supposedly “Inclusive Illinois” — these tutoring services and study spaces are for members only. Tell me again what’s wrong with the UGL? Or any of the other 20-some area studies libraries on campus? Several of my friends who happen to be student athletes are both highly intelligent and motivated — do they really need this service? Illinois athletics boasts that Irwin is “offering the very best in academic services to Illinois student-athletes.” So what does that leave for the rest of us? Are we not “striving for excellence” as well? If a non-student athlete had issues passing a class, few professors, instructors or TAs would take the initiative to seek me out for extra help. (I say few because I have had the privilege to meet some outstandingly passionate and dedicated educators who will all but bleed for their students to succeed, but I digress.) 

If a student athlete’s grades start to suffer, Illinois has it covered.  “

Sports are part of the reason institutions like yours can keep putting up new buildings on campus.  Whether you agree with it or not, sports are an incredibly important institution on big campuses.  Especially in the Big 10.

Another way we can tell you know nothing about our experience.  Do you know how much “mandatory study hours” SUCK?  I dare you to find a single athlete that likes those.  Being forced to study somewhere where the student may not even be comfortable studying? Those are the bane of our existence.  If you did your research, you’d know they usually only exist for struggling upperclassmen or freshmen.

Scumbag Renee.

Scumbag Renee.

” If a non-student athlete had issues passing a class, few professors, instructors or TAs would take the initiative to seek me out for extra help”
This line is crap.  Office Hours are available to ALL students and neither student-athlete nor n0n-athlete get any more hours than the other.  To be fair though, I wouldn’t seek you out either, because you seem like a not fun person.  But that’s just, like, my opinion, man.
” Of course every student athlete on this campus will have his or her own experiences with the system. I don’t blame anyone for trying to get the most out of a college education —”

Wait. You just discredited your whole argument.

Girl you are so dumb, furrrreaall


 “Besides the money, the memories and the merchandise, the association says that student athletes are more likely to live longer due to healthier lifestyles developed through forced fitness. “



Leadership skills and discipline are almost a given on any team, but become a college athlete and you get to write those skills on your resume with the stamp of Illini approval.

 LEADERSHIP SKILLS AND DISCIPLINE ARE NEVER a “given”.  Those are skills have to be LEARNED.  Just being an athlete doesn’t make one a good leader or disciplined, and there are plenty of things you can do for your resume that require LESS time than being an athlete that will be just as useful on your resume.  Btw, do you even know how hard it is to survive 4-5 years on a collegiate athletic team?  Do you think everybody gets to put this on their resume?  My recruiting class originally had 5 distance runners, there’s only 2 of us left.  The class below me has lost more than half of its original class due to poor grades, cuts, dropping out, and quitting.

I can run several miles today. But the time for scholarships and color-coordinated perks are behind me — so what’s the point? I’ll buy my own planner.

Once again proving you HAVE NO IDEA what we do. We don’t go out there and jog several miles.  It’s a lifestyle.  It’s a job. Work hours are 24/7, and guess what we’re not getting paid for this job.

So yeah, maybe we get a few things you don’t.  I’m sorry you have to buy your own dang planner.  We work too damn hard to put up with you and your high horse you ride on.  The truth, which you are terrified to admit, is that WE DESERVE THIS. 

Do you?


42 Responses to “WE deserve it, do YOU?”

  1. Ellen February 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    did you send this to the girl?

  2. Calm_Down_Bro February 20, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    I don’t particularly like her article, but your rebuttal I find a lot worse.

    1) “As for your comment about what if we were regular students- I think I would have a 4.0”
    >> No, you wouldn’t. You got a C in intro bio you n00b. Also, seasons when I was injured and thus had 50 extra free hours a week I ended up doing equally as well to when I was fully committed. You get so used to the schedule that you’re performing pretty close to optimally.
    2) “I don’t party at me, look how special I am”
    3) “I’m a leader look how special I am”
    4 “I run 120 mile a week look how special I am”
    5) “I have to take exams at a hotel, feel bad for me!”

