Editors’ note: This is a student-athlete’s reaction to an article about how the Thorntons Academic Center is providing special privileges to student-athletes.
By Taylor Webster–
For years, University of Louisville’s athletes were struggling to find the time and money to eat. You are probably thinking: “Money? They do not have to pay for school, they have plenty of money!” That is the furthest thing from the truth.
Most student-athletes are not on full scholarship and have to pay their rent, partial tuition and buy groceries. With that being said, a lot of athletes, if not for their sport, would not be in college. On average, in one week their sport takes up to 30 hours, classes take up to 20 hours and studying takes from seven to 14 hours. A student-athlete has no time to fit in a job.
Most college students, although they have to eventually pay off students loans, usually have a job that allows them to buy food and be comfortable. If not, they can work their class schedule around dining hall hours. Student athletes cannot change their schedule to fit dining hall hours. If the Ville Grille is closed when they get out of practice, they might not eat.
Many regular students say that University of Louisville’s student-athletes receive special privileges. The university made a huge adjustment and invested in its student athletes by opening the Thorntons Academic Center. This center provides a place for athletes to eat and study, so they can become the best version of themselves.
Regular students complain about the Adidas lounges, the private cafeteria and the numerous study spaces. The complaining does not stop there, though. They are also upset about the professional recruitment events, in which athletes have the opportunity to search for internships and future careers.
Their claims that the average U of L student does not have the same access to professionals are untrue. The career fairs that U of L holds are normally at times that most student-athletes have class, practice or conditioning. These career fairs are essentially inaccessible for student-athletes. The private professional recruitment events that are held at Thorntons are from 7:00-8:00 a.m. or from 7:30-9 p.m., times that most student athletes can make.
Career fairs are also required to be business casual. If a student-athlete is running from practice and has 30 minutes to stop by the fair before a class, do you think they will have enough time to shower and change their clothes? The answer is no.
Regular students are busy, but they are not as busy as the average student-athlete. Thorntons is not providing special privileges for student-athletes.
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal