Letter to the editor: Clearing misconceptions around our athletic programs

Kelly Hering

I’m a member of the ISU track and field team and I find Darrin Cline’s article, “Student-athletes lack respectability,” extremely ignorant.

I’m sure Mr. Cline wrote this piece for the sheer reason for bettering our campus and Iowa State’s reputation, and I’m also sure he knows exactly what it’s like to be a student-athlete and the pressures we experience on a day-to-day basis. Oh, wait. The fact that he’s not a Division I athlete discredits him immensely. Let’s dive into this article a little deeper.

“Other than the home football games, I’m not sure how many of our esteemed athletes I’ve seen dressed in something more formal than sweatpants. While we as the student body shell out cash for overpriced bookstore clothing, the athletes are adorned with closets full of ISU gear. It is a hefty amount of free gear that gives these should-be reputable role models a slovenly appearance.”

There are many misunderstandings and illogical statements within these three sentences alone. Because we’re full-time students and athletes, our schedules are extremely busy with classes, homework, practice, games/meets, required study hall hours, meetings, etc. Due to this fact, sometimes we have to run from class to practice and back to class in the middle of the day. So, Mr. Cline, I apologize that we’re all not showered, smelling of daisies and sunshine, and wearing “respectable” clothing to class after working out for three hours.

Secondly, the school does not require students to “shell out cash for overpriced bookstore clothing.” A student can get plenty of apparel at cheaper places, such as Wal-Mart or TJMaxx. I myself, a student-athlete, have bought the majority of my apparel from various places. It seems as if Mr. Cline thinks we’re handed heaps and heaps of ISU gear, but we’re not. We check out clothes to practice and compete in that we have to turn in at the end of the year — clothes that have been worn in the past and will be worn in the future.

Thirdly, if you think our ISU gear gives us a “slovenly appearance,” I guess that simply demonstrates how you feel about your school and school spirit. We, along with non-student-athletes, wear the name of Iowa State proudly and support each other through it. Have you seen our “WE ARE ONE” shirts around campus? We happily sacrifice sleep, energy, weekends and social lives to compete and represent each other and our school well.

I hope this clears up any misconceptions Mr. Cline has about our athletic programs here at ISU. Go Cyclones!