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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Terrier student-athletes conquer, prevail and persist to graduate school

Photo+by+Anna+Lee+Hoffman.%0AStudent-athletes+utilize+their+athletic+and+academic+experiences+in+college+to+propel+them+to+graduate+school.+Basketball+players+Alexis+Tomlin+%E2%80%9922+%28left%29+and+Alea+Harris+%E2%80%9922+%28right%29+forewent+their+extra+year+of+eligibility+to+pursue+graduate+degrees.
Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman. Student-athletes utilize their athletic and academic experiences in college to propel them to graduate school. Basketball players Alexis Tomlin ’22 (left) and Alea Harris ’22 (right) forewent their extra year of eligibility to pursue graduate degrees.

As a part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, every Division I student-athlete was granted an additional year of athletic eligibility to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on their collegiate careers. 

According to its website, the organization, more commonly known as the NCAA, ruled on March 30, 2020 that in addition to the extra eligibility granted to fall and winter athletes, it would “allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.”

Many athletes have decided to take advantage of this ruling, most notably Storm Murphy ’21, the starting point guard for the men’s basketball team that decided to take his extra year at Virginia Tech with former coach Mike Young. Other Wofford athletes, however, decided to forego their additional year of eligibility in favor of pursuing their graduate degrees.

“I knew when I came to Wofford that my plan was to attend medical school,” Alexis Tomlin ’22 said. “With being on track to graduate and getting accepted into medical school, I knew I was ready for the next step in my educational journey. I have loved my time at Wofford, but I am eager to move on and work towards my ultimate goal of becoming a physician.”

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Tomlin, a key member of the women’s basketball team for the past four years, will be attending the M.D. program at the Medical University of South Carolina and was also accepted to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Greenville.

Tomlin, a biology and mathematics major on the pre-medicine track, was impressively accepted into the program which touts a 4% acceptance rate, highlighting the high caliber of students that Wofford athletics attracts.

Teammate Alea Harris ‘22 also decided to forego her extra year in favor of pursuing law school, ultimately deciding to attend the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University on a full scholarship. Harris, an English and sociology and anthropology major, also was accepted to Duke University, University of Houston, Vanderbilt University and the University of Cincinnati with full scholarships.

“I decided to forego my extra years of eligibility because I knew I was ready to be a lawyer,” Harris said. “I was kind of burnt out with basketball and I was ready to start the next chapter of life. I wanted that chapter to exist beyond athletics.”

Among spring sport athletes, lacrosse players Shannon Wulff ’22 and Emma Seif ’22 have decided to hang up their cleats following the conclusion of the Big South Conference Championships held May 6-8 in High Point, North Carolina. 

Seif has decided to enroll in the Master of Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, while Wulff will be pursuing a full-time M.B.A. at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School in her hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

“Lacrosse has been my everything for the past 15 years and has given me everything I could ever imagine: friends, experiences and endless adventures,” Wulff said. “My dream was to play college lacrosse and I can happily and confidently say that dream has come true and I have squeezed every moment from it. Another one of my childhood dreams was to attend Chapel Hill and now I have a chance to do that.”

According to their website, the M.B.A. program at UNC prefers applicants with at least two years of full-time work experience and only admits “a small number of applicants with less experience.” The average work experience of accepted students is almost 6 years.

“While I may not be as old or experienced as many of my future classmates, I know Wofford has prepared me well for the graduate school experience,” Wulff said. “I can confidently say I would not be in the position I am today or half the woman I am if it were not for the Wofford lacrosse program and my amazing teammates.”

While many student-athletes have decided or will decide to take advantage of the extra year of COVID-19 eligibility, these hardworking students maximized their academic and athletic experiences in their four years of undergraduate studies and plan to enjoy the rewards of their efforts in their respective graduate programs.

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