Sooner student-athletes volunteer substantial hours for community service.
Mossman Propecies No. 35 | Archive
It's hard to fathom the life of a student-athlete.
The long list of demands include practice, travel and,
of course, academics.
These young people should be applauded
for their ability to juggle so much, especially at
a time when their attention spans and energy levels
are telling them to chase more leisurely pursuits.
Yes, it's a full schedule to be sure. Full
enough that if today's student-athlete opted
to do nothing but hit the books and don the uniform
all of us would understand.
Most don't take that option.
The one thing I omitted in appraising how much they
do is community service. From August to April, the
500 Sooner student-athletes logged 343 hours of community
service while participating at 73 different events.
At least that's what the OU Athletics Department
was able to track. Frankly, the numbers are much
larger. Several of the sports do, shall we say,
a less than stellar job of recording their community
On one hand, that's frustrating to those of
us looking to chronicle this fine work. On the
other, it probably tells us that the coaches and student-athletes
are reaching out to the community for reasons other
than writing it down for reports and touts.
Accounting problems aside, community service is
a feat that is rarely recognized by any one other than
those benefiting directly. The news media, somewhat
understandably, grew wearing of the storyline years
The story has been told. Despite that, may
it never be taken for granted.
Student-athletes come under tremendous scrutiny
from coaches, academicians and fans that sometimes
forget there is a real human being inside that uniform.
The time demands on these young people are substantial. To
me, that's what makes their willingness to think
of others even more impressive.
A lot of today's marketing efforts and media
attention are geared towards getting each of us to
think more about ourselves. To me, it's
refreshing when a group of people that might be particularly
prone to that kind of thinking choose to do the opposite.
next time you see one of those Sooners run, shoot,
kick or whatever, remember that not only are they fulfilling
a college sport dream and getting an education, they're
probably also taking time to make life better for someone
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Kenny Mossman, Associate Athletics Director for
Communications, provides his perspective on Oklahoma
Athletics in his regular column on SoonerSports.com.