Tag Archives: Illini

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.

http://www.dailyillini.com/opinion/columns/article_826b725e-7a47-11e2-a1c6-001a4bcf6878.html

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)

Tuesday:
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)

Thursday:
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.

Friday:
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

Saturday:
“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 from your frat party date rape drug hangover.)
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, babe.  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 pure bullshit.  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 shitty 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

Girl you are so dumb, furrrreaall

“Is being just a student no longer enough? This argument was made long before my epiphany.”

This was your brilliant epiphany? Dayummm girl, with genius moments like this your next step is probably finding the cure for cancer!

Your Illinois education impresses me.

Your Illinois education impresses me.

 “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. “

The NCAA- We FORCE you to LIVE LONGER.

The NCAA- We FORCE you to LIVE LONGER.

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.

Ok, f-ck you.  It’s getting really hard to remain civil.  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 f-cking 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 damn 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?