Lee University athletes work to balance school, time and finances while playing the sports they love.
Lee University's Athletic Director Larry Carpenter said, 'One of the traits that a student athlete has to possess is time-management."
The lives of student athletes at Lee University are not always the shining moments that the fans see on the field or the court.
Senior Flames soccer player Jon Finlay from Liverpool, England said balancing classes, practice and travel games can be quite the challenge for student athletes that are not anticipating the responsibility.
'Freshman year it was a little bit overwhelming because I wasn't really prepared for it,' Finlay said. 'My freshman year I missed the first three days of class. So, I was coming in as an international student, and before I ever went to a class I was told that I would miss the first three days.'
Carpenter said at Lee student athletes have to learn that academics come first.
In attempt to make up for some of the classes missed due to athletic events, Lee has implemented a rule that does not allow student athletes to have any unexcused absences. Even if the professor allows students to have a certain number of unexcused absences, student athletes are not allowed to miss any classes without an excuse.
The penalty for having an unexcused absence is up to each coach, but there must be a penalty of some kind.
Finlay said having a job while in season is impossible for student athletes, which makes money hard to come by.
'I can't work a job because of time and traveling. I physically just can't do it,' Finlay said. 'I would love to go to work for $7 an hour and have 70 or 140 bucks in my bank account every week. I would love that, but I can't.'
Finlay said he knows how blessed he is to be a student athlete, and that he just wants people to be aware that the student athlete life is not always just glitz and glamour.
'I do love being a college athlete. If I didn't I wouldn't be one,' Finlay said.
Sophomore Summer Lanter is a member of the Lady Flames soccer team, she said she understands a student athlete's life is not always easy, but the good always vastly outweighs any of the bad.
'Yeah, sometimes it's hard,' Lanter said. 'But I wouldn't trade it for anything.'