I've truly grown tired of hearing the media call someone a "redshirt freshman" or a "fifth year senior -- when describing one's eligibility status as a student-athlete. At Notre Dame, the so called "fifth year seniors" are typically graduates of Notre Dame who have enrolled in grad school or law school.
The University of Notre Dame gets little to zero credit -- from the talking heads in the media -- for the fact that their so called "fifth year seniors" are actually college graduates taking grad or law school classes.
Notre Dame graduates its student-athletes in four years -- not five, six or never!
We've all seen the stories where a Notre Dame student-athlete is labeled as having "left school early" -- when they actually already graduated in four years and decided not to play their fifth year to pursue a career in the pro ranks. The media "assumes" they left school early since you can't graduate on time if you're a Division I athlete -- because that's the case at most schools not called Notre Dame.
I had made a post on January 28th of this year -- with a suggestion as to how the ND Media Relations Department should "label" the CLASS / ELIGIBILITY of all of its student athletes on all rosters, media guides, websites, news releases, etc., at the University of Notre Dame:
- Freshman (FR) -- are student athletes in their freshman academic year at Notre Dame
- Sophomores (SO) -- are student athletes in their sophomore academic year at Notre Dame
- Juniors (JR) -- are student athletes in their junior academic year at Notre Dame
- Seniors (SR) -- are student athletes in their senior academic year at Notre Dame
- Grad Student (GS) -- are student athletes who have already completed their undergraduate degree and are now in grad school or law school at Notre Dame and are playing out their five years of eligibility
Well, wouldn't you know -- I noticed today that all of Notre Dame's 2011 "rosters" (SEE FOOTBALL ROSTER BELOW) now have all of the student-athletes who've graduated and are now in grad school -- listed as GS for grad students!!!
Here's a big THANK YOU to the University of Notre Dame's Media Relations team for taking the lead in setting the standard for proper recognition by all for the term "student-athlete!"
The photo is of Notre Dame running back Robert Hughes who played four years for the Fighting Irish and graduated on time! Hughes signed with the Chicago Bears this past week.
LINK: NOTRE DAME 2011 FOOTBALL ROSTER