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Applause for Richard Sherman defending the stress of student athlete life

Thompson explains why Richard Shermans defense of student athletes is relatable to her life as a swimmer at TCU.
Thompson explains why Richard Sherman’s defense of student athletes is relatable to her life as a swimmer at TCU.
It has been a long road balancing life as a student and as an athlete.

Cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman went viral after a press conference speech during which he defended the hectic schedule and balancing act that student athletes face.

First off, thank you Richard Sherman for saying what all student athletes wanted to say but didn’t know how to say until you provided us with this video.

This video clip pops up on my newsfeed every now and again. And normally the video fills me with pride– as I was a student athlete for TCU. However, against my normally good judgement, I made the mistake of reading some comments. And felt the need to set the record straight from my point of view.

Thompson is a member of TCU’s Swim & Dive Team.

It’s hard to describe the all-encompassing influence on someone’s life that is Division 1 Athletics, but Sherman does a great job.

Sherman starts off by saying student athletes are not given enough time to take advantage of the education they are ‘given.’ And I agree, although I hate the word given because I worked my butt off to earn that education.

Sherman says, “A lot of people get upset with student athletes and say they’re not focused on school or not taking advantage of the opportunity they’re ‘given’.”

The TCU Women’s swim team was recognized by the College Swimming Coaches of America (CSCAA) for their accomplishments in the classroom during the fall 2016 semester. The women’s team had a cumulative GPA of 3.41.

“The figure ranked second-highest among Division I schools from Texas, only behind SMU (3.53). The team’s latest honor marks the 45th-straight semester with CSCAA recognition,” according to GoFrogs.com. Myself, as well as plenty other of student athletes at TCU, take our education seriously. Have you ever heard of Caylin Moore?

Yes, there are the occasional athletes who don’t take advantage of the situation but they are an exception not the rule.

“I would love for a regular student to have a student athlete’s schedule during the season.” Retweet Sherman Retweet.

“You can’t schedule classes from 2 to 6 o clock,” Sherman says. Not to mention the limited afternoon classes here at TCU that student athletes can enroll in because of their schedule. If you do have an afternoon class as an athlete, you would have to go in at 6 a.m. to make up practice.

“You have a test the next day, and you’re dead tired from practice and you still have to study just as hard as everyone else.”

I understand that some regular students have some sort of a fitness schedule. But you don’t know what it’s like to be that physically and mentally tired after a hard practice and then have to somehow stay awake to study. And before I get a comment saying, “study ahead of time,” I did. It doesn’t make it any easier when every day for two weeks before a test you’re exhausted. But you still have to get it done.

“If you’re done with class by 3 o clock you have the rest of the day to do what you please.”

You know how many times I would’ve killed to stay behind at a class and get something done, or stay and work extra with a professor, or just get my homework done so I could relax and enjoy a day? But that’s not the case, I was normally already late for practice.

“They’re upset when a student athlete says they need a little cash.”

This is a controversial issue, but I’ll give you my two cents. Do student athletes deserve (and yes I use the word deserve because of all the hard work that goes into being a student athlete) a little compensation for their efforts? Yes. I don’t have the magical answer that will fix this issue but I wish I did because the system isn’t perfect.

“People think oh you’re on scholarship, the pay for your room and board they pay for your education.”

PSA THIS IS ONLY FOR FULL SCHOLARSHIP ATHLETES. Not all student athletes have everything paid for. And most are not on full scholarships but some sort of partial scholarship. The things I earned were the product of the work I’ve spent on this sport since I was 7 years old. So no, I will not apologize for having earned PART of my college paid for.

“You’re not on scholarship for school.”

My experience finds this to be highly true. I was told by one of my coaches to switch my major from Sports Broadcasting because it took too much time and sometimes conflicted with swimming. I came here to get a degree and you don’t make a living doing swimming. But nonetheless I was strongly encouraged to change my major, I refused, and there were some arguments after that.

Moral of the long story: until you have been a student athlete, don’t judge them for what you perceive in this cushy life where everyone does the work for you. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

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