    2-5 have nothing to do with her argument. Just because you live a stoic lifestyle does not mean you deserve extra things. Are you trying to tell me that the engineering student with a 4.0 who volunteers 20 hours a week and doesn’t party on weekends so she can volunteer and study deserves less than you?

    Again, I was also a varsity athlete, privy to all of these perks. I always though that free gear made sense, but I didn’t really understand why I should get free tutoring that other students couldn’t.

    To not totally trash this pieces: you made very good points re: how professors view athletes, how planning classes around practice is shitty, etc…. but this has nothing to do with why you should feel so goddamn entitled

    • Leonard February 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

      This. Exactly.
      How many times have you changed majors, Zach?

      • eatrunswag February 20, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

        How is that relevant? I did not switch to an easy major but rather to a major for a career that I actually wanted to do instead of something I thought I wanted to do. What’s with people who know personal things about me commenting on this and not stating their full name? Bold enough to know me and take shots at me but not enough to man up and say who you are?

    • oops February 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Your grammatical errors highlight your argument!

    • You_calm_down_bro February 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      I don’t think Zach thinks he is entitled. However I am sorry your glory days are over.

    • lm February 20, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      I’m not sure who “Calm Down Bro” is, but I (and many other Michigan athletes) feel pretty strongly about argument #1. Point in case: I ran cross country and track for Michigan. On the occasion, I got 4.0s. Want to guess what semesters those were? The spring and summer semesters when I wasn’t practicing or rehabbing the 40 “mandatory” hours and the additional “voluntary practice” hours. Still don’t believe me? My college GPA was a pitiful 3.3. My grad school GPA (no sports, just 40-60 hours of work/travel but at least I’m getting enough sleep) is a perfect 4.0. Yes, I used the tutors in undergrad. Did I feel bad about it being free? Not in the least, because I didn’t see any non-athletes hobbling to class in crutches or a boot because they broke their foot while bringing home another title. The time non-athletes didn’t have to spend on practice, rehab, hobbling around campus could 1) easily be put to a part time job to pay for a tutor or 2) be devoted to extra study hours.

    • eatrunswag February 20, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

      You know me well enough to know my freshman Bio grade but you’re posting anonymously, gotta love internet toughness!

      Actually that extra info I added WAS necessary. She judged collegiate athletes as if we were all the same. So no, maybe not all student athletes live the same lifestyle as I do, but many of them do, and that’s something that she needs to know.

      But in the end- you too must be a first time reader of my blog. Don’t take this stuff seriously! If you do actually KNOW me, you know I’m not such a dick in person. In fact I’m usually pretty laid back. But guess what, laid back/boring posts get 0 views, this gets a lot. If I have to ruffle a few feathers in the process of creating a successful site, so be it. Numbers talk

  3. Jordan P February 20, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this. As a freshman running D1, I never expected some of the prejudice that came as being a student-athlete. Teachers are amazed when the guy with the “track and field” sweatshirt sitting in the front row (that’s right, the front row?!) raises his hand to answer a question, or make a meaningful contribution to a discussion. Teachers and students such as the imbecile who wrote the article just don’t understand the grind being a student-athlete is. A non-athlete friend kept asking me last night during my Calculus class from 6-8 why I was so tired. She simply couldn’t understand that I woke up at 8 to get in a 4 mile morning shake out, go to class, eat lunch, run 7 more miles at practice, grab a quick bite to eat, then rush to this class. And as you pointed out, this was an EASY day. Thank you for defending hard working student-athletes.

    Then I read this article about Johnny Football. http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/johnny-manziel-taking-only-online-courses-only-campus-233900102–ncaaf.html Sigh…

    • Colin Slattery February 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

      About that…
      Yeah he’s taking online classes. So what??? Why is this a big deal? if the guy gets harassed walking to class then he has the right to choose online classes. It’s not laziness. He felt the students were a big distraction to him, what’s wrong with that? I may be an A&M athlete and biased, but it’s the truth.

