Chico State athletes aren’t getting paid to play sports, but theyare studying at the university level, receiving a college educationand playing sports simultaneously.
They spend time away from the classroom when travelling during theweek to compete throughout the year but are still expected to turnin the same amount of work as their classmates.
The women’s soccer team played the most games it ever had, 25, andtraveled to Florida to play as one of the final four teams in theNational Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. The ‘Catsplayed a total of 18 games away from Chico.
Sophomore goalkeeper Megan Foster knows it is not simple for anycollege athlete, but that is a given when choosing to play sportsin college, she said. While on the road, Foster tries to keepherself motivated and to make sure her classes do not get put on theshelf.
“I just stay organized and try to get things done early,” she said.”I always have to bring homework, which can load my bagsometimes.”
When travelling to different cities and staying in hotels, most wantto explore what the towns have to offer, she said.
“There have been times while on the road when we can go out to themovies or go to Starbucks and study,” she said. “I usually tend togo and study.”
Her focus and hours of studying on the bus despite distractionsturned out to be worth it while in Florida for the NCAAtournament.
Foster received the Elite 89 Award, an award given to thestudent-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating inthe finals.
Foster was unaware that she was one of the choose few on the listfor the award and was shocked when she won, she said.
“All these late nights and all the coffee that I’ve had all paidoff,” she said.
With the season over, Foster plans to continue her studies and isthinking about declaring a major involving biology orforensics.
The men’s basketball team’s season is underway, and the team willbe on the road for the remainder of the month playing HumboldtState, Sonoma State and Pacifica College.
Guard Jay Flores, a business administration major, has noticed thatwhile studying on the road is manageable, he has to deal with moredemanding, challenging courses as a senior, he said.
“Being on the road and out of class, you do not get to ask theprofessor questions if you do not comprehend something and thatsometimes is a challenge,” he said.
Student-athletes are often given assignments early in the semesterin order for them to have the time necessary to complete thembefore they travel for play.
“In bigger universities that are more sports-oriented, studentsoften miss way more class time and often do not attend class,”Winslow said. “But I have never had a problem with athletes hereand getting their work done.”
Andrew Delgado can be reachedat
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