Division Decisions Don’t Define You

Caroline Duffy

The D1 obsession. Every high school athlete has gone through it. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) has three divisions, D1, D2, and D3. Thomas Jefferson University is a D2 school. There are different aspects in each division, yet, the main perk of being a D1 and D2 athlete is the money; you get paid to be part of the team. What confused me is, why is it so bad I went D2? My coaches, friends, and family were all telling me I could have played at a higher level, I could have gone to a better school, that I am a failure. To anyone who is not a D1 athlete, it is really not that different. We all go to these schools in hopes to get a good education and degree. Yet, my friends scrutinized me for going D2. This was mainly because my entire friend group went D1 for lacrosse, and I went D2 for basketball. What I find so humorous in their ridicule is that I am getting more money than they were to play.

This is not an article on me bragging about D2 basketball, it is something calling to the issue of putting athletes down for simply not going to a higher level. For some, it’s a choice, for some, it’s the talent aspect, for others, they simply did not want to go higher. The choice: I played high school basketball against one of the best players I have ever seen, having triple doubles every game, completely obliterating us. Where did she go and play? Trick question: She actually went to Harvard to pursue law completely leaving behind her basketball career. She most definitely could have played there, but chose to focus on her education. The talent: simple, you are not good enough to play “D1.” The higher level: Some chose to go D3 because of the commitment D1/D2 holds. D3 in many eyes is the lowest of the low. Some may say they do not do as much, they do not work as hard, which is complete wrong. One of my friends went D3  and works out and trains more than we do at the D2 level.

What I am trying to say is that if you are an athlete, there is no need to worry about where you go or what division you end up in, in reality it is all about getting a good education. Rumors of Jefferson going D1 have been going around, and what is going to change with our program because of this? Absolutely nothing. All our athletes train and compete at the highest level we instill in ourselves.

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