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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 1, 2000)
Photo Courtesy of Nebraska Sports Information
BOTTOM: TWO SPORT athlete Matt Davison
twirls a volleyball at a School is Cool is Jam.
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DN file Photo
iffli WMGBACK BOBBY Newcombe believes
many college athletes are seen as role mod
els even though most people do not know
wnat an atmeies personality is iiks. no sain
although he understands his role as a role
model, Ifsstlll difficult to fulfill.
Kioto Courtesy of Nebraska Sports Information
BELOW: NU l-BACK Dan Alexander jokes with
children after speaking at a School is Cool
Jam, where Nebraska athletes speak to
grade school students about the importance
skills they will team If they stay In school.
■--—ine iootoan ream
has only Saturday nights after games and
a few hours on Sundays for themselves,
said sophomore Josh Brown, a UNL foot
ball place kicker.
He said most of the players on the
team use spare time to see girlfriends,
family or other friends, (hi Sundays, the
team often meets to watch football
together, occasionally at a local bar.
When the athletes are in season, they
try to avoid anything that would hinder a
good performance, including drinking
alcohol and partying.
Matt TuUer, a freshman wrestler and
general studies major, said he didn’t
drink during the season, but he did not
want to comment about his teammates’
alcohol and party habits.
He knew some of his teammates went
out during the season, but could not
speak for everyone on die team.
“I don’t want to give wrestlers a bad
name,” TuUer said.
Joe Lunsford, a wrestler and junior
business major, agreed about the teams’
“I think a lot of guys go to parties,
but I don’t think a lot of them drink. It’s
wrestling season,” Lunsford said.
Isha KeUey, a freshman guard for the
women’s basketball team, said it would
be detrimental to die team’s performance
to party while in season because late
hours and early practices don’t mix.
“I party sometimes on weekends and
stuff, but not in season,” Kelley said.
Curfews, parties part
of athletes’ game plan
By Michelle Starr
most of their time to
their sport, but outside
of their sports, free time
is for their friends,
home work and, of
Though some of an
athlete’s time is spent
with outside friends,
many spend what little
free time they have with
Hours upon hours
of training creates a
tight bond among the
athletes and establishes
close friendships that
extend beyond the
Athletics creates a
sense of community.
“It’s almost like a
family. You see these
people everyday,” said
Melody Peterson, a bas
ketball player and
junior business major.
Many teams have rules regarding
social activities before games and prac
tices, Kelley said.
Brown said the football team is
locked in around 10 p.m. at the Nebraska
Center on nights before home games or in
their hotels at away games, Brown said.
The women’s basketball team also
has rules stating players cannot consume
alcohol two days before a game or one
day before a practice, Peterson said.
Curfews - some at 10 p.m., some at
midnight - are also enforced upon the
women’s basketball team. Coaches call
each of the players’ houses to make sure
they are there, she said.
The program provides support and
guidance concerning many aspects of an
athlete’s life, including social habits that
might conflict with athletic obligations
Senior NU football player Aaron
Wills may have never gotten his life back
in line if it wasn’t the support he received.
Aaron Wills, a left rush end, had
problems with drug and alcohol abuse
during his college career. He said he
found advice and support from friends,
his girlfriend, UNL swimmer Julia
Russell, and Grant Wistrom, former
UNL football rush end.
Wills said because of his experiences,
h e U _ . -
Its almost line a
family. You see
NU basketball player
would he willing to help anyone - espe
cially fellow team members - in any way
“I would go to the ends of the earth to
help them get through what I went,
through,” Wills said. “If I could help one
person, that would be good enough for
The athletes themselves work togeth
er to provide a positive environment,
including the performance and advice of
older players, to set the stage for the
As an athlete, Peterson understands
"the responsibility she has and the exam
ple she should set for the younger play
ers. ( ,
By not smoking, drinking orbreaking
team rules; she sets an example through
Wills said the best example that he
could set for younger players would be to
not show up at their parties, he said.
Colin Wills, Aaron’s brother and a
sophomore left rush end on the football
team, agreed being a role model was part
of a football player’s job.
“Little kids will look up to you
whether you’re a starter or third string,”
Colin Wills said.
Peter Fry, a junior on the men’s swim
team, agreed and said that though he did
n’t party, he thought athletes are more
conscious of their actions.
Peterson, while she understands she’s
a role model, said athletes, when they
party, are comparable to-other UNL stu
“(Athletes) going out to party is noth
ing different that anyone else going out to
party,” Peterson said.
Athletes tend to go out together, but
some say they aren’t exclusively friends
with other athletes.
“If I’m not at practice I’m with the
guys on the floor or at a Bible study,”
Tuller, a member of Kappa Sigma
Fraternity, said he spent more of his
social time with his fraternity house than
with fellow wrestlers.
