Letter to the Editor

ULM Hawkeye

Athlete: We are not ‘whining babies’

Dear Editor,
Student-athletes here at ULM are not the whining babies the last article painted us to be. We are some the hardest working students on this campus. This response letter is not to try and get sympathy from the student body, but to give insight into the daily struggles of student-athletes. We get mad when regular students say “oh you guys have it easy.” That statement is completely false. Saying we have it easy is just a slap in the face of our hard work.
They are not around at 4 a.m. when the soccer team is hard at work in the weight room, and when track runners are outside running while it is still dark in the morning. These students are tucked away nicely in their beds watching TV, while the football team and their coaches were outside during last week’s heavy rainfall trying to get better and prepare for what we believe will be a special for ULM.
If student-athletes have it so easy, I challenge any regular student to walk on in any sport during offseason training and make it through without quitting after the first week.
Another key issue the last article brought up and badgered student-athletes about is our asking for money that our scholarships do not give us.
What needs to be known is that we do not want the money to go spend on cars, jewelry, and other luxuries. We need the money for common household things like toothpaste, laundry, food for when the cafeteria closes at 8 p.m. and other things of that nature. People do not realize that if it were not for sports, more than 60 percent of the student-athletes would not be here.
Yeah, we get a free education and we are thankful, but division I athletics is modern day slavery.  The only difference is the people in charge today do not want us dumb and generally care about us. Other than that, the long hours, hardly any break time, and constant work in extreme weather conditions is the same.
Once again, I extend a challenge to those regulars who feel like student-athletes have it made because of free schooling to give up the extra money and free party time to walk a week in our lives.
The last issue this letter is going to respond to is the shot taken by writer Ben Mcdonald. He wrote, “So (wo)man up, stop whining and worry about the things you should actually be concerned about, like winning.” For a student to publicly take a shot like this at his own college’s athletic programs is wrong. Mr. McDonald represents a section of the ULM student body that is anti-ULM athletics and could care less if we win or lose.
The very members of this section are the students who can be seen around campus with other colleges’ athletic gear on. That is not right. If this section would stop criticizing the athletic programs and actually come to games, we would have to play money games and have a better shot at bowl games. Starting with the President, Dr. Bruno, down to the Athletic Directors, Bobby Staub, to the head coaches of every sport, all the way down to the players, everyone is doing their part to make ULM sports great. We just need to get the entire student body to step up and support us like ULL and LSU students do their teams.

Gerrand Johnson,
Redshirt freshman on ULM football team