      • Jordan P February 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

        I’m not saying anything bad about him. I understand where you’re coming from in stating that other students are a huge distraction to him. And in the end, he’s headed to the NFL. He’s at the top of the collegiate game. Throughout the US, and even more so in Texas, football is king. I wish him nothing but the best.

    • P.H. Steeze February 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

      You go girl

  4. Nick February 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Zach, I totally agree with your statements throughout this response. I am no-where near as good as you in terms of athletic ability, but I ran for a DII school last year and with classes/practice/work, I couldn’t keep up with everything the way that I had envisioned it. I have been a fan of yours since HS and I think that the author of this article has ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what an athlete’s life is truly like.

    Awesome job, couldn’t agree more.

  5. Leonard February 20, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    This reply is almost as stupid as the original article. Learn to write without coming off as a pompous dick.

    • eatrunswag February 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

      If I wrote in a politically correct manner, nobody would read this. The people I’m friends with know I’m not a pompous dick, and really that’s all the matters. Maybe I like pissing people like you off, because the haters are gunna hate and I’m going to profit from it 🙂

      • Leonard February 21, 2013 at 1:35 am #

        Don’t act like you are just writing like this to get views. Judging by your tweets and facebook posts you are the most ignorant, bombastic, hypocrite ever. You constantly bitch about people that have different views than whatever you deem cool that week. It doesn’t matter if someone is a Christian or a Conservative, you saying that they should die or that their OPINION is stupid is immature. This post is exactly how your mind works, the fact that you can filter yourself when communicating in real life is amazing.

      • eatrunswag February 21, 2013 at 4:03 am #

        lol, you mad bro? Somebody is a grumpy goober!

        I’m sorry you feel this way man. I really don’t think I’m a bad person, but you’re certainly entitled to your opinion. It’s just I can’t really respect your bashing of me without even having the balls to say who you are, since you obviously know so much about me. Keep on hating though, I lose no sleep.

  6. forreal February 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Two words. Fuck yeah.

  7. Less emotion please February 20, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Awesome job propagating animosity between athletes and non-athletes. Regardless of what this girl wrote – and clearly, yes, her arguments are unfounded and ridiculous – as Calm_down_bro replied, you are clearly using her poorly written article to make other people sympathetic to the hard life of a student athlete. Which by the way, I agree, you are making a huge personal sacrifice as an athlete; however, you don’t need to go and boast about that. As you said yourself, it’s your personal lifestyle choice, so why are you trying to make yourself seem so much better then everyone else, especially non-athletes? Oh wait. Its because you think you are. Maybe you should think about coming down off your high horse and then write about something that people actually care about.

    • eatrunswag February 20, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      If people don’t care about this, how come I’ve had over 2,000 views just today? How come you decided to respond to it? You’ve clearly never read my blog before. Don’t take everything I say here seriously. You, too, should calm down.

    • It'sActuallyHardtoBeAnAthlete February 20, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

      At a point, you have to consider that maybe some of them actually ARE better than the non-athletes. I too am a d1 athlete and go through the trials of being a student athlete. It’s a tough life and we deserve every perk we get. The person that has a 4.0 and volunteers 20 hours a week still doesn’t have intense workouts that leave you absolutely exhausted on a daily basis. Guess what? I have a 4.0 and I volunteer all over my city and I work in my professors lab publishing research. I don’t have time to do that, I MAKE time to do that. And considering I’m posting on here anonymously, I care zero if I sound like a prick, I can guarantee I’m better than the non-athlete without the extra services. My university doesn’t do that for me, I do all that for me. I’m not on a high horse, I just decided to climb that staircase in life and live at a higher level than someone who obviously is okay with people choosing just to be average.

