Seeing a different side: Faculty visit
The Texas Longhorns brought the term "student-athlete" to life during Wednesday's scrimmage, as the players were encouraged by the coaching and academics staff to invite their favorite faculty member to watch a scrimmage at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium to close the first half of 2008 spring practices.
After the scrimmage, students and teachers came together to take part in a dinner provided for the faculty members and their families, players, and coaches.
This is the second time the Texas program has hosted such an event, as it offers a unique opportunity to show appreciation for each other, inside and outside the classroom.
"The faculty members don't step inside their world and appreciate the amount of work they do," said Dr. Linda Cleveland, a business foundations professor. "We in the stands enjoy the Saturday afternoon game and excitement of victory and the agony of defeat, but what we don't realize is the work they have in the trenches. They're here at 5:30 and 6 in the morning for weights, and then they go to class and then they come back for practice and then they have study hall. To get to step inside their world is an opportunity."
The team saw the night as an honor to provide their professors a glimpse into what life is like as a Texas football player.
"I think it's real good the teachers get to come out here," senior DT Roy Miller said. "Obviously, they work hard and they get to see us and see what we do after class. I think it's a real good thing that they get to come over here and get the chance to walk through the facilities and see practice and hopefully become fans of us on the field."
The benefits of the event can be seen in the relationship between senior K Ryan Bailey and his literature professor, Dr. Betsy Berry.
"It's really cool to have them come by," Bailey said. "They get to see what we do outside of class. My professor told me she had no idea how hard we work outside of the classroom. It's cool for them to see that."
"Ryan's great," added Dr. Berry. "I talk to him after lecture a lot. He's smart, and he was a little scared to take my class and now he's glad he's taking it. I've known lots of players. I get along with them, and I think they do a great job."
The event was a success for the second straight year, as the children of the faculty in attendance had the chance to play while teacher and student-athlete had the chance to eat together and take their relationship outside of the classroom.
"This is my first time, and I'm enjoying it," said accounting professor David Verduzco. "They are here to be students first, athletes second, and I think they do a very good job managing trying to be a student and an athlete."