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The Blue & Gray Press | September 22, 2017

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Higher standards should be held for club leaders, club athletes

Higher standards should be held for club leaders, club athletes

By ASHTON FERNEYHOUGH

We’ve all seen those movies where the athletes are the life of the party and get away with every problem or issue that might be a result of the actions from the raging night they’ve had. But from past issues that have happened at the University of Mary Washington dealing with varsity athletes and non-collegiate athletes, every year the same debate arises.

Athletes think that the rules should be the same for them as regular students, but students think that athletes should have more strict rules since they represent the school. UMW should treat athletes and regular students regarding academics and punishments for athletes. These rules should apply for club athletes as well.

Several cases have dealt with behavior at parties and whether or not the behavior needed to be reprimanded because of drinking and drug use. In the few cases that I have actually kept up with, one case involved a varsity team and the other involved the men’s rugby team chanting an inappropriate song. The varsity team was reprimanded for their behavior and the rugby team was disbanded indefinitely.

Personally, coming from a varsity athlete, I think that the school should uphold the same rules for all club sports and varsity athletics. However, if the same offense happens again, negative consequential punishment should be assigned and action should be taken from there.

With academics, professors should be more lenient about deadlines and making special accommodations for athletes because although we did choose to be an athlete, we have no say in game times or departure times.

Most professors are willing to work with athletes but there have been times when professors won’t. The punishments for these actions should also be implemented on.

I talk about athletes as a whole because it doesn’t matter whether you are a varsity athlete or club athlete, you still play for Mary Washington and should be treated with the same respect either way.

Although I have heard many non-athletes talk about this issue, I don’t hear many athletes talk about it unless a team has just gotten in trouble.

“I think everyone should be treated equally, therefore everyone should have the same rules and consequences. I also think that is why some people play club sports, to not have the same strict rules,” said freshman Ladaijia Ball.

Club sports also have a say in the matter. Some students at the school don’t classify those who play a club sport an athlete just because they aren’t on a varsity team, but reality is, they still take time out of their schedules to represent our school.

“I think the school should treat everyone equally, just because they’re athletes doesn’t really mean anything. However, I do believe that clubs do need to be held up to the same standards as varsity in terms of academics and such. As a club president, I honestly get frustrated when members skip classes to come to meetings and practices. When their GPAs are slacking, nothing happens. To me, we all represent the school and we should all he held to the same standards whether it is varsity or clubs or anything,” said junior Maggie McMaken.

Both varsity and club sports need to be treated the same way. We are all athletes, just at different levels. We all play for UMW, just like we are all students are at UMW.

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