Other athletes, especially those who
have been playing for more than a year,
go out together socially because they are
menus rnruugn men spun.
Jaime Pauli, a senior cross country
runner and accounting major, spends a
lot of time with other athletes.
Her roommate, die same woman she
roomed with her freshman year, is also a
cross country runner.
Pauli said it was convenient because
they have similar schedules.
“I wanted to be with another athlete.
I thought it would be easier for sleeping
and stuff like that,” she said.
It’s also common for athletes to party
together or at least know of other ath
letes’parties.. ... ,,, ♦,..
Sometimes knowing about other ath
letes’ parties depends upon the sport.
Pauli, who doesn’t drink, said she
wouldn’t know of a football party but
would probably find out about a track
Peterson agreed, and said die men’s
basketball team and the women’s soccer
teams often hang out together.
Teams become friends, she said,
through attending each other’s games.
Most of the parties Colin Wills said
he has gone to or heard of originated
from athletes but were not exclusive to
Athletes work hard and play hard
with fellow athletes and other friends;
there is a community, but there are indi
viduals with varied opinions and experi
ences within it.
“Just because we’re athletes, we’re
real people, too,” Kelley said.
After graduation, athletes learn to play the game of life
By Veronica Daehn
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
volleyball player Tonia Tauke said she
didn’t come to college to play volley
A dedicated student with a 3.75
undergraduate grade point average,
Tauke said she played volleyball for a
And, though she’s glad she played,
she said doesn’t know if she’d ever do
“I chose to play volleyball and be
in broadcasting,” Tauke said. “A lot of
teachers make me put in double the
time, but I don’thave double the time.”
Tauke graduated last May, and
after a semester of graduate classes,
she said she’s ready to move on.
But not all athletes are as ready to
leave their college days behind.
Brian Shaw, a UNL football player,
said he plans to stay in school after he
graduates in December.
Shaw will have a degree in animal
science and agricultural economics,
but doesn’t know what type of career
be wants to pursue.
So, he’s going to graduate school.
And he might play some more
“I’ll definitely look into (playing
more),” he said. “It can’t get any better
than this ”
Keith Zimmer, director of life
skills for the athletic department, said
less than one percent of college ath
letes nationwide go on to play profes
Athletes are more realistic today
than they were 12 years ago when
Zimmer arrived at the university.
About one-third of die athletes he
worked with then came in assuming
they would play professional sports
after their college careers.
“Now, athletes are more realistic,”
Zimmer said. “They’re taking the steps
to have more options, so if they don’t
go pro, they won’t get caught without
Tauke has taken %e steps neces
sary to not only continue her work on a
masters degree, but to get her career
The volleyball player, who came to
the university as a freshman with 48
credits, started work this month at an
Tauke is getting married this sum
mer and said she needed a job to pay
for things such as couches and tables.
Her volleyball scholarship hasn’t
left Tauke strapped for cash so far.
After receiving an undergraduate
broadcasting degree in three years,
Taul^e used her scholarship to start
work ^n a masters degree in advertis
ing while she finished her volleyball
While playing volleyball was a
positive experience for Tauke, she said
it did not always make things easy.
Tauke said she considers herself an
A student. Yet she graduated with a
“I know I’m not a B student,” she
Broadcasting classes often con
flicted with the volleyball practice
So she missed a lot of class.
It was always like that, she said,
and some teachers were better about it
“A lot of teachers wouldn’t make
any extra effort to help me,” she said.
“It was kind of like a dare to see if I
could still get an A and not go to class.”
It was frustrating, she said, because
she doesn’t have a choice in the matter.
It’s not like she’s skipping class.
But, she learned to live with B’s in
classes that she hardly attended.
Zimmer said his department’s job
is to promote realistic career planning
He helps students find meaningful
majors, put resumes together and get
“This way, in the event they don’t
get drafted, they have some options
and don’t have to back-pedal,” he said.
It’s natural for athletes to aspire to
play at a higher level, Zimmer said.
But it’s important to have a balance
between that aspiration and other real
“It’s delicate,” Zimmer said. “We
have to be sensitive to issues (the stu
dent athletes) are going through.
They’ve been playing for 12 to 15
years of their 20-year-old life. -It’s not
realistic to expect them to just let it
Zimmer said athletes are recruited
for jobs in sales after college because
of their visibility, work ethic, name
recognition and ability to deal with
Tauke said volleyball has taught
her things that she will take with her
into the real world.
She said she has learned not to give ;
up when things don’t go the way she
wants them to. And she has learned to
work with people she calls “difficult”
At this point in her life, she’s
learned she’s ready to move on.
“It’s been a long four years,” she
said. “I’ve done a lot, and I’m ready to
take the step to using those skills in
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