Juggling practices, games, and school is always difficult for any athlete, but how well do coaches at NDNU respect the athlete’s they have a student? The athletes at NDNU have coaches that support their academic career, and wish for them to succeed in their studies.
Even though there are many student athletes at NDNU that are able to graduate with their intended major, there are still a handful of students that either quit their sport or change their major because of the workload that they have. Sophomore lacrosse player, Alberto Gutierrez, states that, “Last year one of my business teachers tried to convince me to change my major. He told me that being a business major is going to be too hard for a student-athlete. That bugged me because the material that we covered in that class was not like a reason why I shouldn’t continue in business it was just one class and anyone could pass it,” although Alberto did not change his major, he now understands why his business teacher thought that. However, he is happy to have coaches that support his academic career and give him enough time in the day to do our homework. He shares, “that’s one of the main benefits of having practice so early in the morning. Even though it may be hard to get up in the morning, it gives me enough time during the rest of my day to do everything I need to do.” Alberto finished by telling me that travel does not hurt their grades if they communicate well with their teachers.
Karen Plesur, a teacher in the Communications department, says, “I try my best to work with my students so that their travel time with their sport does not greatly affect their grade in my class,” due to her class requirements of projects using a specific computer program that is hard to have the access to. She also stated, “I think it’s every professor’s fear to have a student that is not truly interested in their major. However, I try to make my class interesting, so they can truly enjoy it.” Karen Plesur continued explaining to me that usually they would have to have short tutorial sessions either in class, or with another classmate. She states, “As long as they communicate with me they seem to do fine. The worst is when I don’t see them for a week and find out they were travel when they come back.”
Karen Plesur and Alberto Gutierrez are just a few examples of how the student-athletes and teachers try their best to juggle the commitments that these students have. Karen Plesur is a teacher from NDNU that works with the student so they are able to keep their grade, however this may not be the case with every teacher on campus. We can only hope that every student athlete graduates their university with the major that they desire. However, NDNU has professors that are willing to work with their students to help get them there.
The past five years the original sport of the Olympics has been going through many major reforms and even talk about being voted out of the Summer Olympics . As far as Olympic wrestling goes the sport was saved from being removed from the list of athletics event in Rio and will continue to be a major sport . The other issue that has been surrounding this sport here in the U.S is that it is in a great decline not only from the high school level but a huge part of it is coming at the collegiate level of participation. The sport is being taken away from universities and colleges mainly on the west coast of the country.
The decline of the sport has an even bigger impact on high school wrestlers. Tony Vena Head wrestling coach at Damien High School in La Verne California, says that the decline of the sport in the west coast is because“ not really marketed as a youth sport; more kids involved in year around outdoor sports (weather accommodates that) like baseball and soccer; I saw an article recently that says the singlet turns off potential athletes.” When asked about the recent cuts in the NCAA level he said, “NCAA wrestling cuts are the result of Title IX – wrestling as an all male sport becomes an easy target. Not sure anything can be done other than increasing interest/participation and expanding female involvement in the sport.” Sophomore Lexicon Mendoza said “ The decline might have to do with the loss of interest in such a physical sport and the demands, ”Mendoza later went on to state that he would not participate in the sport but would watch because of the interesting way of nature the sport has.
Many high school wrestlers that are currently participating in the sport and going into the conference and state and national levels aspire to get recruited at the collegiate level. High school national champs, state champs, and some coaches believe that colleges and universities are no longer recruiting them. This in fact is somewhat true when it comes to west coast schools. ”Yes they are getting recruited but predominantly from wrestling rich states in the Midwest and east coast (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, etc.) The weight cut at the collegiate level is also a deterrent.” This is true when asked on whether or not this is true former wrestler and NDNU alumni Matt Silva said “A huge part of why I did not continue to wrestle in college had to do with the weight cut and the substantial amount of injury and time of dedication the sport required of me.”
The sport in itself is not offered at NDNU according to Athletic Director Josh Doody, It is to much of a liability and the amount of insurance that it would require would be something that would not be good for the university” The total cost of the insurance necessary for this sport at the collegiate level is roughly around $75,000. This is the basic type of insurance with minimal coverage of each athlete in the sport.