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Tupua and Erdman Know How to Separate School and the Game

October 17, 2018 | by Baily Sitzmann

Traveling to face off against opponents is the name of the game in any type of sport, at any age. So, is there a point in a student-athlete’s career that they start to say the traveling is too much or does it never bother them? Most Briar Cliffathletes are accustomed to the travels they must make, but the 2018-2019 looks to be a bigger traveling year than normal, as last year most sports had more home games then away and it rotates every other year.

Sophomore,Asi Tupua, ofLake Stevens, WA, recently traveled to Jamestown, North Dakotafor football and says he tries to get all of his homework done before he even leaves.

“I don’t want to have to use my absence from class as an excuse for not having something done. Most students don’t think of it that way. They don’t take advantage of the resources that the school offers and that’s when the traveling becomes an issue,” says the defensive lineman.

Tupua and several other athletes at BCUare required to attend a “study hall” multiple times a week to help them get their homework finished and get the help they need in their classes. The coaches work with professors and students to set up times during these study halls to have tutors and academic peer mentors come in and assist the athletes in any way possible.

BCUAthletic Director Nic Nelsonsays, “Briar Cliff really does a great job at looking out for students. We, as a whole, try to keep open communication and have as many resources as possible to help everybody succeed.”

Things have been stressful for several athletes this year, however, all athletes have rules they must follow, which in turn helps everyone.

“All athletes must email their professors a minimum of 48 hours in advance that they will be missing class and coaches must do it a minimum of one day in advance. However, no students will ever miss class due to practice, except for football because they have so much equipment that they cannot bring it all,” Nelson says.

Senior basketball captain, Erich Erdman, of Forest City, IA, is no stranger to leaving school for games, and knowing what it is like to deal with the piles of homework professors give on game days.

“It can be really hard sometimes, but you really just have to know your deadlines and communicate with your professors when you’re going to be gone. Preparation is key,” says the 2018 First Team All-GPAC (Great Plains Athletic Conference)Honoree.

When Tupua, Nelson, and Erdman all get asked, ‘what is the best way to stay focused, and keep your head in the game?’ they all tend to say the same, general thing, “communicate with your professors and peers, stay prepared for anything and everything and learn how to separate the game and school.”

Sophomore, Asi Tupua, explains how to keep up with the school work and the game.

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