Paying to Play

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    By Kaitlyn Rice

    One of the biggest perks of being a student athlete is having schooling and living expenses paid for. Unfortunately, this courtesy isn?t available to the lacrosse and rugby teams.

    The players on the lacrosse and rugby teams share the same rigorous schedule that all of the other BYU sponsored teams have ? classes, practice, strengthening and conditioning, games and traveling ? but on top of this they must also deal with the stress of tuition and living expenses. And what?s even more, they actually pay to play.

    ?Each player has to pay $1,100 per semester to play on the team,? lacrosse midfielder Britton Cone said. ?It covers our traveling expenses, our trainers and equipment.?

    The players on the rugby team must pay $500 per season plus $30 for every trip they go on. Even with these yearly fees, the teams must be frugal and resourceful.

    ?We try to keep our traveling expenses as low as possible,? sophomore rugby player Jacob Higgins said. ?We will stay at members? houses whenever we can.?

    Because these teams don?t receive any financial aid for scholarships from the university, many of the players have jobs to help pay for tuition and their playing expenses.

    ?I have a job and most of the players on the team have to work to help cover the costs of everything,? senior rugby captain Steve St. Pierre said. ?It?s definitely hard managing school, work and rugby.?

    Both teams spend at least two hours a day in practice or weight training. They also have to stay caught up in school when they travel and miss classes.

    ?It?s hard staying caught up missing so many lectures,? lacrosse defensemen Dan Crawforth said. ?It would be easier to keep up with classes if we had tutors.?

    All of the BYU sponsored sports get unlimited access to tutors at the Stu-dent Athlete Building to help them stay on top of their classes. The lacrosse and rugby teams are allowed to use the study facilities in the SAB but don?t receive free tutoring.

    Despite the added stress related to playing for the club, both teams have top-ranked programs. The lacrosse team has earned national attention, winning the championship in 2007, and the rugby team has finished as national runners-up the last three years.

    ?Having to pay can discourage some good players from coming to BYU,? Crawforth said. ?But we are a top club team every year and our program at-tracts guys that have a passion to play.?

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