SportsA professor’s perspective on student-athletes
A professor’s perspective on student-athletes

Aside from excelling in the field of sports, student-athletes also have to attend their respective classes. With the tireless efforts they give during games, it is indeed difficult to juggle both academics and training. Although it is an obvious stereotype among student-athletes, some continue to go beyond what is expected of them.

The LaSallian sat down with Alvin Gutierrez from the Marketing and Advertising department and Maricel Balatbat from the MOD (Management of Organizations) department to go in depth on the performance of students who represent La Salle in athletics, from a professor’s point-of-view.



The good and the bad

Given their hectic schedules, athletes have the tendency to be always late or cut classes from time to time. Unfortunately, for Balatbat, attendance and tardiness are a huge factor in her class. “If it’s their season and they will enroll in a subject then they should attend and not be absent unless they are excused. I hope their office will be strict on that kasi a professor cannot just give a grade just because you won,” she emphasizes.

The strategic human resource professor also stresses the importance of being present in class. “I will excuse them but I will feel sad for my subject because you are not there to appreciate it because you are not there. I want my students to learn something from me. When they finish my subject, I want them to know a lot of things,” says Balatbat.

On a side note, Gutierrez commends some of his students from the Animo squad who perform outstandingly in his class. “They do not make excuses on late submissions because they never submitted late and they make sure that their academics are taken care of, and at the same time they represent the school and excel in the field they are in.” He also adds that balancing academics with their duties as an athlete is what he admires the most in them.

In only his two years of teaching in DLSU, the ebullient professor appreciates the versatility of student-athletes which already translates to what he upholds as a lecturer, which is excellence. “They should not be submitting projects na ‘pwede na yan,” they should be able to break the mold, challenge the status quo, challenge instructions, and always think outside the box because that is what we are really getting paid for in the real world,” he implies.


What a professor wants

With their own personal preferences on how a student should be, Balatbat and Gutierrez want nothing more than to make sure that their students get to learn something from them at the end of the day. For the former, there is no such thing as special treatment. She explains that she will definitely excuse the student when he or she has an excuse slip, but the points that the students have missed would not be something she would just simply hand over. “Some athletes feel I am rude because I am not considerate, but if you analyze how I do it in class, it’s very fair already. Maybe it’s because they are hoping for a special treatment,” she says.

Even if the student is an athlete, Balatbat explains that they should remember that they are a student too. Kim Dy of the DLSU Lady Spikers is the example that Balatbat believes to be a good role model to follow. When Dy enrolled in her class, Balatbat did not know that the former was an athlete, seeing that Dy attended all her classes and would not give practices or games as an excuse for being late at times. It was only at the grade consultation that the other students informed the professor that Dy was a student-athlete, and Balatbat then hoped that all her future student-athletes would be just be like her.

On the other hand, Gutierrez is a professor that believes in the well-roundedness of a Lasallian student and encourages extra-curricular activities to enhance themselves. He salutes the student-athletes for being able to handle the weight of being a student and an athlete, and hopes that they would continue doing well in their field.

Furthermore, Gutierrez has not really experienced any negative issues with regard to the attendance of his student-athletes in his classes. He explains that maybe it is because of his good class schedules that do not coincide with any training hours or games of the athletes, “Coincidentally, maybe my schedules are probably good, so I get approved absences but it is something I rarely get,” he continues.

For Gutierrez, having these extra-curricular activities help foster the completeness of a student. “If they excel in sports, they bring the same values to their outputs in class so they know ‘life is all about winning’ and you know ‘life is like a game, you win you lose’, and if you have this winning attitude that you bring into class then I guess there is no issue about it,” he concludes.

Despite having different views on how students should go about, Balatbat and Gutierrez are some of the professors who only have the good future of their students in mind. Balatbat hopes that she would be able to share all that she knows to her students despite their busy schedules and Gutierrez is hopeful that his student-athletes do not only learn something new from him every lecture, but for them to be able to represent the school in the Olympic Games in the future to not only carry the Philippine flag, but La Salle’s as well.