Credit Where Credit is Due

Mike Carlson, Spear Contributor

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The policy as it stands now at Arapahoe is that students in marching band who participate all four years in the grueling past time (I fully mean that. My heart goes out to the poor guy who has to lug around his tuba everywhere) receive two physical education credits.

Truthfully, I have no problem with this policy at all. The students in marching band do just that: march. In fact, they march pretty much non-stop. Even some mailmen are jealous of their dedication. No matter rain, sleet, snow, apocalyptic earthquake, or alien invasion, you will find the drum majors still moving their hands in the crazed patterns we pretend to fully understand, but never really do.

On very similar days, however, you will also find the football team trudging through another hard-hitting practice, the cross country team setting world land speed records during yet another day of mile repeats, and the boys soccer team running the pitch at top speeds for marathon-like distances.

This is where I have my problem.

The athletes of Arapahoe should receive some physical education credit for playing their respective sport all four years.

Heresy, right?

How dare the athletes who spend endless hours in the gym, on the field, and on the track try to weasel their way out of a 12-minute run. You may be able to run 800 meters in two minutes, but gosh darn it we just won’t believe it until you jog around the track for a bit.

It’s no secret that athletes are athletic (It’s in the name for pete’s sake). So, why not reward those who represent Arapahoe (much like their tuba-carrying counterparts) in a similar manner?

Both parties put in similar amounts of practice time, have cardio-vascular endurance that would make a marathoner jealous, and are a part of the public’s perception of Arapahoe. The only difference? Instead of carrying a tuba, the running back carries the ball. Where the trombone player must keep pace with the beat, the soccer player must stay step-for-step with the defender. It’s not the pack of percussionists, it’s the pack time for the cross country team.

At this point, it just makes sense. And who knows maybe athletic participation will increase at Arapahoe as a result. And I’m fairly positive we’ve seen the commercials and studies about scholar-athletes, right? Giving a snow day to students every once-and-a-while wouldn’t even boost academic performance the way a legion of scholar-athletes would.

Listen, we aren’t paying players here. Nor, are we even exempting them from gym class entirely. More simply, we are just giving credit where credit is due.

Frankly, that time for athletes is long overdue.

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