This is usually my reaction when my coach tells me I need to keep those hours free for practice and weights. I am part of the women’s basketball team at UCD and this is the most typical time block required for fall and winter quarter. Since spring is our off-season, things are a little different.
Thankfully, athletes receive priority registration. Without priority registration, teams would not be able to practice as a whole unit and each player would have some serious issues with graduating on time. Throughout the years that I have spent at Davis, there have been a number of complaints with athletes getting priority registration. I could maybe, maybe, see how students become aggravated when they are waitlisted for that one class they really wanted and all that comes to mind is those damn, spoiled athletes that get priority registration. Buuuuut, as a student-athlete, I know the athletes shouldn’t be the ones being blamed, if anyone at all should be blamed.
Life is no tea party for any student, but athletes must overcome numerous obstacles that other students do not have to face throughout their college career. These obstacles can include injuries, keeping up your grades, dealing with team conflicts and being able to keep sane through all of it! Many athletes have been devoted to their sport for years and years; to come to a college and have to take a back seat to the action can be quite the heartbreak. Being able to balance these heartbreaks while also keeping the GPA high enough to be eligible is why I consider student-athletes to be a sort of hero.
Along with the UC Davis school requirements, the NCAA provides more strict rules for student-athletes to live by. In many ways, this is good for the athlete; teaches many lessons that will be useful later on in life. No matter how beneficial being a student-athlete can be, the lessons learned require focus and dedication. It is not easy staying home because you have practice or a game in the morning while your friends and roommates are out exploring college life. It is not easy missing class while also dealing with professors that couldn’t care less if you play a sport or not; bottom line, if you do not show up to their class, you should be punished. When I was a sophomore, I was not prepared to travel for basketball and still keep my grades up. I would miss more than half a week at times and still be expected to turn in homework that I had absolutely no idea how to do. Not to mention, I was exhausted! The quarter system is QUICK and if you do not keep up, you are doomed. Sophomore year, I was doomed. My grades showed my lack in ability to balance everything. I learned, eventually.
Most athletes do not go around asking for praise for what they do; most do what they do because they love the game and will do anything to keep being a part of it. We athletes have been given a great opportunity to play in college and most athletes realize this, but this opportunity does not come easily. So, if you see an athlete around town, maybe think of giving them a pat on the back–and don’t forget to come out and support your school’s teams!
Written by Lauren Juric
Edited by Ori Gold