Special Feature: What It Means to Be a Student-Athlete - GWUSports.com—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
Special Feature: What It Means to Be a Student-Athlete
Courtesy: Gardner-Webb
          Release: February 14, 2012
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What it means to be a Student-Athlete

If you over hear someone talk about NCAA athletics, you're likely to assume the Big Ten football or basketball games you see on TV. You may think of the teams who win every year or the spoiled brats who don't work very hard, but still get all the perks. You're not likely to think about the 'student-athlete' and the hours they spend dedicated to their degree.

It is a challenge that faces every Division I college athlete. How is it possible to compete at the highest collegiate level and still make time to get good grades?

Two of Gardner-Webb's ambitious student-athletes succeed in making this possible.

On the campus of Gardner-Webb University, there are a combined amount of 19 men's and women's athletic teams. From all around the world, high school athletes are recruited to GWU's small Christian affiliated establishment to continue both their academic and athletic careers as a Runnin' Bulldog.

For sophomore football quarterback, Lucas Beatty, a typical day during season leaves little leisure time and a tight schedule. "I usually wake up at about 5:30 am to make it to my 6 am workout."

With a total of 16 credit hours during this past fall season, Beatty knew his work was cut out for him to obtain his 3.8 grade point average.

Between workouts, conditioning, practices and schoolwork, the Economics and Finance Major used methods of studying and doing schoolwork on the bus and in hotels during travel downtime. "On the way to games I'd do a lot of work instead of late Sunday nights when we got back" Beatty said.

When asked what his motivation for his hard work was, he replied "The papers and homework are like the practices and putting in the extra work makes you better during the test and game."

Jane Savage, an outfielder for the GWU softball team, is on the homestretch to a May 2012 Graduation. The senior student-athlete has an advantage with her previous three years of experience at the institution.

Savage has impressively kept a 4.0 cumulative GPA throughout while working toward her undergraduate degree.  She was awarded the 'University Fellow' Scholarship her freshman year. "It's a scholarship that is based on an interview and essay structured application," Savage explains.

One of her main ambitions is to become an editor with her English 'Professional Writing' degree.

Her focus in the classroom has come with maturity, Savage acknowledges. "It's a large sacrifice and I've become much more disciplined and committed. I've become more interested in my study."

Savage's enthusiastic personality and leadership qualities are abilities used on and off the playing field. "It encourages me to continue to pursue excellence. I want to make the people I love proud."

Beatty and Savage have been successful in maintaining a GPA of 3.8 and higher during their time at Gardner-Webb University.

Both athletes share the same goals of complete success when they finish their time at Gardner-Webb: "A conference championship ring, a degree, a stronger relationship with God and the same motivation to excel in their careers and life ambitions."



Written by Lindsea Hutchinson

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