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October 14, 2006

Inside a Student-Athlete’s Daily Routine

Filed under: Graduate School,Sports,Track and Field,USC Trojans — Karen @ 4:45 pm

It’s interesting to see what regular students say about athletes.  I would say that 90% of the time, they are like “Wow, you are so lucky to be an athlete.”  Some thing that athletes “are spoiled” or “all the classes that athletes take are easy.”  Being a student-athlete is not easy– and sometimes it is harder than being just a regular student.  Athletes have to balance their academics, athletics, and their personal life all at the same time– and that takes a lot of time and energy to make it all work. :)

There are a lot of “perks” for being an athlete.  Athletes get team issue, free travel, academic tutors, and a lot of press coverage.  Athletes also have a lot of expectations put upon them from many groups, such as the media, donors, alumni, and the fans in their sports. 

I would say that one of the coolest things that I got to do when I was competing in track was traveling and seeing new places.  I got to see other universities and new states.  From snow and -4 degree weather in Nebraska to the humidity and sunshine in Florida to the sunshine and Trojan fever in Los Angeles– it was great!

But sometimes regular students only get a certain view of what goes on in the life of a student-athlete.  There is more than meets the eye– athletes have a very structured and intense schedule each day.  Between classes, workouts, and studying– there isn’t much free time to relax!  Here are some athletes that talk about their daily routines at their university.  Wow– these guys really work hard! :)

Last year, my daily schedule was pretty intense as well.  Not only was I competing in my last year in track and field, but I was at a new school and starting my Master’s degree.  I had a lot of people ask me what it was like to be an athlete and a graduate student– and I said that you really have to have good time management skills, because both activities take a lot of your time and there is a lot of work involved as well. :)  Here was a typical daily routine that I did last year when I was a student-athlete at USC:

8 a.m.:  I usually wake up at this time.  I used to be an early morning person, but since I have been at USC and in the graduate program– I have turned into a night owl!  One good thing about grad school– night classes! :)  No more 8 am classes! :D

8:30 – 10 am:  This was the time where I would work on some of my class work.  I knew that I had to do something before I headed to campus and practice, so this was the time where I would do my papers and reading for my classes.

10:30-12:30:  Lifting and conditioning.  I would usually do my lifting first and then my conditioning.  I would say that out of all the activities that I did in track, I loved to lift!  Running on the other hand– well, I could live without doing it!! :)

1-3 pm:  I would get something to eat (usually either a sandwich or sushi– USC has some great places to eat for lunch!) and then I would head over to throw the shot. 

3:30-4:30 pm:  One important thing that I felt that I needed to do everyday was visit my “home-away-from-home.”  Today, that is Annenberg–but last year it was the training room.  I felt like I had my own table in there! :)  But with the aches and pains of training–it’s something that all athletes have to do.

5:00-6:00pm:  Dinner at the Galen Center.  This is where all the student-athletes go and eat.  Today I still go there after I am done working with the track team– they have great food and the people working there are really nice! :)  It’s also a chance to review my notes and get prepared for my classes.

6:00-9:30 pm.  Class!!  Each class I have meets once a week, and they are all at night.  One thing is for sure– Starbucks is a lifesaver! :)

10-11 pm:  This is basically my “free time” during the day. :)  This is the time where I make my phone calls, watch movies, and just relax! :)

So– to sum it all up– athletics is not all about fun and games– there is a lot of work and dedication that comes with it. I really had a great time being a student-athlete– it really made my college experience a happy one. :) I would also say that athletes are one of the hardest working students on campus because they not only have to perform well inside the classroom, but they have to do well in their sports as well. :) 



October 12, 2006

Class, Football, and Internships: A day in the life of a USC Grad Student!

Filed under: Dear Diary — Karen @ 9:24 am

Hi everyone,

Wow– it’s been a long time since I posted! :)  Lots of things are going on– midterms are over for me– :)– but what does that mean?  Time to work on my final projects!  Wait a minute– FINALS??!!  I thought I just started this semester! :)  I have already talked to my graduate advisor on what classes I’m going to take next semester. 

Yes, my second to last semester of my Master’s– wow!  What am I taking?  Well, I have one more required course and then I have two electives:  Sports PR and International PR.  What is really neat about the International PR class is I get to chose where I want to go.  I have three choices:  Hong Kong, London, or Cape Town.  All good places for PR– and I’ll let you all know what my decision is. :)

Working with the track team is going well. :)  Lots of things to do now until the season– and I’m getting a lot of experience in learning what it’s like on the other side of the fence.  The coaches really do work a lot! :)

Oh!  My dad wrote a letter and it got published in the Daily Trojan yesterday about athletes getting 5th year eligibility.  Dad gets published everywhere! :) 

USC Beats Washington in the last 2 seconds! NOTICE: everyone stayed well past the end of the game to celebrate!






