Nerd. Jock. Geek. These stereotypical labels can be just as harmful as they are untrue. It is a common misconception that athletes do not usually make “good students.” This belief arises partly from the fact that college sports are demanding and time-consuming and can eat into homework and study time.
This school year, Eastern University successfully challenged such stereotypes by producing over 40 talented athletes who double as stellar students.
In December, the Middle Atlantic Conferences released the names of the student honorees for the Fall 2011 Academic Honor Roll. Forty-four Eastern students were named to the honor roll, or 64.7% of total eligible students. The requirements for placement on the MAC honor roll include a maintaining a GPA of at least 3.2 and completing a season of competition.
Eastern placed 7th among 16 participating institutions, outranking universities such as Messiah and Misericordia. Women’s Soccer took second place for number of honorees from a single team, with 14 of 17 eligible players recognized. They were outranked only by Widener Football, with 19 of 59 recognized.
Junior Amy Thomas of the Women’s Soccer team balances her commitments to both soccer and academics by doing a lot of homework on the weekends to get ahead.
“It also helps that my entire team is very academic,” Thomas said. “I actually do better academically in season because I have such a hectic schedule that I have to schedule studying and homework time.”
The honor roll also included seven students from the Men’s Soccer Team.
Sophomore Brandon Reichart of Men’s Soccer is a secondary education major. As he describes it, “Balancing academics and athletics can be tough, but (it is) also not so bad if you can be smart about it . . . It can be tough to get in observation hours and other work, but there are plenty of ways to figure it out if you are driven enough.”
Reichart’s teammate, Sophomore Austin Stover, is currently studying overseas in Lithuania and was not originally aware that he made the honor roll. “Being part of a team or any program here on campus . . . forces you to be more conscientious of your time as you learn strong time-management and better flexibility,” Stover said.