Gators find solid balance between sports and athletics

Though the reality of life for many SF State students has become the delicate balance between a job and school work, student athletes often substitute a paying job for the full-time work they put into their sport on a daily basis.

“School is really your main focus in high school, but here you play because it is your job,”  junior Bria Morgan said. “This is your main focus, I know we’re student athletes but there really is a lot of emphasis on athlete, so its hard to make school a priority.”

The Gator volleyball team has daily practices and games every weekend. The team travels on the road for half of its games, making it even tougher for the players to stay on top of their work, and essential that they make proper use of their time.

“Sometimes on the plane ride to LA I had to do it in my lap because I had so much homework,” said Morgan, who plays for the volleyball team and travels to away games every other Friday and Saturday.

The SF State athletic department asks its athletes to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to play sports, and maintain above a 2.3 to avoid mandatory study hours each week. But for the volleyball team, it’s different.

“With our coach, it’s like a 3.0,” senior Jazmine Williams said.

Head volleyball coach Jill Muhe emphasizes to the team how important it is to maintain good grades and attend all classes. Muhe has the team go to a mandatory study hall every day.

“We’re the only team that really has it (study hall) every day, so I think it’s really important to her,” Williams said.

SF State athletics is a whole new world when it comes to balancing a suffocating workload at school in the little time available.

“It’s discipline. We have the same schedule every week, so you have to plan around it,” said Arianna Cruz, a junior on the SF State volleyball team. “It’s just managing your time wisely.”

According to some players, becoming acclimated to the hectic life of being a student-athlete was not an easy thing for them to get used to.

“Changing from high school and club to college was overwhelming. Not being able to be in my classes trying to catch up sucked,” Williams said. “Once I got to my sophomore year I was used to it.”

Coach Muhe gives the girls three hours on the road to catch up on their school work, and any other time the girls need they do on their own. If players need more than the allotted three hours to catch up on schoolwork, they will find ways to make it happen.

“We have mandatory study hall on Friday and Saturday morning from 11:00 to 12:30,” Williams said. “But once we get in the room after a game, if we have time, I know a lot of people pull out the school work.”

The team sits at a 7-9 record going into the midway point of the season. With hopes for the playoffs clouding the time they can commit to midterms, the volleyball players will need to buckle down on and off the court.