Monday, November 15, 2010

DU Student-Athletes Break Stereotypes- Final Blog

Within any social society there are controlling stereotypes. These common beliefs held by a dominating popular group about individuals are based purely on assumption. Like the 1985 movie, “The Breakfast Club” there are always ruling stereotype except in college they are more prevalent and make up your four years of education;“The skater,” “the frat guy,” “the drunk,” “the sorority girl,” “the hippie,”the nerd” and “ the athlete.”

Research shows that there are more too these stereotypes then just appearance. Examining closely the University of Denver athletic teams “the jock” stereotype is purely faulty.

When talking with everyone associated with Denver Athletics their insight focused on the demanding schedule student-athletes have at DU. A schedule that is both overwhelming and demanding. Carey Benson, University of Denver’s student-athlete advisor says, “Learning how to balance all of the pressures, both from the academic side and the athletic side present to a student athlete…is the most important part [of being a collegiate student-athlete.]”

Despite popular belief student-athletes at DU aren’t here to play their sport and engage in social activities. DU athletes are here first and foremost for the education. “You are a student first at the University of Denver. We encourage our athletes to succeed at their very best in both the classroom and on the field,” says Peg-Bradly-Doppes, University of Denver’s Direct of Athletics. Strength and condition coach, Kathryn Wartenby agrees by saying, “The most important part is the student part, that’s what’s going to get you far in life.”

DU requires its first year student-athletes a six-hour minimum of study hall,a place monitored by DU staff for athletes to get their homework done. Athletes are also required by team to meet a specific GPA to get out of study hall sessions. For Denver men's lacrosse, the GPA is 3.2 anything under that requires a six-hour study hall session per week. If study hall hours aren’t completed the athletic staff implements punishment on not just the athlete but also the entire team.

In 2006, DU “shattered a 74 percent graduation rate which is equivalent to the overall student graduation rate at the University of Denver and 10 percent higher then the NCAA national average (”

Student-athletes at the University of Denver despite contrary belief, care about their studies and strive their best for perfection. In 2002, Denver women’s basketball was ranked 23rd nationally for having a GPA of 3.26. In 2009, Denver swimming and diving congratulated themselves of posting multiple Academic All-Americans. The men's team ranked 12 out of 44 with a GPA of 3.24 and the women recognized a swimmer who had a perfect 4.0 GPA.

What most people don’t realize about student-athletes is that they manage two full time jobs. One job being their commitment to their team; rigorous hours of strength and conditioning, practicing and traveling and their other job being a student, that is required to meet GPA requirements for both DU and the NCAA’s.

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