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CHAMPIONS IN THE CLASSROOM

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I follow Coach Butch Jones on twitter and noticed he was encouraging his players during this final exam week to represent the C on and off the field. I thought for a minute...how legit this is and what it meant to the players. Obviously its legit because the Coach went public with his feelings and expectations; secondly I can't speak for the players but I'm sure it put some of them on notice that if people see them hanging out and not in an environment that is conducive to studying the word may get back to the coach.

We don't know to what degree social media has changes lives and habits but it has. We know information overload is alive and well and this is one time you have to be appreciative of it if you are a parent of a player, concerned alumni or faculty at UC because Coach Jones is basically saying I know its exam week and I expect my players to do their job! What do you expect now that you know its finals week? Do you expect them to focus? stay out of the public eye? avoid distractions,etc.

I can't answer that but I know we have coaches and have coaches that expect academic excellence and yes we've had those to the contrary. We've also had faculty that are on both sides of the fence as well. Its one of the longest running debates on athletes and their obligation to the student part of student-athlete. I, in my brief college hoop career, didn't respect the classroom like I should have until baseball coach Steve Hamilton threatened me with a failing grade if I thought missing class was a perk for athletes. Now I was the lowest form of player, meaning I was a walk on, not a scholarship player or McDonalds All American but I know that faculty and staff are in awe of stars like everyone else and some want to befriend the stars for future perks, thus the grades are "given" vs. earned.

In this day and age of twitter and social media, if that happens someone comped a grade and it becomes public, people will be exposed like never before. The guilty parties will be identified and their crimes posted, shared, copied and pasted before they can say "what had happened...". 

Depending on how you look at it, its a blessing to embrace social media for lots of reasons and it puts people on notice who might prefer to fly under the radar. But if you're representing the "C", "X" or the Norse you can't lay low. You are there to get your grades and game tight and one shouldn't take precedent over the other but I know it does. It shouldn't be so obvious that you disrespect one for the sake of the other. The belief was you can do both, the fact is you need to prove it. The word is Coach Jones is watching and wants us to also.

That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat

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