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Stoleless Student-Athletes

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

by Franchesca Carrera

Photo credit: Franchesca Carrera

On February 10th, President Norm Hall held a fireside chat in the Morgan Lobby. During the hour and a half discussion, one topic that came up was student-athlete stoles.

As of right now, according to Hall, stoles for the graduating Simpson athletes will not be provided by the school.

Dr. Hall gave his reasoning for not providing the stoles, saying graduation in the past has primarily been a celebration of academics, not athletics.

Dr. Timothy Orr, who was also at the chat, countered Hall. Orr said other schools provide stoles for student-athletes who meet a certain GPA, allowing them to show off the hard work that goes into representing the school in both academics and athletics.

Currently, there is one team on campus that will be wearing stoles which is women’s basketball, as stated by fourth-year team member Lexi Thompson, at the fireside chat.

According to Thompson, her team will be sporting the stoles on graduation day because Head Coach Derrick Pringle Jr. purchased them with his own money as a surprise for the girls.

While the seven seniors on the women’s basketball team are thankful for the gesture from their coach, they don’t feel like it should have been their coach’s responsibility. According to Thompson, she said that she feels the school should support the athletes and provide the stoles.

Meanwhile, other teams will still be going without the special ribbon around their neck.

Softball’s Mia Olvera, who spent three years as a Red Hawk, is disappointed she won’t be able to represent her hard work both in the classroom and on the field.

“All student-athletes should be given a special stole because we’ve worked twice as hard as just an average college student,” said Olvera. “We had the same amount of responsibilities in the classroom as well as having to work hard for our sport in order to be successful.”

Olvera is frustrated that the school doesn’t want to provide these stoles, since the athletes only want to represent the school in the best way they can, she said.

“I would hope they would think it was fit to thank us for all of our hard work academically and physically,” stated Olvera.

At the end of the student-athlete stole conversation, Hall stated he doesn’t have a strong opinion either way. He said at this point it is something the athletes need to discuss with their coaches and take it up with Athletic Director Tom Galbraith.

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