By Thomas Corhern
With all of the attention that is brought onto college athletics, it sometimes becomes hard to notice all the work that goes on behind the scenes of the typical student-athlete.
It's more than just the games and practices, but classes and studying, as well as giving back to the community as they shape themselves for their lives outside of school as adults.
That's the basis of Tennessee Tech's Man and Woman of the Year awards. This week, the university's athletics department awards its Woman of the Year, with the men's winner to be announced next Sunday.
For TTU volleyball player Teresa Craig, academics was a major factor. Putting together a perfect 4.0 grade-point-average is hard enough for a normal student to achieve, let along a student-athlete whose time is also divided with athletics. But Craig found a way to have a perfect balance of athletics and academics, earning her this year's Woman of the Year award.
"When you go to college and play sports," Craig said, "you've got to understand what a student-athlete really means. We had some success on the court in my junior year by winning the (Ohio Valley Conference) tournament, but, ultimately, it's academics that are going to get you somewhere in life after graduation."
And a perfect 4.0 GPA is certainly not an easy feat to accomplish for a student-athlete.