KU athletes talk balancing academic, athletic success

Players struggle to find equilibrium with busy schedules

By Jenny Mosley

As students, we’re told that having extra-curricular activities on our resume will help us when it comes time to apply to jobs, and for collegiate student athletes, that mark comes with their respective sport. However, that notch doesn’t come as easily as some people may believe.

thumbnail_bullaro_anthonyAnthony Bullaro, a sports and leisure major and member of the men’s track team, knows first-hand just how difficult it can be to participate in a sport as well as keep on top of his grades.

“With track, we travel a lot in season, so I miss a lot of my classes,” he said.

Like Bullaro, many athletes have had a hard time staying on track with their education between practices, lifting sessions and games. Bullaro said, “Just doing all of my work and getting it in before the due date is the hardest part.”

In some cases, athletes don’t get a choice when it comes to their major studies.

Megan Frailer, a former KU women’s soccer player, transferred to University of

Maryland with hopes of trying out for a position on their women’s team. Frailer soon realized that those dreams wouldn’t come true when Maryland told her she couldn’t pursue a forensic chemistry degree because it interfered with practice time.

Brielle Dickey, a fifth-year senior at KU, also chose her future. After two years on the team, she discovered that most biology majors who play sports had to take a fifth year and Dickey decided that college lacrosse just wasn’t worth it for her.

“Personally, I think it’s not bad that I had to take another year,” said Dickey. “I’ll be in school longer than I had hoped, but having that extra semester gives me more time to get my GPA up which will help me get into grad schools or even have better job opportunities.”

Like Dickey, many student athletes have trouble keeping their GPAs up, Bullaro included, he plans to take a fifth year to both run track and focus on getting better grades.

College athletes often look for jobs that keep them in the sports field. Dickey, for example, plans to become a sports physical therapist. Bullaro has plans to work in the box office for a Philadelphia sports team.

“I think the best thing I learned in my few years as an athlete was time management,” said Dickey. “College lacrosse taught me how to be a leader and made me into the dedicated and passionate person I am, and I think that’s something that will really help me in my future.”

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