Story by Ty Smith, Staff Writer
Image courtesy Chris Clark /MLive.com
Spring break is that time every year when college students get a chance to do whatever they want. They get to go home, or go visit friends, go on a road trip, anything— the possibilities are endless. Students can do whatever they want, because everyone’s free for the whole week— or, almost everyone. Athletes often forgo their spring break, having instead to go to different games in different places. Some stay in state, some go out of state, but what matters is that spring break isn’t theirs— it belongs to the school.
Now, I’m not against this. Giving up their break is just something that happens when someone signs up for college athletics, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Athletics are something that you sacrifice for and dedicate your time to, even more so than in high school. The fact that an athlete is absolutely required to go to games during spring break isn’t a problem at all. The problem arises when Aquinas makes the athletes pay their own way. Is your team going to Florida? You pay for the flight. Kansas? Better hope you can drive there. It’s absolutely ridiculous.
When Aquinas chose to let these people onto the team, it was with the express knowledge that these students are going be representatives of their college. Every game that every team drives out to during the academic year, these students are the face of Aquinas and spread awareness of the college wherever they go— they’re essentially free PR. The college knows this, and so pays to transport the players through the year, wherever they end up going.
But when spring break comes up, suddenly the school will not pay— yet they require the athletes to go. Even though the athletes are doing the school a service, and transport was never a problem before, during spring break the athletes have to pay their own way. It’s disrespectful towards them and their work, it’s financially hard on many students, but most of all, it reflects badly on Aquinas. What kind of college doesn’t support their athletes?