Being a member of the track team, I know what it’s like to balance academics and athletics. Some of the student athletes, however, seem to slip through the cracks at Keene State College. There is no reason to fail off a sports team because athletes don’t put enough effort into the classroom. Athletes are recruited on sports teams and are allowed to walk onto the team with the understanding they are mature enough to handle both athletics and academics at the same time, but many athletes fail to live up to these standards.

Athletes, we need to step it up. We’re supposed to be role models for the rest of the school, and you’re hurting yourselves and your team if you don’t go to class or get work done, and party too hard on the weekends. It is a shame to have your team suffer because you can’t keep yourself from boozing on the weekends or can’t drag yourself to class during the week.

The contracts we sign with the school and with the NCAA are with the understanding that we can conduct ourselves responsibly and in a manner that not only reflects ourselves, but also the team and the school at large. Education should be everyone’s first priority because that is the point of being in college. It’s an opportunity to better yourself educationally and personally. Student athletes need to take advantage of the opportunity they are given. I sound like a mother, but it’s frustrating to see good teams suffer when certain athletes are suspended, kicked off or failed off the team because they could not keep their extracurricular activities from interfering with their primary responsibilities. Athletes, you know better. If you’re struggling with a class, talk to your coach about it. If you don’t want to talk to your coach, talk to a teammate or friend about it. Have group study hall sessions or go see a tutor. Find some kind of help if you are struggling with classes instead of letting yourself fail. If you’re just lazy, you shouldn’t be on a sports team in the first place. KSC athletics have always had a strong tradition in being successful on the field, as well as in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean the few stragglers can’t pull their own weight. I’m not saying don’t have fun during college, but it is easy to balance a social life and everything else on your plate if you prioritize and manage your time properly.

You owe it to yourself, your coach and your teammates to put your nose in your books when needed, go to class, and forego the alcohol every once in awhile in order to maintain your ability to participate on an athletics team. Everyone is capable of this balancing act, it’s all about how much effort you’re willing to put in.


Whitney Cyr can be contacted at


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