Midterm Season Cramps Athletes

It's midterm time again in Cambridge.

Look far and wide, and one would be very hard-pressed to find a Harvard student who doesn't complain about how much work she or he has.

But what about the students who have the additional time commitment of sports as well?

"It's a pain in the butt," admits senior football player Tommy Reardon.

Probably an understatement. The football team, along with every other athletic team here at Harvard, practices the NCAA regulated 20 hours a week, even during midterms. Most players' time commitment is even more than that.


"If you put in travel time, it's a huge commitment," senior football player Clete Johnson says. "But a lot of people at Harvard are overcommitted."

Few are as overcommitted as Johnson. He also participates in army ROTC, in addition to his academic and athletic responsibilities.

Crew is the quintessential time-consuming sport, and it lasts all year. The men's varsity team practices 20-25 hours a week in the fall, and about 30 hours a week in the spring. That can really play havoc with your work schedule.

"Last spring we had Eastern Sprints in the middle of finals," rower Alex Blake says. "I had a race on Sunday and a final on Monday. A lot of other people were in similar situations."

So what do players do to keep up with all their activities?

"You've got to figure out a way so you don't have everything in a two-day time period," Johnson says. "I had three papers due this week, and a few weeks ago I asked a teacher to let me turn one in, on Friday instead of Thursday."

"So far, it hasn't been too much trouble," freshman return-man Troy Jones says. "It's pretty much about time management. You don't have too much free time, but if you have any, you'd better jump on your books."

"Actually, hockey helps me balance my time," freshman field-hockey player Judy Collins says. "If I wasn't doing anything all day, I'd just procrastinate. It's a break in the day from work."

Sometimes, with all this pressure, something's got to give.

"I've missed practice because of a rescheduled section or review session," Reardon says. "But the coaches are pretty understanding."