Athletes juggle class load

Florida A&M University athletes have practices to attend, games to play, but most importantly classes to go to. Along with intense athletic schedules, some still manage to have grade point averages of 3.0 or higher.

Stanley Stuber, 21, a senior graphic design student from Tampa, who is on the men’s track and field team and has a 3.3 GPA, said there are certain priorities student athletes must uphold.

“School work comes first and have fun second,” Stuber said.

Some athletes said even with school work and athletic responsibilities, they try to maintain a social life.

“At times it’s real hard, but I get real frustrated about all the work and sports, but social life I have little bit of time for but basically it’s just school and sports,” said Phillip Sylvester, running back for the football team, who has a 3.3 GPA.

For Eddie Battle, quarterback for the football team, who has a 3.0 GPA, said he divides his time based on importance.

“For the most part schoolwork and football usually gets more of the time,” Battle said. “It’s probably like a 40/40 and social life gets a 20 percent. I try to prioritize things that are going to benefit me more.”

Joe Taylor, head football coach said, he wants athletes to excel academically.

“We stress academics, for a couple of reasons- number one we tell them that there’s no university in America built for athletics,” Taylor said. “All universities are for teaching, learning and research and they don’t ever come to college just to play football, they come to get an education.”

Taylor said the football coaching staff has many ways of helping players with their academics.

“So, we make sure they have study hall,” Taylor said. “We make sure they don’t ever let practice conflict with classes. We hold hardly support that because what you get between your ears will decide how far you go in life not football.”

Reynard Robinson, head coach of the men’s track and field team, said his team has certain tasks to uphold when they are traveling.

“They have a study period while they’re on the road in the hotel and that they have to bring a book or something to study while they’re on the road,” Robinson said.

Whitney Young, a cross-country runner, said being successful and playing sports deal with time management.

“Balancing sports and grades is definitely all about time management and staying focus,” said Young, 21, a senior business student.

Young, who maintains a 3.36 GPA, said the cross-country team’s practices are usually five days a week.

Kelle Ransom, 19, a sophomore public relations student from Atlanta, said she is able to manage her time by using a daily planner.

“It takes a lot of work,” Ransom said. “I’m kind of tired most of the time.”

With all the events going on around campus, Tiffiny Morrow, 19, a sophomore nursing student from Homestead on the women’s track and field team said prayer is important to being focus.

“I remain focus by remaining level headed and praying mostly, and staying on top of herself,” Morrow said.

Morrow also said she finds reading her goals everyday very helpful.

Some players chose spirituality in keeping them grounded in their academics.

“I just try to stay humble,” Battle said. “I go to church every Sunday I can, I’m not perfect I do miss some. I’m a very spiritual person, I read the Bible every now and then and just doing what’s right.”