Are Student Athletes Gods Among Men?

Senior Editor: Ashlyn Richardson

A new influx of memes making fun of student athletes has come pouring into the Twittersphere, and I love it. With all due respect, the hype around student athletes is one that is simply nauseating. We get it, you play sports! Often, student athletes take on this persona of superior beings in comparison to their non-athletic peers, and frankly, those who are not “D1 bound” are a little fed up.

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Example of student athlete meme(Courtesy of Twitter)

I understand that the work put into your chosen sport is not minimal. Student athletes train day in and day out to be the very best athletes they can be. They spend long hours after school pushing through grueling practices, not getting home until hours after the school day is over, and most likely have practices for their sports teams outside of school whenever the school season is over. The life of a student athlete is busy, it is consuming. Then on top of that, school work has to get finished and tests have to be studied for.  As Allison Steele, a member of the Woodstock track team said, “Student athletes put in a lot of work. It’s hard to find balance.”

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Another student athlete meme courtesy of Twitter

As an AP student and senior editor of the school newspaper,  juggling a part-time job, scholarship applications, clubs, and senior project, I find myself overwhelmed with the amount of work I constantly have, but  I am able to manage what is on my plate. I am not alone. The kids sitting in my classes with me are all involved in out of school activities, whether they are sports, a job, or clubs and barely have time to breathe. We are all busy, and we all worked to get to the place we are academically just as student athletes have worked to maximize their athletic abilities. We are all trying to find a balance, no matter if you are a nerd or a jock.

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But the issue that comes about is the pedestal a lot of student athletes are put on. They are made into these grand beings simply because they excel at athletics. If academics were treated the same way,  twitter would  verified because I have a 3.89 and got into Georgia Tech and UGA. My Instagram would be flooded with follower requests so people could track my journey. The entire top 10% of the class would have verified Twitters and mass Instagram followings! Unfortunately, that is not the case. A lot of student athletes seem to be these celebrity-fied beings. In addition to their glorification, I feel that some student athletes are often handed things their academic peers would never be given if they were in their shoes but didn’t play sports. For example, it isn’t fair to those who do not or cannot play sports to get rejected from colleges when their student athlete peers who do not come close to meeting the academic requirements for the same university get accepted and usually don’t even have to pay tuition. Also, student athletes are also given major breaks when they get to the universities they have committed to. Professors and students alike tend to look away when assignments come in late or deadlines are magically extended just for them. But I’m tired of it. Matt Mattson, a senior at Woodstock High School is too as he said, “I feel like kids who have committed to schools for sports look down on everyone who hasn’t, even fellow student athletes. It’s annoying. You’re not any better than me because you can dunk or throw a football really far.” Just because one works hard athletically does not mean they deserve the world presented at their feet.IMG_1726

So student athletes, please do us all a favor, and hop off your high horse for just a moment and reconsider us little people for a moment. The majority of us work just as hard, if not as hard, as you do. We’re all trying to find a balance between academics and extracurriculars.

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