Students athletes may just be best known for how they put points on the scoreboard and maintain a good defence. Although here at Pierce College, some have to give more to reach their goals.
Men’s basketball head coach Casey Weitzel explains how the athletic department has a study hall where athletes must attend tutoring depending on their academic performance.
“We have English and math both coming every day Monday through Friday and depending on my students on my team’s GPA, they are required to complete a certain amount of hours each week,” Weitzel said. “If their grade point average is below a 2.0 its three hours a week, if it is anywhere from a 2.0 to a 2.5 it’s two hours a week, if they have above a 2.5, it’s one hour a week, and anything higher is no hours.”
Weitzel says that as a coach, his support to his players is not just on the court, but also extends further.
“We are not only coaches, but sometimes we are tutors as well,” Weitzel said. “One of my students had to come up with a scenario and they read the example and I help them brainstorm the right answer for it.”
Many student athletes also work as well and it can sometimes conflict with practice times and games.
Weitzel explains how far his athletes are willing to go to play and clock in on time.
“A number of our guys have jobs, and we even have a couple of them work at night so they don’t have any schedule conflicts,” Weitzel said. “So they work at night, they go to sleep for a few hours, they go to class, then they come to practice and they go back to work. So their schedules are insane.”
Water polo team captain Cassidy Hoffman usually found herself rushing to work right after practice, but believes with the right kind of time management its worth it.
“It can be definitely hard sometimes, it’s just kind of learning how to balance and manage your time, and figure out how to do A, B, and C but also remember you have two hours of practice at the end of your day,” Hoffman said. “My weeks change between part time and full time, I work between 25 to 45 hours a week, and that was definitely a struggle when school first started.”
Former Olympian and athletic director Moriah Van Norman believes that student aspect should always be the main focus of any student athlete.
“In college, being successful is getting a degree, and if we limit things to just wins and losses, a lot of people are going to be disappointed,” Van Norman said. “My gauge of success is, are they doing well in their classes? Are they respectful? Are they figuring out what else their good at besides athletics, and where are they going to transfer?”
Weitzel said that many people have the wrong perspective on the athletes.
“A lot of them are holding down jobs just like a regular student and are also making it to practice and games,” Weitzel said.