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  • Matthew Schwanke

In Defense of the Athletes: NARP Response

Matthew Schwanke

After reading the article on Mount athletes and their superiority complexes I felt that I was uniquely qualified to respond. I have been both a D1 athlete and a non-athletic recreational person (a.k.a. a NARP) during my time here at the Mount. Due to that I have had the privilege of seeing both sides of campus and been able to fully realize the community that is Mount St. Mary’s.

The first problem I have with what was stated was that “The Mount cannot be a community because people are split up based on their interests.” Much like anywhere else here in the U.S., people typically gravitate to where they spend most of their time, with those they have most in common with. If a bird watcher from Baltimore hangs out with other bird watchers from Baltimore, it would not make Baltimore not a community, rather a community made up of many different interests, ideas beliefs and so forth.

The Mount is no different. I typically hangout with people who I see in the Academic Center. That isn’t because I dislike science majors or those in the other buildings, but rather because that is where my classes are and where I spend most of my time. 

The piece stated that once a sports team is created, they hang mostly with themselves. Once again, that makes sense. They spend their time outside of class at practice or games which can be much over the 20 hours allowed by the NCAA a week. That means between school and practice the amount of time they have for creating new relationships is limited.

Another statement made was that there is rudeness shown by athletes on campus. Yes, there are some rude athletes on campus. But there are also rude NARPs, professors, employees and so on. Rude people can be found everywhere, however that does not speak for all athletes. I know a lot of athletes who go out of their way to say hello, hold doors open and partake in charitable events.

Another thing worth mentioning is that NARP is not a bad term. On a campus where 30% of the students are athletes, it seems like a reasonable term to tell people apart.

On a large campus like the University of Delaware it would be assumed that most people are not athletes. Here however that cannot be more wrong. The term was even created to simplify the process of knowing who was on a sports team and who was not.

Do not get me wrong, making friends can be hard. I appreciate that and I do believe you put work into creating relationships.

Just know with athletes, it is no different than anyone else. There are some NARPs who do not want to be friends with you, just like there are some athletes awaiting your friendship.


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