Sports vs. school: a balancing act

by Sarah Black / Beacon Staff • September 6, 2012

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Senior Amy Sherman is accustomed to balancing academics and athletics.
Senior Amy Sherman is accustomed to balancing academics and athletics.

Time-consuming exercises, long and sweaty practices, and long-enduring games aren’t foreign to any dedicated athlete.

But writing an essay on the importance of Socrates’ influence on modern philosophy right after these activities might raise an eyebrow or few for some major league athletes.

Out of 12 schools, Emerson College leads the Great Northeast Athletic Conference in All-Academic honors for student-athletes.

Nearly half of Emerson student-athletes are pounding the dirt and still earning more than a 3.7 GPA at the end of a hard-worked day.

The GNAC awarded 93 Emerson Athletics students with All-Academic honors for the 2011-2012 year, blowing runner-up Saint Joseph’s College of Maine out of the water by a 31 student lead. 

“It was so rewarding to see that,” said Interim Athletic Director Stanford Nance with a smile and a slight fist pump. “Out of all the things we’ve done, that probably makes me the most proud.”

Emerson Athletics makes sure to recruit high caliber students for the college, Nance said. He added that the school is sure to put academics before athletics. 

“We’re an institution of higher learning,” he said. “That’s why we’re all here, to get the best education possible, so that you can reach your dreams career-wise and build relationships.”

Junior journalism major Bianca Buono plays center-field and third-base for the Emerson softball team. As a recipient of the All-Academic honors award, she said that she tries to cram in all of her extracurricular activities into the Fall semester while her practices and games are usually only on the weekends.

“My motto is school first — that’s what I’m here for,” Buono said. 

Spring semester can be maddening, however, when she tries to fit in four classes and working with WEBN and Emerson Independent Video activities into a softball schedule that demands six days of practice every week, excluding games.

“It’s hard every day, and I try to work my school schedule around softball at the beginning of the year,” she said. “It’s all about sacrifice.”

While there’s no official study hall, some teams manage to take the initiative to collaborate on school work.

Amy Sherman, member of the Student Athletic Advisory Council and guard for Emerson women’s basketball, said keeping organized is the way to keep afloat in school and sports.

Sherman, now a senior, played Emerson basketball since she first started freshman year. 

“My freshman year was a huge transition,” Sherman said. “You’re in a new place, meeting new people.”

Practice and games taking up an average of 20 hours a week, Sherman said.

“You have to get started on an assignment right away because you know you’re going to be getting something right after,” she added

Sherman said along with practicing basketball, she also babysits part-time and is about to be named president of the SAAC, all while managing to make the All-Academic Honors list.

“Just like on the court, you get better with practice,” Sherman said.