Being an Athlete is a Full-Time Job

By Erin Townsend

Considering their dedication to both academics and sports, athletes at UT have little time for part-time jobs. This becomes problematic as, for the most part, college students are not financially independent and need a way to generate spending money for rent, food and other school-related expenses.

“I have a job for money. I have my car here this semester and I want to be able to pay for gas and also to start paying off some loans or textbooks,” sophomore rower Sierra Kroeter said.

Due to the length of matches and sometimes far distances traveled, the members of the women’s golf team doesn’t have the availability to hold down a job.

“It’s actually almost impossible to be on the golf team and have a job,” head coach Missey Jones said.

For the men’s basketball team, it’s simply against the rules. Their official stance is that they are not supposed to be working so they can focus on schoolwork. “We actually don’t allow our student-athletes to work during the school year. They are focused on their grades and their sport,” assistant men’s basketball coach Justin Pecka said.

Despite not being able to hold down a 20-to 24 hour a week job, Spartan athletes have a big role on campus; many of them electing to become members or leaders in organizations throughout UT. The time management and leadership abilities this requires equips them with life skills and an impressive resume citation they can use when applying for jobs in the near future.

Senior women’s track and cross-country runner Chantalle Blundell is fully accustomed to this.

Blundell is the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for cross-country (and also the vice president) as well as an ambassador for organizations Team Impact and Legacy Out Loud, making her week packed to the brim.

“My busiest days are usually Tuesday and Thursday because I have a lot of classes those three days. Tuesday and Thursdays are usually workout days on the track (not just a long run for practice but a speed workout) so I usually have a double run on those days as well. I also have a lot of group meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Blundell.

Blundell and her teammates’ schedules start much earlier than most other students and sometimes go just as late. However, weekdays aren’t clogged up by actual meets.

“Cross-country we practice at 6 a.m. daily so we are open the rest of the day to get other things done,” Blundell said. “The nice thing about cross-country is we usually compete on the weekends so anything school related I don’t usually miss. If there is a conference I want to attend on weekends and it conflicts with a race then I can’t go, but usually it isn’t a problem.”

Swimmers, like many other athletes, have two practices a day. Junior swimmer Marisa Barton manages to fit being a Gateways mentor as well as a SAAC swim team representative into her schedule. Barton avoids having her commitments interfere with swimming and competitions by staying organized.

“My busiest day of the week is Monday. I have practice from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m, class from 8:30 a.m to 1 p.m., practice again from 2 to 4 p.m, then class again from 6 to 8 p.m,” Barton said.

There are still some athletes, however, who perform the incredible feat of working part-time jobs into their busy academic-and-sport-filled schedules. Sophomore rower Sierra Kroeter manages to work on and off-campus and participate in a UT sport.

“I work as a lifeguard at the South Tampa YMCA. I usually work about 15 hours a week but this week I worked 21 and a half. I am also the secretary of the Healing Arts Club at UT,” Kroeter said. “I like working at the YMCA though because I have a free YMCA membership and they will re-certify me for free.”

On some days, Kroeter has to wake up well before 5 a.m. That’s what it takes for her to participate in everything she wants to, while still trying to have the best experience she can as a UT athlete.

“My Mondays and Wednesdays are pretty ugly. On Monday, I have rowing from 6 to 7:30 a.m., work from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., class from 2 to 4 p.m., class from 6 p.m. to 7:15pm and healing arts club from 8 to 9 p.m.,” said Kroeter.

Even though most athletes do not have a typical college part-time job, they learn irreplaceable skills from being apart of a team, like commitment and time management, that will surely benefit them in the workplace. Those that do decide to add part-time jobs to their abundance of academic and sports responsibilities are akin to a basketball player that can shoot threes, make free throws, and dribble between their legs.

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