Thursday, March 23, 2006

Student athlete punished for attending professional conference

Romenesko points to the story of Melaney Whiting, a student majoring in mass communications at Tennessee State University, who was kicked off the tennis team and had her athletic scholarship revoked after she opted to attend the Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Newspaper Conference rather than listen to the mandate of her coach, who told Melaney she would not be allowed to miss practice in order to attend the conference. After her dismissal, Melaney appealed the decision to the school's athletic director, who sided with the coach.

Well, Melaney weighed her options and made what I feel was the wise choice, to attend an event that would afford her the opportunity to attend sessions relevant to her future career and give her many chances to network with her future colleagues.

I can't say I'm shocked to hear of yet another university which puts athletics above all else, but I'm very disappointed that this school's priorities are so obviously screwed up.

Melaney is a writer for the university's student newspaper, The Meter, and wrote a column about her situation which appeared earlier this week.


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