  8. catewestenhover February 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    First of all, as a student writer, this should not be taken so seriously. Think about all the papers you write for school… are they your best work or are they sort of cobbled together in hopes that they will pass? This was probably more from the latter category. Anyway —

    I’m sort of with Daryl. Despite benefiting massively from being a student-athlete at Baylor, I don’t really think the NCAA system is fair or makes much sense. Why does Baylor pay me to run on this team? There is no way I am contributing back to the university by my athletic accomplishments as much as they’ve invested in me. I think football and sometimes basketball are the only revenue sports in NCAA sports; the rest are just for the athletes and I guess to put on a good show. I agree with the author of the original article; I don’t deserve this stuff.

    That’s an aside though… That author is just jealous. Here’s the truth: some people got talent, some don’t. Sometimes things fall into place for a student to make a college team, and sometimes they don’t (injuries, bad coaching, exposure, poor competition at meets, etc). This chick, for whatever reason, wasn’t set up to run in college. Is it fair that she doesn’t get the chance to compete and wear Illinois swag, especially when the majority of athletes who do aren’t bringing in dollars to the University? Nah. It’s not fair. I don’t really think athletics deserve this much money. But it’s not like student orgs are totally bereft of university funding. Schools pay for all types of student orgs and even some travel.

    Her main complaint seems to be the tutoring thing, which is a simple misunderstanding. Tutors are not magical homework fairies who do your work for you. I’m sure it depends on the school, but Baylor has free drop-in tutoring for any student. You can get help when you need it. As for school supplies specifically, we did get planners (which were pretty freaking cool, I’ll be honest) but nothing else.

    And on your arguments about being busy, yes, athletes are busy but no one makes us do it. We like being D1 athletes. We do it because we want to. Not everyone gets the chance to prove themselves physically, and we sacrifice for that chance: spending more time in a sport means you don’t get nearly as much time to study. But normal people fill their time with what they see as valid commitments (greek stuff, pre-professional associations, student government, whatever) and are super busy too. They could choose to spend all their time studying, but they wouldn’t be that well-rounded.

    When I read her article I was like, U MAD BRO? But inside I was happy because I know she’s right; it’s unfair. And I loved every second of it.

    • catewestenhover February 20, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      I’m sorry that was such a novel. Conclusion: (you are pretty good at this already, but for the rest of you…) brush off those haters, be thankful for what your school gives you. Run hard. Have fun.

    • catewestenhover February 20, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

      and yeah I meant “I’m sort of with Rene” (got her name wrong; that was the photographer’s name)

    • TrackBeef February 21, 2013 at 2:55 am #

      nicely put!

  9. aaronpurser February 20, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Reblogged this on Aaron Purser Design | Blog and commented:
    As a division 1 cross country runner as well, I feel for this article

  10. Madie February 21, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    Thank you so much for writing this. I am a student-athlete (also a runner) at Saint Louis University and a few months back a student wrote this about Student athletes here:


    Notice the stats from the 90s and the one person they interviewed came here from another country strictly to play tennis.

    not fair, right?

    Anyway, I appreciate you responding to this girl because I read her article last night and I couldn’t believe how ignorant she is. I was so excited to see that someone had responded to her and set her straight..THANK YOU!

  11. TrackBeef February 21, 2013 at 2:54 am #

    As an ex student athlete, I can say that as soon as I left the team, my gpa went up like crazy. I studied during regular hours and I has SOOOOOOOO much time. I miss being a student athlete but I also love just being a student.. its been a long time since I could say that. My gpa went from a 2.4 to a 3.1 and I still have 2 more semesters to go.

  12. jack February 21, 2013 at 6:40 am #

    Thank you for this. I’m a D1 swimmer so I feel like our schedules would be somewhat similar but reading this woman’s article pissed me off. You did a good job of articulating that we weren’t just handed this opportunity which she obviously does not understand. Nice job!

