Athletes succeed in classroom without ‘lavish’ help


Dear Editor,
I am writing this in response to the wire services article printed in the Dec. 3 issue of the Spinnaker, “Universities offer lavish academic centers for student athletes.”

The article deemed lavish academic centers necessary for student athletes who might not be intellectually equipped to do university-level work.

This article not only carried a bias with it but also misled readers by only acknowledging one viewpoint.

The article is misleading when it refers to “lavish” academic facilities built in support of intercollegiate student-athletes across the country. The truth of the matter is most facilities are quite modest in size, structure and amenities.

Lavish facilities do exist in a handful of universities; however those institutions are examples of the exception, not the rule.

UNF student-athletes attend study hall in the press box of Hodges Stadium. I would love to be directed to the nearest lavish academic-support facility on campus.

The article speculates some might think athletes perpetuate the image of a dumb jock who couldn’t get through school without special help. This notion is far from the truth.

Despite the modest academic support facilities at UNF, student-athletes graduate at a higher rate and with a higher cumulative grade point average than the general student body.

This fact, not speculation, is no small feat; it is a tribute to the student-athletes, coaches and athletic administrators who strive for not only athletic, but also academic excellence.

Citing major, well-financed athletic programs across the country as “typical” is misleading and wrong.

I’m proud of my fellow 250 student-athletes who not only work hard on the playing surface, but also in the classroom to achieve a harmony between outstanding athletics and exceptional academics.

Michael Gropper
Junior, Communications
Catcher, UNF Baseball