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Stereotypes Of Student Athletes

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“Okay I’ll sign this paper, but this doesn’t mean you’re excused and you can’t make up the participation points you’ll miss.” My first thought, “then why are you signing the paper?” I’m a student athlete here at Tulane University. My sport is Track and Field and I am a hurdler. As a student athlete, one of my responsibilities is to inform professors of when I’ll be out of class due to a meet and to have them sign a form saying it’s okay to miss their class. On quite a few of these occasions I’ve heard the first quote above. These professors believe that I am the stereotypical athlete. There are these ongoing stereotypes that student athletes are “dumb,” “lazy,” and “privileged.” It’s understandable that people believe these stereotypes, news magazines and reports are always talking about how athletes are “coddled” and “cheat” their way to success. Though it is nowhere near true for the majority of student athletes, a select few situations encourage this negative categorization of us, thus putting student athletes under even more pressure to perform. Student athletes are constantly misjudged and the assumptions are affecting us. For example, in his article “Checking Athlete’s Privilege,” Michael Kasdan writes, “Giving star athletes preferential treatment doesn’t begin in college. It starts much younger. The coddling, the entourages, the brushing aside of academic requirements (OK – we’ll say it: cheating) …But we sure do master it by the time those athletes get through the
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