Seeing double: the dual life of a division I student athlete


Photo Courtesy: Liz Flynn/Quinnipiac Bobcats Sports Network

Eric Kerr

The “Legend of the Bobcat” flows with students of Quinnipiac who seek to become diverse members of the community.

While many perceive collegiate student athletes across the country with the stereotype of only going to class, playing their sport and sleeping, there are many athletes at Quinnipiac who embrace the legend through their active community involvement.

From several student organizations, greek life and on campus events, the opportunities for Quinnipiac students to take part in are limitless. The university’s student athletes are certainly are aware of this, as several from multiple teams are able to take advantage, finding a way to fit various clubs into their busy schedules.

Taylor Herd is a great example of an active member in the Quinnipiac community. Herd, a junior guard on the Quinnipiac women’s basketball team from Quakertown, Pennsylvania, looks to have diverse activity in the community through working with Quinnipiac’s news station Q30 Television. She works as a member of the sports department, where she has been on-camera talent for Q30’s Sports Paws interviewing fellow Quinnipiac athletes. She also looks to attend sorority events on campus and listens to public speakers invited to the school. Herd dedicates her time to academic achievement, earning a spot on the honors society for the class of 2020 in communications.

“I want to take advantage of everything that (Quinnipiac) has to offer as a school,” Herd said. “I think they do a really good job of networking. Realizing that I’m going to be out in the world soon I want to make as many connections as possible so I’m prepared professionally.”

Quinnipiac women’s basketball head coach Tricia Fabbri believes in the significance for the players on her team to find activities and form relationships with people outside of the court and the classroom. She knows that if they develop a variety of connections now, that it will only help her players when searching for hiring employers.

“To really go out and stretch yourself and get involved in these organizations. To have given yourself as many opportunities of connecting with many different people is truly the best experience,” Fabbri said. “I think that versatility makes you a complete person.”

The basketball programs, featuring Herd and men’s basketball senior Aaron Robinson aren’t the only athletes who look to fulfill the Bobcats legend of active membership. In fact, several other teams feature athletes who seek further involvement.

Quinnipiac women’s lacrosse star Allison Kuhn, a senior attacker from Kingsville, Maryland, not only looks to rack up goals and assists on the field, but also serves on the university’s Student Government Association (SGA) as the senior class vice president. Kuhn also decided to take the position as editor in chief for the Quinnipiac yearbook. Despite how full her plate is, Kuhn loves being so involved in the community, as it was something that she was motivated to do dating back to her younger days.

“I think I blame my parents for why I am so involved,” Kuhn said. “When I was growing up I was in four dance classes, four sports teams, while also paying violin and piano. If I wanted to play sports, my mom said I had to play an instrument and I had to take a dance class. To be well-rounded is something my mom always wanted me to be and I was able to stick with that same mindset.”

It’s a an important portion of the Bobcat’s Legend to become an active member of Quinnipiac. However, participation with on campus events and organizations combined with the heavy rigor of class assignments and team practices can be difficult for a college athlete to handle.

Herd is certainly aware of this predicament, as she has been able to provide a counter and find great ways to prioritize her time to gain her best possible Quinnipiac experience.

“I’m always making sure that I’m looking ahead in my schedule,” Herd said. “I’m big on having my planner. I’ll schedule everything in there, including my practices and games and schedule classes to ensure I have time for all the other activities I’m involved in.”

Kuhn’s schedule is certainly at a much more elevated level in comparison to other student athletes. At times, Kuhn has even had to step down from SGA due to conflicts with her lacrosse schedule, but this hasn’t stopped her from continuing to provide effort and dedication with all work she does even as she continues her senior year. Despite double majoring in finance and management, Kuhn’s will to do it all is something in which she takes pride in, and doesn’t mind the pressure of living the double life as athlete and Quinnipiac student.

“It’s all about the ebb and the flow,” Kuhn said. “I think would rather be busy than not in order to spend my time well at Quinnipiac. 99% of the time I am all in with what I do, no matter what.”

Fabbri also emphasizes how stressful it can get for student athletes to keep up with everything going on in their lives. There are so many elements that are involved in order to compete for a division I women’s basketball program, and Fabbri, having coached the team for 23 years now, is completely aware of the situation.

“For a student athlete to be so dedicated to not only the physical training, the travel, the year-round effort that goes into honing your talent to a team, but also the academic piece, the social piece, the leadership. The balance that goes along with being active community members, I simply just admire all that they have done,” Fabbri said.

These student athletes, who are invested into developing their skills and talents for the sports they play, are able to find time to participate in on campus events and organizations. These individuals are simply so much more than just the sport they play and the classes they attend. They are Quinnipiac students looking to improve themselves in not only what they love to do, but are seeking to form a true identity to prepare them for their lives after they graduate.