  13. My name isn't Ellen February 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    this blog wont let u c my name sew im gonna take dis opportunity to say tht i am pretty sure i am faster then u r and also i bet my gpa is more then urs. i cnt believe u got a C in FRESHMAN bio lol u dumb stupid head i got a c+. wow your basically idiotic. i gess all I’m rly tryna say is that shure I’m in athlete but i don’t get speshul treatment i mean I’m smarter then all my tutors anyhow so i don’t rly git how they’re helping me. and i mean all ruquel told me was that i shouldn’t take psych 111 dis semester cause its 1 of the hardest classes at michigna and also she said that i mite need to stay an extra few years to complete my degree (I’m gonna major in coral reefes or backyard sports still deciding) but like i don’t even care because michigan will pay out of their pockets for me to stay so i am fine with that. i don’t rly no what my point is in this but i guess I’m just trying to say that not all athletes r stupid like you zack so stop tryna bring us all bad names ok?!

    • Jordan P February 21, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      Troll 😀

      BTW, definitely go with backyard sports. I loved those games as a kid.

  14. brittavalentin February 22, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    Reblogged this on brittavalentin and commented:
    Don’t think I’ve reblogged anything before! I love this blogger – he’s entertaining and often informative. Give him a follow!

  15. my life is really hard, yours is not (said you) February 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    dear mom,

    my life is sooo hard.

    Seriously though, quit bitching.
    I run D1 and I wake up at 6 so I can go to class like everyone else at my school, not so I can run.
    Non athletes have struggles as well.

    • eatrunswag February 22, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

      Dude, you go to a military academy, as a quick Fbook search told me. If you think the typical college student gets up at 6am everyday you are wrong.

      I assume you didn’t really read any of the post anyway. This isn’t a post looking for sympathy, it’s a response to a girl who assumes that our lives are so easy and that we get this stuff for nothing. I’m speaking for all athletes that get this bad rep, and I’m doing so in a way that is still humorous and sarcastic.

  16. Laura February 22, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

    I really enjoyed your post. I have had experience with student athletes Div I, II and III schools, and I know that it’s not easy. Some student athletes may party a lot or pursue a “soft” major, but many more are quite focused and really achieve. The “normal” college students do not experience the physical exhaustion that comes from high- performance athletics, even if they do have busy schedules with work, volunteering or research. One semester I had about 20 student athletes in a class of 150 that I taught at a Div II school. I had to fill out little cards about the progress of each student athlete 4 times during the semester. I had two student athletes who pretty much blew off the class despite the fact that I notified the Student Athletic office more than once that they had a failing grade. These students had many resources available to them to correct the situation, but they chose not to, and their eligibility was affected. However, most of my student athletes were very motivated and communicative about their travel schedules, etc. I had soccer players who completed online tests literally while they were in the middle of travelling to their tournament. Personally I believe that commitment to student athletics is a wonderful thing for high- achieving athletes. Colleges and universities offer a lot of opportunities and resources for all students including free or subsidized tutoring and merit- based scholarships. Rather than griping about student athletes “mere mortal” students could seek out the opportunities available to them based on what their strengths are.

  17. P.H. Steeze February 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    I think the reply is excellent. The notion that student-athletes have an easier time is ridiculous. The girl acts as though athletics put the student in the school and are carrying him/her through graduation. Ignoring D1 football and the few one-and-done hoopsters (sorry, but Florida State has put athletes with third grade reading levels on the field)
    athletes have to put just as much effort into their studies as any other student. The resources allotted to them are not in place so they can get ahead, but as a support system to even the playing field with the time commitments to practice and competition. This is the jock bias at its finest and this young lady does not display a shred of evidence to support her claim.

  18. Runczar March 2, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    She is just a hater, I run 70 miles a week just to race in local 5k/ marathons and my schedule is crazy, I can’t even begin to imagine what you go thru bro. Keep the blogs coming.

  19. Elijah March 2, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    Success!!!! You have achieved your goal of getting attention. Haha. 37ish comments.

