Athlete-day an excessive display of recognition

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    If recognition had a monetary value, BYU athletes would be swimming in gold.

    BYUSA, in cooperation with the Student Athletics Advisory Council, sponsored College Athlete Recognition Day on Friday, April 6, simply reinforcing the recognition that is already inherent in college athletics.

    The day, according to BYUSA President Bill Brady, was designed to “raise awareness of the contributions that college athletes make to their respective schools,” and was highlighted with a one-hour party in Brigham’s Square.

    The celebration featured a “dance, video and sports highlights” and a number of other activities.

    Although we recognize the achievements and hard work of our school’s athletes, we believe that a day designated to honor them is both unnecessary and excessive.

    We acknowledge the fact that BYU’s athletes work hard, training up to five hours a day. We also value the sense of pride and unity that our athletic teams bring to the university.

    However, BYU athletes receive enough recognition without having a special day devoted to praising and thanking them for their achievements.

    Almost every day is an athlete recognition day. Tailgate parties, Homecoming, awards banquets — all are designed to honor our athletes. One more “special” day seems a little over the top.

    Our university has nearly 30,000 students with a variety of talents. In setting aside a day to applaud our athletes, we are undermining the accomplishments of so many BYU students who choose not to participate in university-sponsored sports.

    BYUSA does not sponsor special recognition days for the university’s musicians, comedians, jugglers, actors, writers, dancers, or for a myriad of other groups that contribute so much to the university.

    There is no doubt that the athletic program at BYU brings in sizable annual revenue in both ticket sales and donor contributions that other groups might not bring in.

    This should not mean, however, that the athletes deserve a recognition day any more than other university groups that devote time and energy to what they do.

    Athletics are a memorable and valuable aspect of the university experience. They foster friendships, provide entertainment and showcase incredible talents. They are not, however, why we are here.

    Athletics are too often overemphasized at the university level. Many times, sports seem paramount to scholarship.

    We are here to get a first-class education at a first-class university.

    So let’s celebrate the university. Let’s celebrate all 30,000 talented students. Remember the Cougars, but remember them for more than just their athletic skills.

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