And– what about that FOOTBALL game??  Yikes!  I think that 2 seconds left in the game is TOO long!  But we pulled it off, and hopefully we can do the same this weekend! :) 

Well– gotta run! :)  Have a great day!

Best Wishes,


Update on Landis Case: Using the Internet to Communicate to Publics

Filed under: Crisis Management,News,Public Relations,Sports — Karen @ 9:06 am

Floyd Landis is using a different strategy to get his message across to people– the Internet. 

Landis has posted documents and even a powerpoint presentation on his web site about his crisis.  Even though it has been a couple of months since he tested positive for testosterone, Landis has maintained his innocence in interviews with the media (newspapers and TV).

What are the benefits of using the web?  Well– people have access to it any time that they want compared to the other media outlets.  It is also allows Landis to post information and updates on a regular basis.  Landis is also tryng to be transparent and provide people with documents and “proof” that he is innocent.  What are the disadvantages?  Well, how can you tell that it is Landis who is posting all of this information?  Maybe it may be his publicist? :)  Unless people know how Landis writes, they may not really believe what is being said. 

My advice to Landis– if you online, have a blog to establish that as your way to communicate.  Be consistent with your statements and documents, and realize that this is a crisis– some people will believe you, but there will be some that don’t.  Things will never be like they were before the Tour de France.

October 5, 2006

University of Georgia: Academic Reputation in Jeopardy after Graduation Rates among Athletes

Filed under: Crisis Management,News,Public Relations,Sports — Karen @ 5:22 pm

A few days ago, I posted on how important it is for athletes to think about their future after they are done with their athletics.  I found another case in which a university’s academic reputation may be affected by how many athletes do not get their degree.  The University of question is the University of Georgia.

When I was at Florida, I realized something very quickly– Florida has a lot of rivals in and out of the SEC!  Of course you have FSU, and Miami– and then there is Tennessee and LSU.  I would say one if not the biggest rivalry is between Florida and Georgia.  They have to play the football game at a neutral venue in Jacksonville, FL (which is where they have the big tailgating party at).

The NCAA came out a few days ago and said that only 9 percent of the University of Georgia’s men’s basketball team earned degrees in the 1990s.  In Football, 41 percent of athletes graduated, but according to this article, this percentage placed them last in the Southeastern Conference.  It was only a few years ago that the Bulldog Basketball team was in the headlines– but it wasn’t for something positive, but it was a crisis for the university.  The crisis was reported about in 2004, but it centered around a basketball class where Coach Jim Herrick Jr. taught and most of the players were enrolled in it.  On their final exam, one of the questions was: “How many points are there in a three-point shot?”  Wow– gee, I don’t know! :)

Athletes need to realize that the purpose of going to college is to get a degree– in the real world today, a degree is pretty much required.  So, Georgia has a lot to do to reshape their image as an academic institution as well as a credible university– they have a lot of explaining to do with the alumni and donors.  I guess we will have to watch and see what happens next. :)

October 3, 2006

Using a Coach’s Image: Fan makes T-shirts with a Cartoon picture of Arkansas Football Coach Houston Nutt

Filed under: News,Public Relations,Sports — Karen @ 9:34 pm

What would you do if you found out that someone was using your picture to put on T-shirts?  Also, what would you do if the message on these T-shirts was negative and could hurt your “image” or reputation?  Well, this is what’s happening to Arkansas Football Coach Houston Nutt

An Arkansas fan produced T-shirts with a cartoon picture of Coach Nutt along with the the message “National Championship Under Construction.”  The t-shirts also had the football statistics to show Nutt’s football record at Arkansas.  According to the attorney for the University of Arkansas, part of Coach Nutt’s contract states that the unversity can only use his image and name– so Arkansas said that this fan could not sell or distribute the shirts. 


It’s amazing– I feel that the job of a high profile position like a football coach would be tough.  If you don’t win all  the time– people want the coach to be fired.  People make t-shirts, and post web sites that say “firecoach such and such.com”.  :(

What these “fans” don’t realize is that these coaches are people– and they are aware of the pressures of being a coach and people’s expectations of them.  What would these “fans” do if they were the ones being portrayed on the T-shirts in a negative manner?  It might change the situation if this happened to these fans. 

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