  20. idontknowwhyimcommenting March 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I think the biggest thing Renee fails to understand is that the athletic center, the tutoring, the gear and the resources are all there so that your university can recruit competitively, the only reason we have all that stuff is because every other university that has the money does as well. Why would some star football or basketball recruit go somewhere else if they can get special treatment at a D1 school. Also there aren’t even (good) tutors for classes much past orgo 2 and calc 2, so past freshman year your pretty much on your own and have to go to office hours just like everyone else

  21. Joel G March 18, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    I graduated with a 3.2 or 3.3 in Engineering from a Big 10 University. I could not fathom having to go through the Collegiate Athlete experience on top of that. Honestly, I wanted it, but I was not fast enough. I commend you guys. So as time passed by, I began a climb into distance running, marathon running, and recently ultramarathon running. Now, I know what it’s like to do something similar, waking up at 530 or 6am 3x a week before work to run, then crushing butts for 40+ hours at my job, and coming home and doing longer runs in the evening. Add in a longer run on Saturday… It adds up. It wears on you.

    Bottom line – it’s a lifestyle. I hate it when I can eat 2 lunches at work and people (like said pretty white female author) don’t understand why I’m always sore, hungry, and tired. I am also cooking all my meals, commuting to/from work, and not getting any hand out.

    I run with many post-collegiate athlete runners today, and their college experience sounded awesome! Perhaps I didn’t shake the rust off in my teens in order to qualify for a team – but F it, I am getting out there and doing my best now. I’m only 2 days off a sub 1:20 half marathon, a 3-minute PR, and that’s at age 33. So, enough with high horses – get off the F’n couch America, you fat lazy SOBs. F it. See you at Boston in 28 days.

    Great article – makes me ready for my evening run.

  22. Andrea March 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    This is not okay.

    I’m not sure how it is in other states, but I, too, attend a state-funded university in Illinois (about three hours south of U of I). I also work for this university (alongside a second job) and, although I probably wasn’t “supposed” to, have seen its budget. More scholarships, awards, and grants are given to athletic departments than any other. The school that I attend is in horrific debt (much as the rest of my state) but continues to add athletic establishments such as a brand new football stadium, revamping the arena, etc. Students “get in free” to all athletic events, but when they look at their bill for each semester, there is a $300 – $500 charge called an “athletic fee.” I’ve personally called about this, as it’s separate from our rec center services fee, and it was explained to me that this is what covers our “free” tickets to athletic events.

    Two floors of our library are unfinished (and have been for the past six years) because that funding has been redirected to athletics and advertising.

    It isn’t fair that the building in which I take most of my classes has its heat turned off on Fridays in order to help pay for these additions, or that my tuition gets raised and I have more fees tacked on in order to cover our society’s over-fetishization of athletes. It isn’t fair that I don’t get the academic attention or leniency that athletes receive. If I miss class due to an event that I’m involved with — whether it’s school-related or not — that’s still an absence that I have to make up. No one schedules outside test administration for me (or outside studio criticisms when I was a studio major — those can last for up to three hours). If I face an injury, health problem, or personal crisis, no one stops for me. I don’t get pity because I don’t “carry my school’s fame.” I have to handle it, much as any other adult should. Just because your interests — the attributes of your education — are different from mine does not mean that you deserve “more” or that I deserve “more.”

    Suck it up, this is your choice.
    I am an Art History major. Prior to that, I was a Studio Arts major. My schedule is currently 6am to 9pm, every day, plus homework. When I was a studio major, each of my classes were three hours long and met twice a week for the same amount of credit as non-studio classes — 3 credit hours. This meant that while I was spending six hours a week, per class (meaning a standard school schedule of 24 – 30+ hours in class alone and not counting homework hours) for the same amount of credit as someone enduring a non-studio major.

    I also have to work in order to support myself — food, rent, cost of supplies, and other bills — & considering that studio classes are rarely set up to be consecutive, this meant that I had to have a work schedule that consists mostly of weekend hours and graveyard shifts. On top of that, my physical health is important to me. I run three miles a day, weight lift three days a week, and do situps every morning.

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